Why am I here? What is
my purpose in this life? These are ancient questions that thinking
people have been asking themselves for thousands of years.
Could it be that we are
here for God to give us gifts everyday? Christmas everyday! Well, this
is probably a facetious view of our relationship to the Lord. But many
actually teach this or similar principles. Maybe it is worthwhile at
least looking at this assertion.
Does the Lord give us
In Matthew Chapter 25
verses 14-30 Jesus challenges his listeners with a parable that is about
will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and
entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money,
to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his
ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the
five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five
more. So also the one with the two talents gained two more. But the
man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground
and hid his maser’s money.
log time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with
them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other
five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I
have gained five more.’
master replied, ‘Well done, god 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!’
with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me
with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
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!”
man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew
that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and
gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went
out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to
master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest
where I have not sown and gather where I have not sown and gather where
I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on
deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received
it back with interest.
talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For
everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.
Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And
throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there
will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
If this parable was
intended for this generation as well as the one’s who heard it from
Jesus lips, then I believe the Lord is continually giving us gifts. Now
the problem is recognizing the gifts and then what do we do with them.
In this parable the gifts
that Jesus spoke of was money. Is that the only types of gifts that he
was referring to? I don’t believe that he was limiting the gifts that
God gives us to just money. In fact, if you were to look around at
churches today I don’t think you will find a huge amount of money
according to American standards. There are indeed some rich
congregations and some very rich people that wear the name of Christ.
If you have the talent for making money then you must use it for service
of the Lord.
Let’s look at some other
categories of gifts. First the ability to teach, God has given to some
a very special talent to be able to explain difficult subjects. In fact
very few can do this well. So if you have that ability and do not use
it, are you like the servant with the one talent?
Some have the ability to
sing. If you have this ability and don’t sing then you may fall into
the same judgment as the one talent servant. The Lord may want you to
lead singing. If that is the case then you must heed the call.
Your talent may be
raising children. This is one talent that you probably won’t recognize
because raising children is a very challenging occupation. If you find
yourself in this position you need everything the Lord will give you to
be successful in this endeavor. I believe that if you continually ask
the Lord then he will give you the love, patience, perseverance, and
strength that you need to be a wonderful parent.
You may have the talent
of wisdom. If you do then leadership is the avenue that you will walk.
You may use this talent in leading a company, family, counseling, or
being a friend.
Some gifts of God are not
easily seen such as the gift of need. The Lord may put us in a position
of deep need and we may not see this as a blessing. The blessing comes
in the form of giving others a chance to serve the Lord by helping us;
however, we must overcome our pride in this instance and ask for help
from our brethren. This is often times hard to do, especially if we
find ourselves in this situation after a lifetime of service. By
someone else serving us we develop friendships that would have never
There are many other
talents that the Lord gives us such as athleticism, enthusiasm, serving
spirit, praying, encouraging, and attendance. Of course there are many
other talents that the Lord gives us and I’m sure that I don’t even know
Use of Gifts
What do we do with our
talents? I believe the parable makes the answer to that question
crystal clear. We must use them for the Lord’s service.
If our talent is making
money then we need to find ways to use our money in his service.
Likewise all of the talents mentioned before need to be used.
Admittedly it is not
always easy to know what the Lord wants us to do with our talents.
First of course we must be able to recognize what it is that the Lord
has given us. It is very easy today given the daily news reports that
we get to know what we don’t have. Often we focus on those things and
miss what the Lord has liberally given us. We may be without a job;
however, the Lord has given you time to use in his service.
With prayer and a
watchful eye we are presented with opportunities for service in his
Kingdom. Often the opportunities are there more times than we will
recognize. Moses tried to excuse himself from leading God’s people out
of slavery in Egypt. Gideon wanted several proofs that God was with him
before leading his army to victory. I hope and pray that our
relationship with God will be such that we will not only recognize our
opportunities but also be willing to serve without hesitation.
We may be asked to use a
talent that we either didn’t know that we had or haven’t used before.
Sometimes that gives us a reason to hesitate. After all we will be out
of our comfort zone. Well we must remember that the Lord was with Moses
and Gideon he blessed and guided their efforts and they were
successful. We have been given his Word to help build our faith in
God. The stories of Moses, Gideon, David and others give us the hope
that God will be with us every step of the way so that work in his
service will always work out for the best.
Source of our Gifts
One thing that can
distract us is forgetting where our talents came from. Upon first
recognition of a talent we may think that somehow we were responsible
for it. After all it was through our efforts that we became rich,
educated, got the promotion, etc… That is what we learn as the American
way. Hard work and perseverance will pay off and we will be rewarded.
Where did the health come from to be able to work hard? Where did the
ability to learn come from so that we can get an education? Where did
the athletic talent come from to be able to hone that skill? Where did
we get patience or learn how to love?
God is with us each and
every step of our lives and blesses us in so many ways that we get
confused and think that some of these blessings are our doing. Of
course when we do this it leads to arrogance and then to sin. So even
being aware of our talents can lead to sin. We must be watchful at all
times. It’s ironic isn’t it that Satan can even use the gifts of the
Lord against us. The only way to prevent or overcome this is to freely
admit that the source of our talents is from the Lord and be ever
thankful for them. We need to pray prayers of thanksgiving everyday for
the rich gifts that he gives us.
What is we don’t use
What happens if we don’t
use the gifts that God gives us? Well we need to look back at the
parable for this answer. The one that was given one talent went and
buried it in the ground. Why did he do this? Well if we believe the
story then it was fear that made this servant bury the talent. He knew
that his master had a great talent for making money. He seemed to make
money on every business deal but also seemingly money came from even
unknown sources to the servant. It was obvious that he didn’t
understand his master’s business and was afraid of failure.
What made the other
servants different? One they both had taken an interest in their
master’s business and learned something of the techniques that he used
to make money. Second because of the first reason they had confidence
in themselves that they could use the same techniques and make money
themselves. Many things seem hard and mysterious to us when we look
from a distance with no knowledge of what we see.
So obviously the one
talent servant had taken very little interest in how his master
conducted his business and when it came time to be tested he was found
wanting. Yes, that means when the Lord sends opportunity to serve our
way then indeed we are being tested. Usually we think of testing as
times or trail, pain, or suffering but indeed being given a gift and an
opportunity to serve is also a test. When a teacher writes a test for
their class, one of the hardest types of questions that they can write
is a True/False question. After all you either know the answer or you
do not. And the teacher has to do their very best to make the question
fair. Well what about our test? When God gives us a talent and then an
opportunity to use the talent is it fair? Of course it is fair the gift
was from God and it was for the express purpose of serving in his
Kingdom. It can be nothing but fair for the Lord to expect us to be
grateful and use our gifts for the advancement of his Kingdom.
Can we use fear as an
excuse? The answer is no. Paul reminded the Romans in the eighth
chapter that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” He later said
that they would be “more that conquerors.” If we meditate on phrases
such as these how can fear paralyze us?
Now if we show no
interest in our father’s business, that is a very different matter. If
we don’t read his word, we don’t meditate on it and we don’t pray to him
then we show no interest in his business. If we don’t have a personal
relationship with him everyday then we show no interest in his
business. We need to live for him in order to use our talents for his
glory. Even showing up for services is a step in the right direction
because it encourages all the others that are at that service. We all
take strength from each other when we fellowship together in his sight.
If we willfully withhold
using our talents, then we may be like the sluggard that Solomon talks
about in Proverbs. If we are lazy then indeed we shouldn’t expect God’s
love and his blessings. We must in all things be good stewards of what
he has given us.
To answer the original
question the answer is yes the Lord gives us daily blessings. He loves
us, watches over us, and protects us. The Lord also showers upon us
talents daily so we should be watchful and grateful for these great
We should constantly take
stock of what we have and closely examine our talents and be observant
for opportunities to use them. We may miss some opportunities and those
will never return but the Lord being the loving father that he is will
give us other opportunities. He will never leave us or quit loving us.
We can gain much by using out talent for we will grow spiritually and be
more prepared for an eternity in Heaven.
If you have any need
please come forward as we stand and sing the words of encouragement.