It was just an ordinary Sunday.
Not one I thought I’d be looking back to regularly after five years . God called me to something that day.
My former pastor Joby Martin, preached on the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25.The master in the parable is going away, so he calls three servants and entrusts them with his property in the form of talents. A talent is a measure of money, but it can also be translated to mean an ability or gift.
An important thing to note from verse 14 is that the master gives his property.
Everything we have is on loan from God. All of our physical abilities, our strengths, our ideas—everything—are gifts from God. We are simply the stewards.
All of the gain from these gifts are through the grace and mercy of God and the blood-bought gift from Jesus.
So, the master gives talents to three servants. To one, he gives five talents. To the next, he gives two, and to the final servant,he gives one.
We see in verse 16 that the five-talent servant goes at once. He does not delay. Delayed obedience is disobedience. He takes the five talents he is given and makes another five talents. He now has ten talents.
The two-talent servant does the same. He takes his two talents and makes another two talents. He now has four talents.
The final servant, with his one talent, buries it.
And after a long time, the master returns and settles accounts with his servants.
The five-talent servant comes forward first and approaches the master with an attitude of gratitude. He says, “Master, you have given me five talents, here, I have made five talents more.”
Note that the five-talent servant first says that it was the master who had given him the five talents. He takes no credit for this gift from the master. And knowing his master, he does what the master would’ve wanted him to do and invests his talents wisely.
When he says, “here” he isn’t pulling it from his pocket for a brief moment and sliding the talents away. No, the translation suggests that he is giving it back to the master. Here—take it—it’s yours.
And the master says, “Well-done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
The two-talent servant approaches the master and presents his doubled talent. The master tells him the same “well done” word for word.
Note that the master does not compare. He is praising this servant for taking what he was given and making the most of it, despite the fact that he was not given as many talents as the previous servant.
The one-talent servant steps forward. He gives the master excuses, all driven by fear. This servant knew of the master, but he does not know him. The master is not his lord. He is not surrendered to the master. He does what he wants with the talent given to him.
The master calls him wicked and slothful and casts him away.
So how does this parable apply to us?
God has given us all talents. For the majority of us, we are five-talent people. God has richly blessed us with the opportunity to express our talents in music, art, sports, writing, serving others, speaking, or the drive to preserve through years of school to complete a degree.
How can we, like the five-talent and two-talent servants, serve our master, Jesus, well? We can remember that all we have are gifts from God.
Every thought, every opportunity, every breath—they are all gifts from our good and gracious heavenly Father. And we can leverage these talents in the form of our time, in our finances, or with a talent or ability to spread the hope that we have in Jesus.
That may be at your current workplace, where you follow the Holy Spirit’s leading to invite a co-worker to your church. It may be to open your home to have a bible study or through a party where you bless others around you through good food and fellowship. Only the Holy Spirit can tell you this specifically in your life.
As James 1:22 tells us, we are called to be doers of the word, not hearers only. So, pray, ask God, and go. Trust the Lord’s leading.
Is the reward for using our talents to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? No. The joy and the reward is always Jesus alone. His presence. The intimacy we gain through relationship with Him. We don’t have to work, toil or strive for God’s favor, we already have it through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
A final thought: What would you do for the glory of God, if you knew it wouldn’t fail?
For me, God was calling me on this very ordinary Sunday to take a step in faith to share my story. For years I had been writing in secret. Fourteen years to be exact. I write Christian Fiction novels where I share the hope of the gospel through my characters.
God called me through this particular sermon to use my talent, writing, that He had given me for the glory of His name. And for the first time, I acknowledged that perhaps writing might be a talent. And that I was in fact a writer.
I have made more uncomfortable steps in the last two years than at any time in my life, and the Lord has been faithful at meeting me at every step and providing confirmation that this is my path.
He has given me encouragement through His word, friends, sermons and in song.
It has been a journey already, and I’m not even in the game yet. But I believe that no matter what comes of this journey, the Lord will use it for His glory.
All He has asked of me is my trust and obedience, and as for the rest, well it’s in His hands. I’ve surrendered it to Him. I have put my “yes” on the table.
May God reveal your unique talent that He has given to you and you alone. We are all image bearers of God.
I’ve heard it said that it takes every unique person in all ages past, present and future to truly reflect the glory and nature of our God, and like a father, He wants us His children, to be a part of His rescue mission.
May it be for His glory and the spread of the hope of the gospel.
What God has for us is not a comfortable little life, but a God-glorifying mission that we were created for, and anything less than living for that is a wasted life.
Don’t waste your life.
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