BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as you read this booklet ( EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
Jesus Christ often used the parable as a way to teach the fundamental principles of God's Word.In this way, Jesus was able to put His divine wisdom in the form of a story told in human terms; therebyteaching in a way that would make the message clear to His followers.In the Parable of the Gold Talents (MAT 25:14-30) Jesus told the storyof three servants who were entrusted with the money of their master while the master was away on a journey.Two of the servants invested the money wisely and doubled their investment, while the third servant merely dug a hole and buried the money for safekeeping, because he was afraid of the Master. When the Master returned he was pleased with the wisdom of the two enterprising servants who had invested his money, and in MAT 25:21 and 25:23 he said to them; "Well done, good and faithful slaves. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." Of the third servant who had squandered the opportunity to please his master He had this to say in MAT 25:30; "Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
In the Parable of the Golden Talents the three servants can be compared to people who have been offered the gift of the epignosis wisdom of God and have been given the opportunity to invest this wisdom into their lives.The two faithful servants invested the wisdom wisely, while the third servant even ignored the opportunity for salvation, and "buried" the wisdom under the weight of cosmic thinking. The message here is clear.Each of the servants had been encouraged to serve and honor their master and reap the benefits, in the same way that we have been given the opportunity to serve and honor God and enjoy His rewards.Two of the servants had made good use of the opportunity and were to be rewarded, while the third servant, given the same opportunity took the easy path and was harshly judged, just as those who ignore the word of God will be judged.
The Parable of the Gold Talents gives us an idea of the rewards that God offers to those who respect and apply His Word.We are told that the two faithful servants would "enter into the joy of the Master," and hereJesus was telling His disciples that the reward for following the wisdom of God would be a sharing of the very happiness of God.Clearly He was extending an invitation to all of us that we can share in this happiness if we will invest our time in learning, understanding and applying the wisdom of His Word.
Throughout the Bible we are often told that the source of true happiness lies in spiritual wisdom.While we can always have some temporary form of happiness when we indulge in the cosmic goodies of Satan's world, only God offers true happiness in time and in eternity.The apostle John made the connection between happiness and the application of epignosis wisdom in 1JO 1:4 when he wrote; “And these things (doctrine and spiritual wisdom) we write so that our state of happiness might be completed.”And Jesus told us in JOH 15:11; “I have taught you these things that My happiness (meaning God’s very own happiness) might be in you, and that your happiness might be fulfilled.”
Jesus had a lot to say about how we are to set our life priorities.During His ministry He spoke often about life, sometimes making statements that might seem odd to someonewho doesn't understand Bible doctrine.One of the most often repeated principles of doctrine in the Gospels seems to be a contradiction—that in order to really live, we need to lose our life.
In MAT 10:39 Jesus said it this way;"He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."An explanation of what this passage really means begins with an understanding that here the word for "life" is "psuche," which literally means your soul, or your soul life.To put it in the right context, pusche means your feelings, desires, affections, etc., all those things within you that make you who you are. In MAT 10:39 Jesus is telling us that we can choose what we allow to take control of our pusche soul.If we choose to concentrate on ourselves and exclude God from our lives—even if we have some success in the cosmic world—we will miss out on those eternal blessings that only God can offer us.On the other hand, if we make our relationship with God ournumber one priority, we will be rewarded with the gift of happiness and contentment in this life and in the end wewill be rewarded with a blessed kind of life, one that includes not only temporal blessings but eternal blessings that stagger the imagination. 1CO 2:9 tells us; "things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him."
This leads us to a description of the better, or blessed,kind of life that Jesus tells us about.This is the life described by the word "zoe," a word that is used over 130 times in the New Testament.Zoe speaks of a life that is given by God through Jesus Christ, a life that lasts for eternity and is full of God’s special blessings. The zoe life is mentioned in that beautiful opening passage of John, which reveals to us who Jesus Christ is and how He came to offer us a life far beyond what the world has to offer. JOH 1:4-5; "In Him was(zoe) life, and the life was the Light (light of God's truth) of men.The Light shines in the darkness (darkness means lack of understanding of divine truth, resulting in evil), and the darkness did not comprehend it."
The zoe life is really the soul life that has been enhanced immeasurably by the devotion of the believer to the Word of God. It is a life that gives us the potential to reach out and attain the highest of blessings from God in time and for all of eternity.It is the life of the believer who places their full trust in God.It is the life that the Lord Jesus Christ came on earth to give us all.In JOH 10:7-10 Jesusdescribed the difference between the cosmic life and the spiritual life; "So Jesus said to them again, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep (believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) did not hear them.I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have (zoe)life, and have it abundantly.'"
1JO 5:11-12 tells us that the key to entering the zoe life begins with our unconditional belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. "And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life."
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