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Trustworthy

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“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”

Anyone who responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit with regards to his sin and heeds the words, “Repent and believe…” receives something that belongs to God – His forgiveness.  Forgiveness is a spiritual treasure – a prerogative, a right – that belongs only to those who have been sinned against.  And since God is the first Person to be sinned against, forgiveness is a property of God’s that bears His intellectual copyright and ownership, for sinners cannot forgive; only the one who was sinned against has the right to forgive.  The sinner can ask for forgiveness.  However, he does not have the right to expect forgiveness because the dispensation of forgiveness comes from the one against whom the sin was perpetrated.

As such, for all who repent of their sins against God, the forgiveness they receive for their repentance is a property of God’s.  Indeed, forgiveness is the first possession of God we receive after we repent, and it is the beginning of all the other riches that can flow – the eternal life, the Holy Spirit, the power, the gifts, the kingdom, the family status, and so on.  All these treasures that flow to anyone who has repented and believed and who has taken up his right as a child of God are subsequent to this first treasure, this first gift, this first possession of God’s – forgiveness.

Now anyone who has never been sinned against or wronged will never understand the cost of forgiveness.  Anyone who has been sinned against will appreciate the personal cost of providing and giving that forgiveness.  As such, forgiveness does not and never comes lightly, but at a heavy, personal price to the giver.  It is the receiver who always undervalues forgiveness.  We need, we desire and we want to be forgiven because it eases our conscience and makes us feel better, and again in our selfishness, we fail to appreciate the cost of forgiveness.  When you do not appreciate the value of someone’s property, then it is unlikely that you will be ever given property of your own.

When you understand what forgiveness is worth to God and the price He paid to forge it, you might suddenly realise what a privilege it is to be given the same ability to create, produce and give forgiveness.  God produced and acquired forgiveness for all sins through the personal sacrifice of His Son… writing that covenant in His blood.  Forgiveness was not acquired by God or created by God by the mere utterance of a word as this world was created or by the fashioning of a form with dirt as Adam was formed.  Forgiveness was acquired by God through the pain and suffering of His Son on a Roman cross.  As such, anyone who repents and receives the forgiveness of God has received already the greatest treasure of God.  For nothing else that belongs to God required the sacrifice and blood of His only begotten Son… not even love, for God is Love and the pre-existence of Their love needed no sacrifice of blood to create or acquire.

As such, God has already given to all sinners who repent and believe the most precious of all His treasures from the moment they say, “I repent, please forgive me.”  Whilst we in our usual blind arrogance and need only think that forgiveness of God is merely the titbit to access even greater treasures that God has for us and so we trample upon it after we receive it and never treasure it for what it is – the greatest gift of God’s treasures.  Greater than any gifting of power, healing, tongues, even His love… greater than any calling or election… greater than any position or office… greater than even eternal life.  For until you learn to appreciate forgiveness for the costly treasure that it truly is, that pearl of great worth for which He gave everything to acquire, you have not shown yourself trustworthy enough to have anything else of your own.

As the Lord has said, “And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” Being trustworthy is not about being grateful or careful or appreciative.  Being trustworthy with someone else’s property is to ensure not only its preservation, but that it is used in the manner the owner who entrusted it to you wanted it to be used.  The lazy and wicked servants who each respectively hid and buried his talent and mina preserved the property each was given, yes… but they were not trustworthy with it, for the purpose for which the owner gave them the talent or mina was that they use it to acquire more.  As such, the servant who used the talent or mina to acquire more but yet lost it as one can lose money in any business transaction, is more trustworthy than the servant who buried the mina or talent.

The purpose that God gave us forgiveness is abundantly clear in the teachings of Christ.  Indeed, the purpose of forgiveness is one subject that Christ was absolutely clear on… so that as He first taught the disciples to pray, He said, “This, then, is how you should pray…  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,” and warned us, saying, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant was told to Peter to reinforce the gravity and danger for those who had received forgiveness from God and yet hoard it and do not give it freely as they had received it.  For what price does a man have to pay to receive forgiveness from God?  You say that man must be a sinner first.  True… but what price does any man really pay to be a sinner?  What did it cost Adam to become a sinner?  Nothing!  Having become a sinner, then it costs him everything.

That is why Jesus said to Peter, no, warned him, when Peter asked this question – “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?” – after there had been an argument amongst the disciples as to who was the greatest as they were walking to Capernaum from the Mount of Transfiguration, having just failed to drive out a demon from the boy. Jesus answered him, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” and then told him the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant and ended it with the warning… “This is how My Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

When you begin to understand what a truly costly treasure forgiveness is and that it is the greatest of all of God’s treasures, for treasures are measured by the price paid for them, then you might see the real meaning in this basic teaching in Matthew 6.19-21 when the Lord first taught the disciples in their first year with Him: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

See then the greatest treasure to set your heart upon is in fact the forgiveness of God.  And when you have your heart set on it, then you can truly begin to forgive from your heart.  However, being trustworthy with God’s property, in this case, His forgiveness, is not the same as being given property of your own.

The forgiveness you receive from God for your sins against Him remains God’s property.  And your trustworthiness in the handling of this property begins with your willingness to share this treasure of God in the manner it was purposed by God to have it shared.  That is why Jesus commanded all disciples to go and “…preach the good news to all creation, every creature and everyone everywhere,” so that all creation and creatures might know that they are freed from the bondage of death and decay that Satan’s and Adam’s sins put them under, and that all mankind may likewise repent and believe to receive the forgiveness of their sins.  For creatures never sinned, but it was those of us who were given a freedom of choice sinned, first Satan and then Adam.  However, the forgiveness of sins that was paid for by God was not done by God the Spirit, but by God the Son of Man, Jesus Christ Himself.  And so that treasure is first to men who repent that they may have life to come to know and understand who God truly is.  And as you have received that treasure, so you are expected to use it for which it was purposed, and that is, to give freely what you have received… first for your own brothers and sisters, and then for others.

For this purpose Jesus said to the disciples after the resurrection, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,” in order that they would begin to fulfil that which He had said earlier, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me (anyone who believes in Me) will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these…”

The one thing that Jesus first did, the giveaway, the hint, that indeed He is God was when He said to that crippled man as he was being lowered down by his friends through the roof, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” so that when the religious began to think in their hearts and mind, “This Fellow is blaspheming!  Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus could reply as He did and healed the man as a sign “…that the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins…” So likewise, the authority to forgive was given to disciples, and the power to heal as well, to allow them to not only prove the truth of Jesus’ words, but to display the gracious generosity of God as the greatest, most costly of His treasures is given to disciples to dispense on His behalf.

You see, elect, the dispensation of God’s forgiveness by us on His behalf displays our Father’s gracious and generous side, and if you are trustworthy with this – the greatest and most costly of all of God’s treasures – then can anything be withheld from you?  What is the unlimited power of God compared to the worth of the forgiveness forged by Jesus’ suffering and death?  It pales in comparison.  So you ask, “Why has the Lord withheld the power from the church… from us?”  Because we have not been trustworthy with His property!

Now, for all of you who are trustworthy, you will be given property of your own… that is, in the same way as God could only create, produce and acquire forgiveness after someone had sinned against Him, so likewise, it is permitted to those who are trustworthy to have that same opportunity to create, produce and acquire for themselves their own forgiveness to dispense, just as God has His own forgiveness to dispense.

To this end, to those who are faithful as His disciples, He promised not only the hundredfold of houses, fields, family… but with them, persecutions. As children, you, like me, will bemoan and avoid the persecutions.  But as those who seek to be mature, you will see that persecutions are in time worth more than the hundredfold of houses and fields, even families.  For from the persecutions come the opportunity for you to create, produce and acquire the costliest of treasures – forgiveness of those who sinned against you – so that now you truly have property of your own, forgiveness that is yours, not God’s, to dispense as God dispenses.  When you have come to that place where you are permitted to create, produce and acquire forgiveness of your own so that you may dispense your own forgiveness, you have began to imitate God in His extreme wealth of true riches.

Is it any wonder that from some people God withholds persecutions and spares them the unpleasantry of true enemies who sin against them?  For them life is lived peaceably, blissfully without trouble or pains other than that which is common to all men.  To some, even sickness and difficulties are withheld, so they are always increasing in wealth, and the cases common to men never plague them.  They are above all other men, empowered physically, intellectually, politically and financially so that they are unassailable, ever sinning and oppressing others, but never sinned against or oppressed.  Now perhaps you can see just how poor, naked and wretched they truly are, like the Laodiceans, rich, in need of nothing when indeed, the greatest of treasures has been withheld from them – the ability to create, produce and acquire forgiveness of their own to dispense.

So then the use of worldly wealth is a good test for all men.  Those who will not use worldly wealth to acquire for themselves friends will never appreciate the true value of forgiveness that acquires for them eternal brothers and sisters as God has acquired for Himself eternal sons and daughters.

You have been given a foretaste of the ‘treasures’ of the Kingdom of God, elect – its knowledge, power and wisdom – as you have seen and experienced the miracles.  Now learn to be trustworthy with the greatest of the treasures of the Kingdom of God – the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name – and you will find that the access denied you to those lesser treasures will be yours without limit.

Who can understand the value and cost of forgiveness unless they have had to bring it forth from the darkness of their suffering?  Jesus Christ who cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” and who committed His spirit into the One who forsook Him as He breathed His last.

Treasure the covenant, be found trustworthy in its dispensation and see the glory of God that rises upon you, elect, and in the days of darkness ahead, you will live to testify what it is to shine like a star in the Heavens.

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