READ: Matthew 25:1-30
THINK: Over the last couple days you've considered Christ's challenge to be ready for His return. But what does it really mean to be prepared for the Lord's coming? Does it simply have to do with accepting His forgiveness and beginning a new life? Of course it starts there, but being prepared for the coming of Christ is more than a one-time decision. It involves a continuously devoted relationship with Jesus and persistent faithfulness with the resources and opportunities God has given you to serve His purposes. This includes the responsibility and privilege of influencing others to accept and follow Christ as well.
RESPOND: What were the essential differences between the wise and foolish virgins in Jesus parable? (See 25:1 note.) What does this story teach about being ready for Jesus' return? How does this serve as a warning to many in the church who claim to know Christ at this time? What does the oil represent? (See 25:4 note.) According to the parable of the talents, what is the measure of faithfulness and reward in God's kingdom? What do the talents represent? (See 25:15 note.) What misconceptions did the wicked, lazy servant have about the master, who, in general, represents God? How can you ensure that you are being faithful with what God has entrusted to you? How is one's place in God's eternal kingdom impacted by his or her faithfulness and devotion to God's kingdom now? (See 25:29 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you remain faithful by constantly growing in your relationship with Him and by making the most of the time, talents, resources and opportunities He has given you to serve His purposes.
ACT: Take a quick inventory of your life to see if you are being completely faithful with what God has entrusted to you. Do you have an interest, talent or opportunity that you are not fully utilizing to honor God and benefit others? It's time to take action. Refer to the article on Campus Missions Commitment to SERVE, p. 1276, and to the Campus Mission Training Helps section for tips related to serving, p. 2275--2278.
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