[Wise children take their parents’ advice]
Depending on where you live in the world, it’s possible that you’ve never heard of Boxing Day. Not thinking twice about this, I can remember using the term once myself, and receiving this question in response: “Boxing Day? What’s Boxing Day?” The short answer is this: no, it isn’t an all out brawl.
Boxing day dates back to the 1830’s; it’s a holiday which originated in the United Kingdom that’s celebrated the day after Christmas. While it aint what it used to be, it’s stll celebrated in many of the countries that were previously part of the British Empire.
Now, it’s pretty much just a shopping holiday. However, back in the 1830’s, Boxing Day was a day when postmen, errand boys and servants received a Christmas-box—that is, a gift for their service. Since servants were busy serving on Christmas day they would receive their gift the day after Christmas. A Christmas box could contain gifts, bonuses and sometimes even food.
As servants of Christ we receive gifts both here on Earth as well as in heaven. While we’re serving down here, we too will have to wait for some of those rewards until our service is through and the day comes when all in Christ will give an account to God. (Romans 14:12-13) In the meantime, Jesus has given all of us gifts that we can use to His service.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” –1 Peter 4:10-11
We’re told not to squander these talents, but to use them wisely while the Master is away. (Matthew 25:14-30) Christ Jesus will return, and everything we have done with the time we’ve been given will be “quality checked.” Scripture tells us that what we (His followers) have done with our time and our talents will be revealed by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13) Here, fire is metaphor, not literal fire, used to describe that testing of the things we’ve done.
If what we have done survives, we will receive a reward. If it is burned up (meaning that it wasn’t quality or lasting) the individual will suffer loss (1 Corinthians 3:14-15) This person will not receive what God would have rewarded them. It’s a consequence. Just as a child may not receive their allowance if they don’t do their chores. However, they will be saved, but will be as one who escaped a fire. (1 Corinthians 3:15)
Those who escape a fire still often lose something: possibly their home and their possessions. For the believer we lose our rewards, but we are still saved. Why? Because those who belong to Jesus are saved by grace–not by what we have done. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I would say a great example of this is how a child may do something wrong, but the parent still loves them and will never reject them, but we know that some parents do abandon their children. However, God isn’t a man. His ways are above our ways, which makes Him a good and faithful Father whose love is undying and unchanging. Therefore the gift of Salvation can’t be taken away if we truly belong to Christ.
How do we know if we are saved? If we can confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, we know that we have the Holy Spirit and that God is at work in us.
“So I want you to understand that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “Jesus be cursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” without the help of the Holy Spirit.” –1 Corinthians 12:3 (NCV)
If we take care with the days we’ve been given (which by the way is a gift from God) We will receive our “Well done” from God Himself. What child doesn’t want His father’s approval? And what good father isn’t quick to acknowledge that good behavior? Our loving Father wants to see us succeed so He gives us gifts (talents) to help us do as He’s asks us to do. These gifts come from Him so we can rest assured that they are more than sufficient to accomplish a job ‘well done.’
If you don’t think you have talents, don’t believe that lie. We’ve all been given gifts, you just don’t see it yet. Give it time and give God the benefit of the doubt.
Children may not always understand correction, but as grown adults we should have a better understanding of why God corrects us and advises us; It’s for our own good as well as those around us. (He wants to see us receive the best He has to offer.) Know then that Jesus is, and always will be in our corner so we can rest assured that we’ll always have the help we need. Our time on Earth doesn’t have to be a brawl with God. Let’s be wise then, and take our heavenly Father’s advice.
“Wise children take their parents’ advice, but whoever makes fun of wisdom won’t listen to correction.” –Proverbs 13:1(NCV)
In My Corner
Jesus is in my corner
He is with me through every round
He wipes my brow when I am weary
He lifts me up when I’m knocked down.
Jesus is in my corner
And on wings like eagles I’ll mount
For I’ll be of courage
And with strength I’ll rise
No, He won’t leave me down for the count.
Jesus is in my corner
When I’m exhausted and I’m weak
And I’m glad that He is
‘Cause I have a hunch
When I have nothing left
And I can’t raise my hands
It’s my Lord who throws the knockout punch.
July 17, 2009