Consider all that you have. Consider your time, your money, your possessions… How are you using them? Are you using them in a way that multiplies the impact? that multiplies the return? that multiplies the value? Are you just waiting? Are you just allowing uncertainty or fear manage how you feel and what you do? Will you use the time you have to multiply your efforts? Some say work smarter not harder which is really about producing more. Some work harder which is also about producing more. It’s all about taking what you have been given and trying to get the most out of it. Are you being a good steward of it? Will you be good with what you have been given? Will you be faithful with what you have been given? Will you invest with your life into the lives of those around you so that you won’t come to the end of your life and realize you missed the point?
Today’s reading starts in Matthew where we read Jesus’ words:
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘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.’ 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘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.’ 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
–from Matthew 25
We don’t want to be called lazy, right and be disqualified? We don’t want to be called wicked, right and be disqualified? We don’t want to be called evil, right and be disqualified? We want to qualify for the prize right? We want to win the prize right? We want to succeed right? Then we need work! We need to invest! We need to multiply!
Today’s reading continues into Psalms with…
1O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
–from Psalm 8
God cares for us! God’s giving to us so that we can be successful! God’s desire is for us to complete the work He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! God has created us on purpose for a purpose! God’s plan for our lives is good! God can take what others had planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! God can work all things for good! So what are you going to do with it and about it! Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good! How will you choose to live? We have all been given freewill! So we all have to make the choice for ourselves! Choose wisely! Not sure what to do? Ask God for wisdom! He gives it without finding fault! We are accountable for what we do and will be held accountable for it! Will we use all He has given us and use it to accomplish His glory? His purpose?
Today’s devotional (day 1) adds to the readings the following…
Called to Work While We Wait
Some Christians believe that our salvation is a bus ticket to heaven, and what we do while we wait for the bus makes little difference. The parable of the talents makes it clear this belief is false. Instead, like the servants in the parable, we will be held accountable for our stewardship of our lives while we wait for Christ’s return.
Christians who limit stewardship to tithing or even understand stewardship as the godly management of their time, talent, and treasure are still missing something. We have lost the idea of “whole-life stewardship” taught in the Scriptures. Kent Wilson of the Acton Institute suggests a more complete definition of stewardship, describing it as,
…the faithful and efficient management of property or resources belonging to another in order to achieve the owner’s objectives.
Note the last phrase, “in order to achieve the owner’s objectives.” We must know God’s objectives in order to achieve them. To know what those objectives are, we must go back to the Garden of Eden.
Moses divides the creation story into two stages within the first chapter of Genesis. In the first stage, God creates something out of nothing (Genesis 1:1-2). In the second stage, the six days of creation, God forms and fills what he has created.
- Days 1-3, God forms the heavens and the earth.
- Days 4-6, he fills the heavens and the earth with inhabitants.
- Then on the seventh day God rests from his work.
At the end of each of the first five days, God looks at his handiwork and announces that it is good. But at the end of his work of creation, at the end of the sixth day, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Here we find the first hint of God’s original intent for his creation. The purpose of God was to be glorified by his creation. This is why God describes it as “very good.” As a great painting reflects the glory of the master artist, God created everything for his glory, including man, the crown jewel of creation.
Does this mean that God created the world so that he could become more glorious in himself? No. God created the world and everything in it to display his glory, that it might be known and praised by creation (Psalm 8). To be effective stewards of all that God has given us, we must achieve the owner’s original objective — to bring glory to himself.
Spend a few moments meditating on Psalm 8 and the marvelous glory of our majestic Lord.
Read more about God’s intent for work in How Then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work by Hugh Whelchel, executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.
–from The Biblical Meaning Of Success (Day 1)