Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are you productive?

What are you doing with what God has given you? God gives us resources according to our abilities and he expects us to invest those resources and gifts he's given us until he returns. We are responsible to use well what God has given. There is a parable in the bible that speaks directly to this. It's found in Matthew 25:14-30

Matthew 25:15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another he gave two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

God gives us everything we need to accomplish all that he expects for us to do. He sees what our own abilities are, and then with our abilities and his resources, his power, his strength, and his Spirit, we should build what we've been given so that upon his return, we can show him the result of what we've done. God expects us to think, to act, and to produce. God knows what he can trust us with and he does expect results. There were three men in this passage of scripture in Matthew 25:14-30 that the master gave his money (talents) to. Each man according to his own ability was given just enough money that the master knew he could handle. Then the master went on a journey. It was while this master was on the journey that the men were to be productive what they had been given. According to the scriptures there is no indication as to how this was to be done, it appears that it's entirely up to the men to decide what they are going to do. Two of the men through their efforts had gained twice as much money to give the master upon his return. One did nothing with what he had been given. He simply returned the money that he was given. He had buried it and did nothing to make it grow. Upon the masters return he was very pleased with the two that had been productive, but with the one that did nothing, he was very upset.

We see a little insight to this third man's reasoning for doing nothing. He was afraid. He knew that the master would come back expecting more and he was afraid that he might lose what he had been given and upon the masters return he would have less money or even worse, nothing to give back... so his fear kept him from doing anything at all. So he hid it so that he would be able to give it back to the master when he returned. What happened when the master returned? The master became very upset with the servant because he wasn't productive and he took what he had trusted him with and gave the money to the man that was most productive with what he'd been given.

Matthew 25:24-28 (24) "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, "Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. (25) "And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours." (26) "But his lord answered and said, "You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. (27) So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest." (28) "Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents."

So why was the master so upset with this servant? Why was he so hard on him? The answer lies in Matthew 25:15. He gave the talents to each... according to his own ability. You see this master knew that this servant could be productive, he knew that he could have done better. The master gave him only one talent because he knew that it was within his ability to handle. But the servant did nothing with it and instead returned it back with no gain.

So what does this mean for us?
It simply means that we are to use our talents, gifts, and abilities diligently in order to serve God completely in whatever we do. It simply means doing our daily work out of love for the Lord. The last man was playing it safe. If God is calling us to do something , we need to do it. If God is truly our Master, we must willingly obey. This is an example of how God rewards faithfulness. Those who bear no fruit for God's kingdom cannot be expected to be treated the same as those who are faithful. The person who diligently prepares for Christ return by investing his or her time and talent to serve God will be rewarded. Just remember this... God knows your ability. He will give you the resources to be able to do what he already knows you can do. Serve the Lord with all your heart and enter into the "Joy of your Lord."

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