God has invested into us, and with that investment comes great responsibility for us to invest into His kingdom.
“The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 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!’”
Read Matthew 25:14-30.
Along with pastoring a church in the Adelaide Hills, I have the pleasure of running a little gym ministry that I lovingly call, The Shepherd Shed of Prayer and Pain.
I’ll never forget the day a friend came for a workout and asked me to put 100kg on the bench press bar. I suggested that being the first time he had worked in a while, perhaps a smaller weight would be more suitable. He assured me, however, that he had what it took to lift the 100kg.
Needless to say, within a few seconds he was groaning in discomfort, as the bar now lay across his chest squashing the air out of him. As two of us came over to lift the bar off his chest, with great passion he cried out, “One more!” That moment created quite a lot of laughter in our house, but it also got me thinking about leadership in life and ministry.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. It’s fascinating to me that while the NIV translates the Greek word talent to ‘bags of gold,’ the ESV chooses to leave it untranslated. Perhaps the ESV translators are on to something. In its truest form, a talent is simply a measure of weight. It can be used to talk about money, but it can be used of other things as well.
In this parable, the master gives his servants talents. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the master expects these talents to bring about a return. While the third servant is rebuked for his lack of investment, to the two who did invest he says, “Well done… you have been faithful in a little, now I will set you over much.”
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul describes God’s gift of grace as us having treasure in jars of clay. God’s investment in us is grand—a wonderful treasure that is beyond compare. But with that treasure comes a weight of responsibility. The treasure is given to us freely, but it is not cheap.
God’s investment in us demands a response, as our lives bear witness to the wonders of what He is doing in the world. It’s not hard to see then why the ESV translators decided to leave talent untranslated. So as you wait on God today, I ask you to consider the following question: What are you doing with your talent?
Often in this postmodern, Insta society, like my friend in the gym, we long to lift the heavy weight. We want greater responsibility; we want to stand on a stage; we want people to know our name and acknowledge us as someone doing great things for the Kingdom.
The only problem is that we can’t lift the 100kg until we’ve learned to lift the 50kg, and then the 60kg and so on. God calls us to a little before He opens the door to a lot.
My encouragement to you then, is this: manage your talent well. Don’t be afraid of what God has entrusted to you — but equally, don’t envy those who seemingly have more. God’s heart is for you and His eyes are on you.
Devote yourself to Him, and invest your life in prayer and devotion. Serve faithfully where He has put you, and know that in the fullness of time, as you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things shall be added unto you for His glory, and for His kingdom’s gain.
Father, thank You that You have chosen to put Your treasure in jars of clay like me. I acknowledge that with this comes great responsibility. I surrender myself to You again today, including all that You have invested into me. I choose to use this for Your kingdom and Your glory. Lead me where You will. Have Your way in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
31 Days Prayer Points
1. Pray for five people and share the Good News of Jesus with them.
2. Pray that God would use His people to reach one billion people this May.
3. Pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, both in Australia and globally.
Dave Shepherd worked as a school teacher and itinerant youth communicator before serving as a pastor at Hills Baptist Church. Dave is passionate about communicating the life changing truth of the gospel in culturally relevant ways.
We invite you to join the daily 1-hour Zoom video National Prayer Call every night:
DATES: 1st– 31st May 2020
TIME: 8pm-9pm AEST
ZOOM URL LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184
ZOOM MEETING ID: 776881184
Every Sunday night in May, we will have an extended Zoom call from 6pm-9pm AEST.
See Zoom tutorial here.
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