What Did You Do With The Talent: A Lesson In Stewardship

Matthew 25:14-30 is an excellent narrative about stewardship. The cast includes 3 servants, one of whom was slothful, lazy and ungrateful, and their master. Every story calls for you to pay attention to detail – making comparisons and contrasts; listening to tone and mood; examining characters; understanding context etc. In this particular story, there is, for me two striking characters: the master and the slothful servant (the one who received one talent). A talent was silver (money) which weighed between 58 to 80 pounds, so the master was entrusting his servants with quite considerable money. This was the kind of money you would entrust to a trusted relative or friend, not a servant.

The other two servants were faithful but there was one who wasn’t, that is, the one who received 1 talent or 80lbs of silver. Here is something about that servant that angered the master. He was selfish. Selfishness is the biggest hindrance to proper stewardship. One cannot be a good steward and seek self-interest at the same time. That third servant had reasoned that the master might not be returning. So, he kept the money. If the master returned, he could simply return the money without loss from a bad investment (verse 25) but if not he gets to keep it for himself. He did not want to deposit it in the bank because he would have to record it as belonging to the master and could not keep it if the master did not return (verse 27). His reasoning exposed his heart of selfishness and a lack of faith in his master in his master. He proved to be a worthless servant because of this. He perhaps was even comparing what the others got to what he got instead of being grateful that the master place confidence in him in the first place to have given him so much money as a servant/slave.
The master on the other hand demonstrates that he is a fair judge. Those who did not think about themselves and how they could profit off him, were rewarded for their selflessness. And the one who was selfish was not only not rewarded but he was stripped.

The lesson for us today is to serve without seeking our own interest. To serve gladly and willingly. To serve God, not out of compulsion but from a heart of gratitude for what He has entrusted you with.

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Mi Kyaahn Kibba mi Mout’ (I Can’t Stay Silent): Reflections on Evangelism

DAY 1: “CREATION IS TELLING”

Psalm 19:1-4, says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Their voice goes out into all the earth,their words to the ends of the world”

While, creation does not tell who God is: His character and attributes; His plans and purposes, it reveals that there is an intelligent designer who is responsible for the magnificence and the Splendour of creation. With no words and no voice; no access to social media and modern technology, creation TELLS daily, to all the world, of God’s glory. “They have no speech, they use no words;no sound is heard from them.Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Is this not awesome?

Yet, sometimes, we with voice to communicate the unsearchable richness and vastness of God’s amazing grace and love, silence our voices. We may not be able to literally go into all the world but technology and social media have brought the world to our finger tips. We have families, relatives, neighbours and friends whom we can tell of God’s glory (His goodness and favour. Would you tell them or will you keep silent? Are mountains and valleys and rocks and streams and bird and sticks going to tell of Him while we hold our peace? Creation is telling of Him… WILL YOU?

Even as we look to go out to evangelise, let us remember that, that too is part of telling…

Lord, help that we would not be intimidated or fearful to tell of your excellent greatness. Help us not shirk or retreat… not to cower or be silenced…not to pretend or deny your existence. Help us to be bold and to join with all of creation in TELLING…

 
DAY 2 “BEAUTIFUL FEET
Today, I want to talk about beautiful feet. Do you have beautiful feet?

Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

I have never been know to have impeccably pedicured feet. In fact, I don’t think much about my feet. But for me, that is not so important. These feet are temporal. I only have them for this life. But apparently my feet seem to be important to God. He seems to be interested in me having beautiful feet. However, for God, beautiful feet are not feet that have seen an aesthetician. They’re not feet that are free of bunions but they are feet that bring Good News.

The Bible refers to The Gospel as Good News. God considers those who bring the Gospel; who “who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”, as having beautiful feet. As believers, the commission that He left with his disciples to make disciples as they go about their daily lives still holds for us, today. We have become so caught up in our own affairs and with the cares of this life that we sometimes forget that we are sent… As we go about our lives, let us think about our feet. Are they beautiful? This Saturday, at 6:00 a.m, as a church we’ll be taking Good News to Emanacipation Park. It is an excellent opportunity to make your feet beautiful. Do you have beautiful feet?

Romans 10:15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

DAY 3: No Mountain Will Tell it For Me”

“When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like lambs. Why was it, sea, that you fled? Why, Jordan, did you turn back? Why, mountains, did you leap like rams, you hills, like lambs? Tremble, ea

rth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.” (Psalm 114)

The psalm recounts God’s mighty acts in delivering Israel from Egypt. The psalmist remembers what God did and says, “Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.” The instruction to the earth to tremble in the presence of the Lord, really speaks to mankind to do so. For if nature can recognise the might of God, man certainly can.

Sometimes, we underestimate the power of our testimony. We often forget where God has taken us from. David recalled what God did for Israel and he tells it to us in the psalm. Israel would have certainly told of what God did because by the time they got to Jericho, Rahab had heard of how God delivered and she hide Israel’s spied (acting in faith) because she heard of Israel’s God. Similarly, when you share with others about what your God has done, you might be pointing them toward a faith journey with your God.

Since this week, we have been focusing on telling – telling others about our God. And even as we prepare to go on outreach at Emancipation Park on Saturday, I want to encourage us on sharing and telling others of our EXCELLENT God. Make the act of telling a lifestyle and not merely an event. Tell it beyond Saturday; tell it every chance you get. think on these things

1.What has God done for you in the past?
2.Have you ever told anyone about it?
3.Are you going to let nature tell of His greatness in your stead?
4.Would you like for others to hear and know of who God means to you and what He’s done?

 
DAY 4: NOW, GO TELL IT
 
Over the last week, we have been reflecting on our duty/our service/our roles as heralds – ones called to tell of the goodness of God and of His Christ. The days, the heavens tell and even the mountains are encouraged to tremble before his greatness. Today, we reflect on Matthew 28:19-20. Our versions may read, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations…”
 
 For many of us reading this, our call to teach the nations may appear to be an event – an activity for which we must take pause from our busy lives to engage. But Jesus’ intention was not for service of evangelism and discipleship to become a chore. In fact, because of the participle that begins verse 19, the verse should actually begin, “As you are going…” Yes, we are expected to teach and tell as we go… As we go to our jobs and to recreation or spend time with our families, our lives and our testimonies should teach others about the God we serve. It is a lifestyle. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the instruction is given to Israel to teach the truth about God at every opportunity: as they sit and go out and go to bed and walk around with it being visible so that all to see. It was not an exhortation to become fanatics but to allow the teaching and telling of God to become part of who they were. Is it part of our daily lives today?
Do our lives and our words teach others about our God? The next time we open our mouths, let us consider how much about God does it teach. Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Let our lives and our words teach others about you. Amen