Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Biblical Stewardship: Talents

Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I’ve enjoyed writing for most of my life. I have fallen in love with it, out of love with it, and now back in love with writing. Writing always seems to allow me to truly express myself - being confronted in social encounters brings out the awkwardness in me all the time. Although I love to write, and I do believe that writing has been my calling, I have doubted my passion behind writing. 

Our gifts and talents have all been given to us by God, our Creator. Everything that is and will be belongs to God, because the earth is His and all of its fullness (Psalm 24:1). The gifts that God has given us, through the aiding of the Holy Spirit, enlivens and empowers us to serve Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength. Biblical stewardship of our talents comes with the understanding that God is the Creator, Owner, and Master of all things, including and especially ourselves.

Let that sink in for a minute.

When it finally clicks in our spiritual minds that we were truly bought with a price - the precious blood of Jesus Christ - we will begin to live our lives much differently. Our needs, wants and desires will turn away from ourselves to how they can glorify God and make His name known throughout the earth.

That's why the Biblical stewardship of our talents is important: being a great leader, writer, singer or entrepreneur is awesome, but all those things mean nothing if God isn't our reason why we do these things. Never get caught up in what you're doing that you forget the why that makes you move.

The Parable of the Ten Minas

In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus begins to give what's called the Parable of the Ten Minas. This parable is VERY similar to the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:13-30, yet bears many noticeable differences. In the Parable of the Ten Minas, the central message that Jesus was teaching was about the coming Kingdom of God and to dispel rumors that were going around that the kingdom had already arrived. 

This is the Parable of the Ten Minas in a nutshell. I strongly encourage you to go back and read this passage for your personal study. A nobleman went to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and return (v.12). He called in ten of his servants, gave them each a mina (approximately worth 3 months wages), and told them to "Do business until He comes." (v.13). The nobleman's citizens hated him, and sent delegation/a representative after him to tell him that they didn't want him to reign over them (v.14). When the time came for the nobleman to return after receiving his kingdom, he commanded the servants to give an account of the money they were in charge (v.15). The first two servants were able to multiply their minas. However, the third servant hid his mina in a handkerchief because he "feared the nobleman" (v.21). The nobleman didn't consider this excuse, and ultimately punished the third servant by giving the servant's mina to the first servant who yielded 10 minas. Both the first and second servants were called "good" and "faithful" by the nobleman. However, the third servant was called "wicked."

Three Points of Reflection

1.The size of the resource or gift given to us isn't the most important variable. What is most important is what each of us does with what has been given. - In the parable, the nobleman refused to accept the third servant's excuses, and he was rebuked because of this  The servant was rebukes and punished because he was simply lazy - He could have gone out just like the other servants and invested time in producing a yield, but he intentionally chose not to. He wasn't punished for doing something bad, but was judged for doing nothing. Laziness in a sin. The point is, if God tells us to do something, we must do it! We have no excuses not to obey His commands.

2.We will all have to give an account of all the things we've done or didn't do with what God has given us to manage. - In the parable, the nobleman represented Jesus Christ and the servants represent followers of Jesus. Upon Jesus' return, He will assess the faithfulness of His people. Romans 14:10-13 states, "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ  For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee  shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." We've been commanded to do business until Jesus returns. Be faithful with what God has so graciously and mercifully bestowed on us. 

However, there's yet still one group to discuss - the citizens. The citizens represent the Jewish nation that rejected Jes at the time He was on earth, and they rersent those who reject JEsus as their Savior and Lord. Those who choose in this life to not submit to God wil be unished. When Jesus returns to establish His kingdom, one of the first things He will do is utterly estory his enemies Rve. 19:11-15, and those who rejected his gift of salvation are considered His enemies.

3.Remember at all times that what we do isn't for ourselves but for God's glory. - Professor Kenneth Boa writes, "Wen we give an account before Gd of what we've done, Jesus will not ask why you didn't invest someone elses gift. He wont ask awhat you did with what you didnt have. He will only be concerned with what you did with your gift." To place it simply, Jesus didn't die to make us comfortable to live the way we want to live. He died and rose again to set us free from the bondage of sin in order to live for Him freely.

Dear friends, we have work to do. We don't have time to get complacent in our actions.


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