Too many people have no idea what life is about. There are three things you can do with your life: waste it, spend it on the pursuit of happiness (fame, power, fortune), or invest it in what will last beyond your earthly years. In the parable of the talents, Jesus tells about a master who entrusted three of his servants with a large amount of money. To one he gave 5 talents, to another he gave 2 talents, and to the third he gave 1 talent.  By today’s standards one silver talent would be the equivalent of 15 years’ salary. The servants knew they would be expected to give an account of the money upon their master’s return. After a long period of time the master returned and found that the servants with 5 and 2 talents had both doubled his money. He was very pleased. However, the servant with 1 talent, still had only one, because he had buried it rather than invest it. The master was furious. He took the talent from that servant and gave it to the one who had turned his 5 talents into 10. God has given each of us talents, abilities and resources, and we will one day give an account of how we have used what we’ve been given. Remember, all that we have and all that we are have been given to us by God.

Scriptures – Pr 29:25; Mt 25:14-19, 21, 24-28; Ac 17:25

Verses
He is the one who gives people life, breath, and everything else they need. (Acts 17:25) “‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Mt 25:21)

Thought
Fear prevented the servant who was given 1 talent from doing anything with it. He was paralyzed with fear that something bad might happen to the talent and that the master would be angry if it were lost or stolen. However, the master was far angrier that the servant hadn’t even tried. Trial and failure would have been better than not trying at all. Fear often causes people to bury their talents, waste them. People doubt their ability; they feel inept and unqualified. A past failure may cause them not to risk again. People fear what others will think of them, when they should be concerned with what God thinks of them. Fear causes people to make excuses for not serving, not giving, not reaching out. They say someone else is better qualified or has more resources (time, talent, money) than they do. What someone else has is of no consequence to each of us. We each have been given gifts and we each will be held accountable and responsible for what we have been given. The servant who buried his talent had it taken from him. In God’s economy, he gives us gifts and resources. If we bury them and waste them, they will likely be taken from us. In the end we take nothing with us except for the things of eternal value in which we have invested.

Questions
What gifts/talents has God given you? How are you using them? Is there a talent you wish you had, but realize you are lacking? Are you ever afraid to step out/speak up and use your talents? Do you know anyone who has great talent/ability/potential but refuses to use it? Why is giving financially to God’s work such an obstacle for people? How has God revealed his economy in your life? (opening doors, providing resources, etc.)

Response
Take a look at how many hours each week you are giving to God. A tithe (10%) of your time would be 16 hours a week. If you are not investing 1/10 of your time in God’s work, start moving toward that goal. Take a look at what you are giving to God’s work financially. If you are not giving 10%, start moving toward that goal. If you never start, you will be like the servant who did nothing with the talent he was given. Invest so that you can look forward to hearing, “Well done! Good and faithful servant!” Invest so that God will give you more resources to use for the kingdom! Invest so that you can live joyfully knowing that you are doing what God has called you to do!

Prayer
Father, you have graciously given me talents and resources for my benefit and enjoyment as well as for investing in your kingdom. Thank you for blessing my life; help me to be generous with what you have given me, to serve others for your glory. Give me confidence and freedom from fear that I may use all that I have to advance your kingdom. Help me to remember each and every day that my life, my breath, my existence, and all that I have come from you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.