How do you respond to bad news? When my friend Dawn Wilson learned her cancer had returned, the Lord showed her how to upgrade her life. I asked Dawn to share her insights with you.
How to ‘Occupy’ until Jesus Returns
When I recently found out I was out of remission with Multiple Myeloma the Lord gave me the word “OCCUPY.”When I recently found out I was out of remission with Multiple Myeloma the Lord gave me the word “OCCUPY.” @dawnmariewilson #RefreshingFaith Click To Tweet
Jesus uses this word in a parable found in Luke 19:11-26. Verse 13 in the King James Version says, “occupy till I come.”
The phrase is translated in different ways in other versions of the Bible:
- “Do business till I come” (NKVJ)
- “Put this money to work until I come back” (NIV)
- “Invest this for me while I am gone” (NLT)
Jesus used the concept of financial stewardship in this parable. But I want to expand it beyond finances.
First, let me summarize the parable:
- A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king.
- Before he left, the master called 10 of his servants and loaned a mina to each of them. One mina was about the equivalent of three months’ wages.
The master told them to put that money to work until he returned—to “occupy” or do their business in a wise way.
- The master—now a king—returned,and he sent for his servants to find out what they had “gained” with the money. One said he earned 10 more minas; another five.
The master praised and rewarded them both.
- Then another servant came with his mina, hidden away in a cloth.Perhaps he was afraid of losing it. But he accused the master of “hardness.”
So the king responded in hardness, calling him a “wicked servant.”
The man could have at least banked the money so it would collect interest. His mina was taken away and given to the good steward who had gained the ten minas.
- Finally, the king executed those who “hated him” and rebelled against his authority (vv. 14, 27). (Someday Jesus will defeatHis enemies.)
* Note: The parable in Luke 19 is not the same parable found in Matthew 25:14-30.
How to ‘Occupy’
Here is how the Lord spoke to me about occupying—upgrading my stewardship—in the days to come.
“Godwardness” is my word for everything that encourages my focus on my Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
It involves everything from scripture reading and memorization to meditation, prayer, worship, singing to God and about Him—so many areas.
I asked myself, “Are you content with your adventure with God? Where could you make that journey more fulfilling—better yet, more God-honoring?”
Then I asked the Lord and got better answers than my initial thoughts!
Maybe you want to ask those questions as well . . . and then act for change.
I can be more careful with my money. When I don’t buy unnecessary things, and when I curb my “wants,” I have more resources to support my church, send to missionaries, or share with others in their time of need.
Think about your finances. Consider “investment” rather than spending, and see if your priorities change.
Instead of “frittering away” free time, I can invest that time wisely, using every opportunity for the Kingdom.
How might we invest our time for the King?
We need people, especially our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. In fact, the family of God was designed by God to help us in our times of stress.
How can we upgrade our relationships in positive ways?
This area of stewardship is threefold:
- the investment of the SPIRITUAL GIFTS God has given us,
- development of new SKILLS, and
- better use of the TALENTS we’ve developed over time.
Once we know our spiritual gifts, we should consider practical ways to use them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We develop skills and talents in our careers, hobbies, and simply out of necessity. They contribute to our uniqueness in the family of God. We can creatively use them to minister to others.
My friend Kim founded a group called Kingdom Quilters. The ladies make quilts and other things for orphanages and other sites of need in Guatemala and Mexico.
Is there something in your heart or hands you could invest for the good of others and the glory of God?
I want to do better in witnessing to others about God’s gift of salvation in Jesus Christ—whether as part of mission outreaches around the world—by going or giving so others can go—or by walking next door to share with my neighbor.
It’s never easy for me. But when I think about the Lord’s return, it’s more motivating, right?
What Are We Waiting For?
Jesus is coming back! His coming is “imminent”—it could happen any time (Matthew 24:36).
I want to faithfully and creatively “occupy” until Jesus returns—or until He calls me home. I hope that’s your desire too.
Which area of stewardship could use an upgrade in your life?
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Dawn Wilson, founder and president of Heart Choices Today, is a speaker and author, and the creator the blog, Upgrade with Dawn. She is a contracted researcher/reviewer for women’s teacher and revivalist, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth at Revive Our Hearts, and is a regular columnist at Crosswalk.com. She and her husband Bob live in sunny Southern California, and Dawn has traveled with Him in Pacesetter Global Outreach. They have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.