Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where are your talents?

Read Matthew 25:14-30

In this parable, we see a master and his three servants. Each servant is granted responsibility over a portion of the master’s treasure. All three servants know that their master is one who demands results. While all three are in the same situation, we see two very different responses.

Two of the servants decide that they are going to put themselves out there and use this opportunity to further their master’s estate. They face personal risk in doing so, but they know what their master expects and want to deliver so that he will be pleased.

The third servant is focused on self preservation. He is determined that he will avoid the cost of failure by not venturing out at all. He chooses to hide his treasure that he may return it when called upon with no risk to his own hide due to loss.

The master returns and calls his servants to account for their actions. The first two are rewarded, for they have put forth an honest effort and increased the holdings of their master. The third has done nothing. He has hidden his treasure. It was too precious to him to risk. He kept it close. Even an investment without risk, such as a deposit to earn interest, is more than he is willing to do. This man is punished. He is ordered to give what he has to one who will do something with it and is ordered to leave his master’s presence.

How many of us are like this third servant? We have our treasure, be it in possession or ability, and we keep it hidden. It is something that has been given to us and we don’t want to let anyone else see it or touch it. We want to keep it safe where nobody can break it or lose it. We keep our talents hidden where nobody can laugh at us or tell us we aren’t good enough. We don’t want to put our treasures at risk. They are too precious for that. As a result, we sit stagnant, gaining nothing for our covetous nature.

Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We need to break free of this stagnant pool where we have chosen to abide. Think on these words. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. I don’t want to bury my heart in the ground. We are called to be different. If you really care about something, you are willing to invest in it. We know that Jesus is Lord. His command to us is to go out and further the kingdom. It is His will that the gospel be preached to every living soul. We are to feed, clothe, and minister to the lost and the weary. We are to heal the sick, and share the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is where our treasure should be. Our time, talents, and resources have been given to us to further His kingdom. Are our hearts in His hands, in His kingdom, or are they buried in a hole in the ground?

Perhaps you say, “I have invested in the kingdom, and I have seen that investment make a good return. I am happy, and content with what I have gained.”

Revelation 3:15-18
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold or hot. I wish that you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm –neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and a salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

God calls us to constantly seek after Him. He calls us to take every opportunity to further His kingdom, not to push to the point where we are comfortable with our success. Every time we see our treasures multiplied from our investment, we are to sew them right back into the kingdom, and do our part to aide in making it truly “on earth as it is in heaven.” Are we so blind and pitiful to believe that we can ever afford to let this investment opportunity slip us by?

Yes, it costs us our time, money, energy, and pride. Yet think of what we gain. Think of who we have the privilege to serve. We serve the King of Kings, and His kingdom is eternal. That kingdom is the one where we will find our reward. That is the place where we will be called to come and give account for how we have handled our talents, our treasures.

2 Corinthians 4:8
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Consider this for a moment. Where is the risk? We give up something temporary, something we are going to lose anyway in the end, and gain something eternal, something we can never lose. We were created to love and serve the Lord. Doing so is a win / win situation.

Think on it. Pray on it. Act on it.

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