“Occupy Till I Come”
In Luke 19:11-15, Jesus spoke a parable to His people, the Jews speaking of Himself foretelling His departure and that He would return. He gave this instruction, “Occupy till I come.” This is also true concerning us, His people of this Church Age to occupy till He comes again for us. He promised “to prepare a place for us and said, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” We are to occupy until then.
Our occupation is not to be willy-nilly in a disordered way, but faithful stewards of the Gospel. He gives His people the opportunity for service. In the parable everyone is given the same - 10 pounds. In Bible numerology, ten speaks of ‘Responsibility according to ability.’ The R. V. gives for the word pound - ‘silver,’ which speaks of redemption. So every one has a stewardship of what they do with the silver, our redemption.
There will be an accounting – I Cor. 4:1-2, “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Rom. 14:12, “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” What are we doing with the silver? Are we investing spiritually that our Lord might be enriched by the increase?
One servant in the parable gained 10 pounds, another gained 5 pounds, they were rewarded accordingly. But another servant hid his and received no reward. I Cor. 3:13, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” The fire is God’s Word, if a man’s work abides, he shall receive a reward – I Cor. 3:14-15. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (of reward): but he himself shall be saved.”
We are responsible for our life span to occupy till our Lord comes again. Here are some scriptures the Holy Spirit brought to my mind on our occupation until then.
Mk. 13:32-37, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man…but the Father. Take heed, watch and pray…for ye know not when the master of the house cometh…Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
Lk. 12:37, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching.”
Rom. 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
I Thess. 5:6, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.”
I Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Rev. 22:12, “behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Another thought on occupying, it takes patience. James 5:7, “Be patient brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it…Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” Heb. 10:36-37, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” It is only a little while compared to eternity. Now we know how patience is worked in us. Rom. 5:3, “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience and experience hope.” James 1:4, “Let patience have her perfect work,” to the end, “that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
This word “perfect” refers to each particular part. “Entire” refers to the whole, complete in every part. It is not enough to be perfect in just one thing. The Father would have us perfect in love and obedience, which yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. So these trials that God allows to come to us is a means to His perfecting work in you and I.
So we can count or esteem them all joy when we fall into divers or different trials that come upon us unawares – James 1:2-3. When they happen, we feel disturbed. But God has allowed them for our good. There is a lesson to be learned, and a victory to be won. No temptation for the present seems joyous, but grievous. So how can we count it joy? Because we know something, that the trying of our faith works patience or endurance.
For the believer, patience is indispensable on our journey. We see the value of our trials. We learn patience with ourselves and with others and even with God. We learn to cling to Him and to give Him time to work for us. He doth all things well. May we not take things into our own hands. Pray and let God act. Move with Him. Patience will have a perfect work in us if we remain in the trial till He delivers.
So may we be stewards in the things God has called us to. May we watch and pray fully aware of the times and seasons in which we live. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” – Phil. 1:6.