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May 11, 2008

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:26 am
by millipede
This was a study from the old forum, from back in July. I woke up this morning with this on my heart.

Talents

Matthew 25:14-30
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


- I love this passage and find it quite interesting that the term "talent" is used. Here we know it to refer to money. We could read this passage quite literally and see that it would be wise to use our money well... not to just hide it somewhere.
This passage, however, is a parable. "the kingdom of heaven is as...." It starts with a comparison. So we're not actually looking at these men and their money, but the kingdom of heaven and ourselves for we are those servants.
"who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods."
How great it is that we are called to be His servants and have His gifts bestowed upon us.
As soon as we call upon His name and take Jesus as our Saviour, we become his servants, and his children. God plants these "goods" in us right from the start.
As it is written, some are given a little and some are given much "to every man according to his several ability;"
God gives unto us that which he knows we are able to use. The more we use these gifts the more able we become to handle even more... so, in simply using that which God has given to us, we receive even more. Comparing this to actual money is a pretty good comparison... for if we were businessmen we would invest and use our money wisely. In doing so we would acquire more more money and would be able to expand our business greatly.
How wise would it be for a business man to invest in nothing new? The rest of the business world would pass right by him. His profits would decline and his business would fail. In the end he would be left with nothing.
The same applies to the great things God has given unto us. Our talents and our gifts. It is easy to see how our gifts could be expanded upon simply by investing them. The same goes for if we choose to hide them. It is clearly written that if we are to hide them we would lose them and everything else that has been given unto us.

Lord help us to be good stewards of the gifts you have given unto us.

More on our gifts

Romans 12:3-8
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.


- The first passage explains the importance of using our gifts wisely as it pertains to ourselves. Now let's look at how our gifts are NEEDED as a part of the body of Christ.
No man should think himself higher than another. I believe that we also need to realize that we are ALL just as important as each other. Some people may think of themselves as higher, and some might look to someone as if they are higher.
There's a song by Chris Rice called "the other side of the radio". In this song he mentions how we're all the same and even though he is on the radio, we're all singing the same songs together.
As a church we all might have different roles to play, but we are all the same. We are all part of the body and all serving the same purpose.

So how are YOU important and what can YOU do? Are YOUR gifts important? Indeed they are.
Let's look at a choir for example. In most choirs you will find sopranos, altos, tenors, and bass. Now sometimes those are split up into parts as well, but let's not get too complicated.
In order to have a really good sounding choir you really want to have all of those parts. It would sound pretty weird if all you had were sopranos and bass.
How much more strange would it be if you had 12 sopranos and 12 bass singers, but only one alto and one tenor? It wouldn't be quite as unified and strong would it? That's where you come in. There may be other people around you that have similar gifts, and they may even be better at those things than yourself. But(besides the benefits to yourself mentioned in the first section) by using those gifts, no matter what they are, you will help to strengthen the church.
If you're a tenor and there's already 11 tenors in the choir, you still have a lot to offer and can only make that choir stronger.
What if every tenor in the church felt they had nothing to offer and so did not join?

So it's time to realize how important each of us really is to ourselves and to each other. It's time to step up and start really using the great things God has given us.

Father, we want to serve you. Help us discover the great gifts you have given us. Lead us to use our gifts where you want us to.


Here are some links with more reading that I really think would be good to read.
http://www.thornapple.org/node.php?id=632
This one has some good descriptions and references explaining some of the different gifts. The tool doesn't seem to work anymore, but I think I have that one saved on my computer.

These sites have a form you can use to help determine where your strengths are. Give them a try.
http://www.crown.edu/500.0.html
http://www.buildingchurch.net/g2s-i.htm
http://www.chrisjenweb.com/CLC/SpiritualGifts.php