As we discussed in my last post, God’s word tells us to watch and be ready for the Day of the Lord when Christ returns. We do not know when. We do not know exactly the sequence of events that will take place. Will God’s people be taken up (the rapture)before the Great Tribulation or after? What will happen right before? There is much debate about this and a lot of writings on this. We won’t go into all of that. I will leave that for the experts. But, how are we to be ready? What can we do to prepare? Many believe we need to stock up on food and survival necessities, perhaps even build a bunker. But that is not where we are going today. How do we prepare our heart? What are we doing with the gifts and talents God has given us? How are we living and where is our heart? Are we looking forward to and anticipating Jesus’ return?
Here we will focus on the parable of the talents and that we must use those things God has given us to further His kingdom.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
God has given each of us ‘talents.’ He blesses us in so many ways and those of us who have put our faith in Jesus have received the Holy Spirit who lives in us. The Holy Spirit gives each of us spiritual gifts in which we may use to further God’s kingdom. What have we done with these gifts and talents He has given us? Do we use them to help others and further God’s kingdom? Or, did we “pray the prayer” and think that is good enough (bury our talent)? If there is no change in a person, there is no salvation, because when you are saved, not only will you have the Holy Spirit, but you become a new creation, your old self no longer lives, but Christ lives in you. We need to be more than hearers of the Word, but “doers. God has a ministry for each one of us. He can use you to bless others, to help others, to bring others to Him.
What has God called you to do? It may change throughout your life, but He leads you on a journey. It may be a short or long term mission trip, which may be far or near to where you live. It may be that you have a good job and the money that God has given you can be used to His glory. Perhaps He wants you to contribute to a cause or sponsor a child. Perhaps you have skills that can be of use, such as teaching or building. Maybe God gave you the gift of speaking and you can be a preacher, or simply talk to others about the good news of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and grace. Sometimes God sends you before you have the tools to do it, but just have faith and obedience and He will lead you. Most of the people God used throughout scripture were not the right people for the job in our eyes, but through them, God did great things. His greatness can be shown in our weakness. Let us allow God to use us to reveal Himself to others and bring Him the glory.