Thursday, August 28, 2014
In Jesus’ Parable of the Talents in the 25th Chapter of Matthew’s gospel, two of the three servants did very well with the talents they received from their master. The only thing the third one did with his, however, was bury it in the ground. His master referred to him as a wicked and lazy servant and proceeded to take his one talent and give it to the one who had doubled his five talents to ten. If that weren’t enough, his master threw him out, which I will kindly compare to someone today being fired from his job. Actually, his fate was much worse than that. It is pretty obvious that this third servant didn’t think very highly of the opportunity he had been given, nor the fact that he had been chosen by his master to a higher position.
It is not too much different in Christian ministry. There are many whom the Lord has called to a position of service who don’t see it as an honor and privilege, and as a result are not giving God their best. They are somewhat like Esau, who did not see the value of his birthright and sold it to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. His story is found in the 25th Chapter of Genesis. Then, there were the people in the time of the prophet Malachi who complained because they thought God was not giving them His best, when the truth was that it was they who were not giving Him their best. Instead of offering Him the choicest animals for sacrifice, they were bringing the lame and crippled ones. The Lord told them: “You place defiled food on my altar. "But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' "By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible.” One does not have to be too spiritually perceptive to identify those who value their ministry or calling from those who don’t. Those who value the position the Lord has given them are no-nonsense, no-excuse individuals who get to work and do their job faithfully and don’t slack off. They are like those faithful employees in the workplace who are never late and never call in because they don’t want someone else doing “their job” nor put the rest of the work team in a bind.
If the Lord has entrusted you with a ministry or a position of responsibility, I pray you will see it and treat it as the honor, joy, and privilege that it is, for if you don’t, just like in the parable, it will be given to those who are already active in their own calling. Many people think it is the pastor that assigns positions or ministries. No, it isn't the pastor, it is the Lord! It is the Lord also who, in His time, removes those whose heart is not in it. Please pray for those who are starting to slack in their obligations. And if the Lord leads you to bring it to their attention, by all means do so, but don’t forget to pray that God will give you the right words.
Memory verse for the week: (John 21:16) Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”