Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Use it or Lose it!

The passage of scripture we'll be looking at today is found in the book of Matthew 25:14-30. This passage of scripture teaches us that if we are to be given the Spirit of God, then it is wise to do something with it. There will be a day of accountability from God on what we've done to help build His kingdom. Let's take a look at Matthew 25:14-30.

Mat 25:14
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
Mat 25:15
To one he gave five talents* of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
Mat 25:16
The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
Mat 25:17
So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
Mat 25:18
But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
Mat 25:19
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20
The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
Mat 25:21
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!’
Mat 25:22
“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
Mat 25:23
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!’
Mat 25:24
“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Mat 25:25
So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
Mat 25:26
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
Mat 25:27
Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Mat 25:28
” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29
For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Mat 25:30
And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The example given here of course is of a Master dividing his money among three servants according to their individual abilities. God does this with us as Christians. We never receive from God more than we can handle. But if we're lazy and don't use wisely the gifts and abilities that God has given us, God may decide that he will give your gifts and abilities to those that can be more productive for His Kingdom.
Does this mean He doesn't love us anymore? No, His love is never failing, but that doesn't mean He's not disappointed in us. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. It's not a matter of how much God has given us, it's a matter of how well we use what we have.

We know that Jesus is coming back (vs 19). So does this mean we quit our jobs in order to serve God? No. it means that we are to use our time, talents, and treasures diligently in order to serve God completely in whatever we do. For some people this may mean changing professions, but for most of us it means doing our daily work out of love for God.

The first two servants upon their masters return we're so excited to show what they had accomplished while he was away. Both had been equally productive with what they had been given. One was given five talents, the other two talents, but both had doubled their money through their efforts and they we're able to present this to their master when he asked.
The third servant wasn't entrusted with much at all, only one talent. But this servant was thinking only of himself. He wanted to play it safe, knowing that if he lost what he was given his master would come down hard on him. So he played it safe, he did nothing with what he was given. But upon his masters return he was judged for his self-centeredness. This teaches us that we must never make excuses to avoid what God is calling us to do. If God truly is our Master then we must obey willingly. We are really only caretakers of God's money and time. It's not even ours to begin with. Just like this last servant, when we squander or abuse what God has given us, we deserve to be punished. Notice the first two servants worked hard to please their master and were rewarded and appreciated by their master, but the last one wasn't treated the same, nor should he be.
In verse 28 the master takes the talent from the wicked lazy servant and gives it to the one that had ten talents. This man lost what little he had to the one that was the most effective with what his master had given him.

Our lives as Christians have been blessed with gifts and abilities from the Holy Spirit. God is shaping us and molding us into His likeness through the work of His Spirit within us. Are you using the gifts that God has given you to bring Him glory? Are you using His gifts and abilities to reach the lost and build His kingdom? Are you involved and serving somewhere in the Church (body of Christ) that God has placed you in? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then you are at risk! Not of losing your salvation of course, but of losing the blessings that God has for you as He uses you in His service. God's will be done, with or without you. Think about areas of your life that you feel God wants you to work out the will of His Spirit, then do it. Someday there will be a day when you hear the words from Christ himself... "Well done, good and faithful servant." "Come and share your Masters happiness."

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me and giving me the gifts of Your Spirit. May I use these gifts to bring You honor and glory in all areas of my life. Use me today Lord to help build Your Kingdom. Amen.

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Hey, I really enjoy your devotions. My last post was on God's will. There are so many ways He reveals Himself and His will to us, there can be numerous devotions just on this one topic. Even today in chapel, here on campus, the sermon was on this topic with the empasis on God's sovereignty. The text he used was on Daniel 4:28-37.
Also, thanks for your encouragement and support.