Long-Term Investments or Long-Term Loss
Have you ever looked at a fellow Christian and wondered how they do it? What they did right to get so many gifts? And how do they manage to pull all that off, anyway?
You know the person I’m talking about. Somehow they manage to be in the church every time the doors are open, and I don’t just mean “in” to the doors.
They show up early, make the coffee, hand out the bulletins, seem to have time to have a personal conversation with many congregation members, teach a Sunday school class, sing in the choir, volunteer to head up every mission project that rolls through, chaperone youth trips, cook for potlucks, do the dishes after fellowships, take food to the shut-ins, go on weekly visitation, and the list goes on and on. Some how they manage to do this on top of having a career and a seemingly perfect family.
Every time you turn around, something else is going “right” for this person and they look even better. How is it that God keeps giving them more and more when you still aren’t sure where you even fit in?
Is it your fear? Is your fear holding you back? Are you protecting the “little” God has given you to the point of withholding it while others are investing what God has given them and reaping the interest?
Let’s call the certain nobleman Jesus. Jesus calls ten of us to Him (salvation), fills us with His Spirit, and gives each of us a gift before going away to a far away country. He instructs each of us to use our gift and do His work while He is gone.
Without cause the citizens decide they don’t want Jesus to be their ruler.
When Jesus returns he calls us back to see what we did with His gifts. One of us returns and has used our gift to it’s fullest. We have been called upon repeatedly by others, and naturally we have began doing additional things. To the extent that we now have a total of ten gifts. Jesus commends us. Well done! And gives us authority over ten cities.
A second one of us returns and has used our gift very frequently. Others have come to count on us, and we are beginning to get requests for additional services. Now we have a total of five gifts. Jesus gives us authority over five cities.
A third one of us returns with our gift still brand spankin’ new and shiny. We haven’t used our gift one time. We have protected it, hidden it away, and now we bring it back gladly. “Jesus, I was afraid of you, so I hid your gift away. You take things that you didn’t earn. I was too afraid to lose your gift so instead of using it, I protected it from harm.”
Jesus condemns us for not at least using the gift in the least amount possible to earn interest on it. Then he takes the gift and gives it to the one who already had ten.
The citizens are outraged. “Jesus! He already has ten!”
But Jesus tells them that those who have will get more and those who do not have will lose what little they do have.
This parable only talks specifically about three of the ten servants given minas. We know from the latter verses that those who didn’t want to be ruled by the ‘certain nobleman’ were slaughtered.
It turns out that we all have a choice. We can choose to serve God fully, partially, or not at all.
When we envy other’s gifts, we might want to look at what we are doing with the gifts God has already given us. Are we using our gifts to the fullest extent possible? If not, why would He trust us with any more?
When we show our Master than we can be faithful in little, He will reward us by giving us more responsibility. Our reward is not rest, but opportunity for more service. What a blessing! God wants to trust us with more souls!!!!
If we are using our gifts some of the time, or only when it’s convenient, He will reward us be giving us additional gifts when needed. If we can’t be faithful with “little” all the time, then we aren’t ready to be responsible for many gifts. We will be rewarded in proportion to our faithfulness.
And, if we’re hiding our gifts, hoping no one will notice. Hoping they won’t call on us to lead prayer…to teach a class…to go on a mission trip… Friends, don’t take your God given gifts and talents for granted. I’ve heard it said if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. I’ve wondered before if that’s scriptural or true of spiritual gifts. After looking into this parable, I believe it is. Luke 19:26 says ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Yes, I believe if you aren’t using your God-given gift, He’s going to take it back and give it to someone who will use it the way He wants it to be used. He will not force you do use His gift. You have free will. He will offer the gift, but you must accept it.
Those people who seem to be “gifted” in every area, well, I bet they have been faithful in little. And now, perhaps, they are simply investing in eternity.
Where do our loyalties lies? Self or Savior? Sacrifice or safety? Service or siesta?
You will reap what you sow…God will repay us. I want to reap with interest. I don’t want to lose what little I have. So, I’ll pray…divine appointments…enlarge my territories for You.