USING TALENTS

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2018

(Part 25)

USING TALENTS

November 19, 2017

Today’s gospel:  Matthew 25:14-30

To be destined for greatness is about who we are and what we are to do. It is about what God has done for us and what God expects us to do for Him.

Now we are all servants of the Master Jesus. All of us have gifts given by the Holy Spirit. We are expected to use these to build up the Kingdom. In this, there are some basic principles.

  • “It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.” (v.14). Jesus has ascended to heaven but will return. In the meantime, he has entrusted his divine work to His disciples. God has made Himself dependent upon His people to continue the work of the Kingdom.
  • Each one is given a gift. “To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability.” (v.15a). This is entirely up to God. Whatever we are given, we are expected to use the gifts to yield “profit” for the Kingdom. Thus the third servant who did not make use of the gift was chastised and punished.
  • It will not be so much about the extent of the fruit God produces through us, but about our fidelity in making use of the gifts. The fruit is up to God; the effort is up to us. Thus the first two servants, who produced different amounts of fruit, but directly according to their abilities, were extolled in the very same way. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. …. Come, share your master’s joy.” (v.21,23).
  • The servant who does not make use of the gift is punished severely. “And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” (v.30). Does that mean going to hell? Perhaps. Why? Because God depends on His people to continue with the work of salvation. The harvest is rich but the laborers are few. If God’s people do not evangelize and do mission, there could be those who are lost who should not have been, if they had heard the good news.

Now being entrusted with the Kingdom is already greatness. But those who prove faithful will be given even more. “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.” (v.21,23). Such servants, as Jesus himself said, will be able to do greater works than he did.

Gifts are to be developed. And additional gifts can always be given by God to a faithful servant. “For everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich” (v.29a). But for one who does not make use of his gift, at some point he will lose the gift. “But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (v.29b). Indeed, what need does a servant have of a gift that he does not make use of?

We are in the end times. Jesus will return. “After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.” (v.19). In the meantime, we have the time to serve him by making use of our gifts. When Jesus does return, it will be too late. We will either be extolled and rewarded for faithfully using our gifts, or we will be condemned and punished.

The work of the Kingdom is serious. It is about the salvation God desires for all people, and went to great lengths to achieve. We, as Jesus’ servants, in doing divine work, are destined for greatness. But woe to those who neglect what they are called to do. Jesus has entrusted his work to us, and expects to reap the harvest of our efforts. “Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter” (v.24b).

You are destined for greatness. Know the privilege; know the responsibility.

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