We have all been given some capacity to invest in the kingdom of God and we will give an account for our stewardship. In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), the man went on a journey and gave one of his servants five talents, to another he gave two talents, and the third servant got one talent. They were awarded that amount according to their ability.
The first two servants doubled their investment, but the servant who received one talent buried his. When the master returned, he praised the two servants who wisely invested their talents. He put them in charge of greater things. They also got to share in their master’s happiness. This is an important principle for those who wish to grow in grace and expand their influence. When God finds us faithful in the little things, he puts us in charge of greater things. If you are waiting for your ship to come in or for a big opportunity to come along, it may never happen. Many opportunities are created by our own industriousness. We get out of life what we invest in it.
The man who was given one talent only had excuses. He didn’t invest his talent because his master was a hard man who reaped where he did not sow. He reasoned, “He probably wasn’t coming back anyway.” His perception of his master was wrong and his failure to trust him cost the lazy servant his eternal life. The master reasoned, “Even though you thought I was a hard man who reaped where I did not sow, you still should have invested my money so I could have received the interest.” The heart of this principle is expressed well in the following poem.
“Father, where shall I work today” And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed out a tiny spot, and said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh no, not that. Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done, not that little place for me!”
And the word He spoke, it was not stern, He answered me tenderly,
“Ah little one, search that heart of thine; art thou working for them or me?
Nazareth was a little place, and so was Galilee.”
There are two types of people who will never realize their potential: those who won’t do what they are told, and those who won’t do anything unless they are told. You may not have any outstanding gifts or talents, but what you have you can put to good use. A timely word or act of kindness will pay future dividends. You may not lead many to Christ, but you may lead one who later leads many. In the end, God will judge us fairly according to our ability. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).
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