“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
What is your pride and joy? Is it a fully restored 1965 Mustang? A decked out man-cave complete with pool table, 60’ screen and signed jerseys from your favorite athlete? A perfectly manicured front lawn? When you think about the one thing you want to show others, tell others about, or proudly display, what comes to mind? What if Jesus were coming to your home, what would you want to show Him above everything else?
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus presents one of his most well-known parables; the Parable of the Talents. Three servants were each entrusted with a different portion of money (1, 2 and 5 talents). The first and second servant each actively worked to invest and multiply the talents they were entrusted with, to the great pleasure of the Master. Upon seeing their stewardship, the Master commended them each by saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (v.23). For the servant who did nothing but bury his gift, the master took what he had away and gave it to the ones who had truly honored him with the gifts he had given them to steward.
What if our “pride and joy” were not something we can collect or build, but someone we can invest in?Warren Mainard
What if our “talent” is not a “what” (money, gifts, abilities, etc), but a “who”? What if our “pride and joy” were not something we can collect or build, but someone we can invest in? When Paul talks about his hope or joy or crown; the thing that he looks forward to presenting to his Master (Lord Jesus), is not a thing at all… it is a people. What if we started thinking about people as our pride and joy? What if we considered who God has entrusted to us to invest in, disciple and multiply as followers of Christ? Paul believed that when Jesus returned, it would not be his accolades or accomplishments that he would present to Christ as his hope, joy or crown, but the people whom he had poured his life into and been impacted through his personal investment in them. Similarly, if we were to invest in our spouse, kids, or a precious few people God has entrusted to us with this same kind of intentionality and vigor, we may also hear our Master say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant… come and enter into the joy of your master!”