Faithful…. are we really?
I had been meditating on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 recently in order to preach at our church, and several things were evident to me.
First of all, the talents that the master gave belonged to HIM. He gave them to his servants to manage on his behalf. So it is with us. What we have - our money, our gifts and talents, ours strengths- belong to God. They are a part of Who He is, invested in us. We are to invest them for Him.
God is not impressed by our gifts. They belong to Him, after all! He gave them to us. He Is pleased with what we DO with them. Many people are not liked that. They are impressed by the “five talent” person and ignore the “two talent” person. No matter. What God thinks is what is important.
Secondly, the person who started with two gifts and gained two more received the same praise as the person who started with five gifts and gained five more. That is good news! And again - God is not like people. He is not impressed by the gifts a person has, but instead, He is pleased by what a person does with them.
Also, the men who received the five talents and the two talents went to work right away investing what they had received. (Matthew 25:16) What? They didn’t have to pray for a long time to find out if they should invest their talents? They didn’t have to have dozens of confirmations? The point is that if God gave you the talent, He intends for you to invest what you have into people.
Interestingly, the man who buried his talent said he did so because he was afraid, yet the master called him wicked and SLOTHFUL. The master saw the truth, and we can be sure that God sees the truth with us as well.
Be ruthlessly honest with yourself and God instead of making up an excuse! If you just didn’t feel like doing it, be honest with God about that. If you were afraid that you would fail, be honest about that. God can work with your honesty, but not your excuses.
Get to know God! The man said that he saw the master as a hard man. When I was younger, I felt that I couldn’t possibly do enough to please God. That was a lie, and that thinking will stop a person in their tracks. Actually, the master in the parable suggested that he could have at least put his money in the bank. How much risk and effort does that take?
That is when I had an “aha” moment! God spoke something interesting to me. He told me that many of His people are doing the minimum and keeping the gifts that He gave them in the “bank” only. He explained to me that the “bank” was the four walls of the church. Of course, that is better than not investing His talents at all, but it is minimum.
God is speaking to His people to take what He has given them and invest them in people EVERYWHERE! Wherever there are people, there are opportunities to invest the gifts, talents, and money that God has given us. I believe in investing the gifts of God in church services, but God is looking for a greater level of faithfulness that touches people in all avenues of life.
The reward that the master gave was increase and “entering into the joy of the master.” God has JOY! Everything that God gives multiplies. Adam and Eve became a multitude of people. God gave Jesus and that gift resulted in many sons. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It grows into a tree. Part of experiencing God’s joy is investing His gifts so that many are benefited. It is possible that you will not see that multiplication on earth completely, but you will see it in eternity!
People are waiting for who we are and what we carry. This week, I had a heart-warming encounter with a woman as I “mall-walking”. I asked the Lord if there was anyone He wanted me to speak to, and shortly after that, I saw a woman sitting on a chair. I approached her with a bit of small talking, and then, I asked her if I could pray for her. She audibly gasped, began to cry, and grabbed me around the neck.
She said, “I am having family problems, please pray, and don’t wait until you get home. Pray for me right now!” Then, she added,” I told the Lord last night that I couldn’t do this anymore.”
I prayed for her, and the peace of God came all over her. I have seen people healed and miracles when I have prayed in public places, but this wasn’t a physical healing. It was simply touching a hurting woman’s heart. It said to her that God saw what she was going through.
It may be that you minister a miracle, it may be that you cheer a heart, or it may be that you help a person financially. Whatever it is, take what God has given you, and, besides ministering it in the “bank,” invest it EVERYWHERE!