Living Apostolic in San Antonio

The Official Blog of Alamo City Apostolic Church

What Are You Doing With What You’ve Been Given?

If you are familiar with the accounts of the Gospel, no doubt you’ve read Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:14-30 about the servants who were given money by their master at the outset of a journey that would keep him away from home for a long while.

I’ve heard different estimates of the value of the talents (units of money, not skills and abilities) they received. Suffice it to say, each received a substantial amount of money. Jesus pointed out that each received “according to his several ability”…in other words, God knew each one’s abilities and limitations and doled out responsibility accordingly.

Upon the master’s return, he asked for an accounting of his money. The first servant, who had received five talents, presented his master with the original five plus five he had earned through investment. The second – who had received two talents – likewise produced the original two plus two more. Both received glowing accolades and a promotion from their boss.

Then the third, who had received only one talent, approached his master with nothing to show for what had been entrusted him but the original investment. Appealing to his “inside track” with the master (“I knew thee…”), he attempted to justify his inaction. He knew the master was a tough boss, he explained. Therefore, he went and hid the money so he could present it to his master in tip-top, mint condition on his return…carefully guarded…still unused.

No glowing commendations awaited this servant. Instead, he was sharply rebuked. The money entrusted to him was taken away and given to the first servant, the one who had received five talents. Then, the unproductive servant was unceremoniously bundled away to a shadowy place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Not a happy ending.

The main idea of this story is not about how much each servant received. It’s about what each one did with it. Huge difference. The first two, though they received different amounts, produced the same proportion of increase. The third produced nothing more than what the master had originally invested in him.

Think about the boy who provided the lunch Jesus multiplied to feed the five thousand. How would that story have ended had the boy yielded to the fear of public humiliation for presenting such a trifling offering in the face of so great a need?

Or consider Peter at the Beautiful Gate of Acts 3. What if he had stopped at “silver and gold have I none”? What if he had allowed his limitations – what he didn’t have – to outshine what he did have? No doubt the beggar would have sat by the gate for the rest of his life.

In Acts 5, God dealt swift and severe judgment to Ananias and Sapphira. Their deaths did not come about simply because they brought less than the full sale price of their property to God; there was no mandate anywhere stating that they owed the entire proceeds to Him. No, their untimely end came about because they claimed to be giving all, but were really holding back a secret part.

It’s not about how much you have. It’s about what you are doing with what you have. Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that you would receive power after the Holy Ghost came upon you. Have you received the Holy Ghost? If so, then you have received the power. It’s that simple.

So what are you doing with it?

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August 13, 2011 - Posted by | Reflections

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