As we await the Lord’s return, we should use our God-given gift/talents to His glory.
Text Luke 19:11-27
The believers in Christ, as pilgrims in this world are enjoined by the Master to live as ambassadors of the kingdom of God in all spheres of life. This implies that every believer should use his or her gifts/talents in its fullness, knowing that one day he/she will render account of stewardship to the Master.
The objectives of this study are:
- To know what it means to occupy
- To understand the various ways a Christian can be occupied
- To know some of the things that could hinder a believer from occupying
- To examine the consequences of not occupying
- To appreciate the benefits of occupying
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE PHRASE “OCCUPY TILL I COME”? Luke 19:13
“Occupy till I come” means doing God’s business, working hard, being diligent, serving others, sharing the blessing He has given us with others, witnessing to our neighbors, telling them about Him and
making disciples of others until He comes. He wants us to be living epistles read by all men until He comes.
This story showed Jesus’ followers what they were to do during the time between Jesus’ departure and His return. Because we live in that time period, it applies directly to us. We have been given excellent resources to build and expand God’s kingdom. The Lord Jesus expects us to use these talents so that they multiply and the kingdom grows. He asks each of us to account for what we do with His gifts. While awaiting the Lord’s return, we must do God’s work.
Q2. IDENTIFY AND DISCUSS SOME OF THE AREAS OPEN FOR THE CHRISTIAN TO OCCUPY AS WE AWAIT OUR LORD’S RETURN.
1 Corinthians 3:13-14
The believer must use the God-given gifts and talents for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry and for the edification of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).
There are various areas open to the Christian to occupy until the Lord returns; they include:
-In the home
In the home, every member of the family has one responsibility or the other given by God. When we accept God’s responsibility and obey His commandments, we are occupying in our homes until the Lord’s return. That is husband/father, wife/mother, children and house help, should live in the home playing their roles according to God’s instructions in His word. (Ephesians 5:22-26, 29).
-In the Church
The Church is a ground and pillar of the truth, it is God’s platform for propagation of His kingdom on earth. God is reaching the whole world today through His body the Church, to which we belong.
It is therefore the responsibility of believers collectively and believers individually to advance the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15-16). Believers have the responsibility to preach the gospel in and out of season.
It is not enough to have one’s name on the Church register. That is not why God has called us. God has called us to be instruments in His hand to depopulate the kingdom of darkness, to populate the kingdom of light and of His dear son, Jesus Christ.
This is the call, the high Calling: God’s own business which all believers must do diligently and profitably.
-In the society
Matthew 5:13-16, 25:35-36
The believer is expected to release the God given potentials to help build the society in whatever capacity he/she finds him/herself. The believer must actively participate in the affairs of his/her society to entrench righteousness and the will of God, and must endeavor to be a worthy ambassador of Christ in the society.
We are each God’s ambassadors-presenting to the world that Christians are a different kind of people with a different lifestyle. How well are you fulfilling your commission as Christ’s ambassador?
Q3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT COULD HINDER US FROM OCCUPYING TILL HE COMES? 1 John 2:15-16
Sin is the major hindrance to our ability to occupy till He comes; sin is expressed in diverse ways. 1 John 2:15-16 states “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”
Loving the world leads to a loss of Christian focus. This is because the love of the world takes away the love of and or love for God. It is only when one loves God that he/she will strive to keep His commands. The love of the world manifests in the following ways-
-The lust of the Eyes:
The lusts of the eyes have to do with an uncontrolled desire to possess at all costs what the eyes see. Believers must learn to keep their eyes single (Matthew 6:22) and focused on God.
-The lust of the flesh:
The flesh represents the Adamic nature which is governed by sin hence it exerts itself to be satisfied with sinfulness.
A Christian must follow the example of Paul to bring the flesh in subjection to doing the will of God alone.
-The pride of life:
Pride is a tool used by the enemy; it is arrogating to self what God did for us in His mercy. It includes inordinate desire for fame, popularity, and glory, thereby robbing God of the glory due to Him. A Christian must check this because God resists the proud. James 4:6.
Another major hindrance is undue allegiance to organization, denomination etc. without due consideration to Biblical pattern/standards; this can result in loss of focus.
Q4. DISCUSS THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT OCCUPYING IN THE LORD’S SERVICE.
The consequences of not occupying are enormous. The account in Mark 11:12-22 tells us that the Lord Jesus desired to eat of the fig tree. When He got none, He cursed the tree. In a similar vein, the Lord said that “every branch in me that beareth no fruit he taketh away… (John 15:2).
Not occupying in the Lords service amounts to disobedience and this makes a believer become miserable and unfulfilled.
Not occupying in the Lord’s service is rebellion and this attracts Gods wrath and brings about set back and lack of progress in the life of the believer (1 Samuel 15:23).
The ultimate consequence of not occupying in the Lords service is eternity with Satan in hell. God loves us but hates disobedience. The disobedient is an enemy of God and reserved for destruction if he or she fails to repent.
Q5. WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF OBEYING THE LORD’S COMMANDS TO OCCUPY TILL HE COMES?
The Master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together”. Unto he that is faithful in little, much is committed into his hands. The Lord rejoices when we obey His command and releases His blessings upon our lives.
God is the rewarded of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). We are blessed of God when we obey Him.
When we occupy till He comes, it serves as a check from committing sin. And lastly, we spend eternity with God (John 12:26).
Daily Living Application
Our Master the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He has promised. We do not know when, but considering the times and the events around the world, He will come soon.
Every Christian should therefore, be steadfast unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing this that His reward shall be according to our work.
What God requires of His people is wholehearted devotion to His will and purpose. As believers we should both redeem the time because the days are evil, and be busy for the Lord? Therefore, we should work while it is day!
Romans 12:11 –
“Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”