Fall Preaching & Worship Series: “What Disciples Do”
We Christians are often identified by what we believe. Jesus cared a lot about what his followers DO. How we practice our faith – the things we disciples do – is crucial to living our faith and sometimes as even greater witness for Christ. Join us this fall for our Preaching and Worship Series: “What Disciples Do.” We’ll explore some of the things that followers of Jesus DO: Take faith seriously, practice generosity, take faith home, wrestle with God, to name a few. -Pastor Dana
Serving God with Our Time and Talents
By: Kelley Tribble
Christian living acknowledges all that we have is from God, our money, our possessions, our family, and most notably our time and talents. Time is more valuable than any possession. Time cannot be replaced, and the Lord expects us to make the most of our time and will reward us accordingly.
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Recently, pastor Dana had a sermon from Jeremiah that highlighted, God calls each one of us to serve Him in various ways. This sermon reminded me of a past article in byFaith magazine that outlined the lessons from the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. (Please review the scripture in your bible.) The article was written by Hugh Welchel, Executive Director for the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics. This article addresses how Christians should think about work, success, and our callings. The lessons outlined from the parable are summarized as follows: (Note: One talent was roughly the value of twenty year’s work.)
Lesson 1: Success is a product of our work. God placed Adam in the garden to work it and take care of it. We were made to work. It is through work that we learn discipline and build character. As Christians we have a mission that our Lord expects us to accomplish in the here and now. We are to work, using our talents to glorify God, serve the common good, and further God’s kingdom, Biblical success is working diligently in the here and now using all the talents God has given us to produce the return expected by the Master.
Lesson 2: God always gives us everything we need to do what he called us to do. Just as the master expected his servants to do more than passively preserve what has been entrusted to them, so God expects us to generate a return by using our talents towards productive ends. The servants were given enough to produce more – it is the same with the gifts God has given us. ” For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Lesson 3: We are not all created equal. The master gives to each servant talents, “…each according to his ability.” The master understood that the one-talent servant was not capable of producing as much as the five-talent servant. But even though we’re not created equal regarding the talents we’re given, the Master measures success by our faithful and honest effort in the tasks we are given.
Lesson 4: We work for the Master, not for our own selfish purposes. The money that is given to the servants is not their own. The money they earn with the capital is not theirs to keep. The servants are only stewards of the master’s investment, and it is the quality of their work that the master seeks to measure. We should maximize the use of our talents to honor God and we should feel satisfaction and joy from doing our best with what God has given us in the place where him providence put us, seeking to succeed in order to honor him.
Lesson 5: We will be held accountable. The Parable is about how we use our work to fulfill our earthly callings. It s about while-life responsibility. The unfaithful servant in this parable didn’t so much waste the master’s money – he wasted an opportunity. As a result, he was judged wicked and lazy. We are responsible for what we do for God with what we have been given, and one day we will be held responsible.
What we hear from the Master on that day is up to us!