Summary: God’s desire for the Christian is for us to do our best with what we have been given.
“Being All That God Meant Us To Be”
By: Reverend Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
I’m sure many of us have heard people excuse themselves from upholding the church by their prayers, their presence, their gifts and their service by appealing to what they do not have…
… “I’m too old.”…
… “I’m too young.”…
… “I’m not educated.”…
… “I’m too busy.” …
… “I’m not good enough.”…
… “I could never do that.”
When God asked Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, Moses used a number of phrases to complain about what he did not have:
“Who am I that I should go…?…
… “Suppose they do not believe me….”
… “I have never been eloquent…”
After listening to Moses’ complaints, God said to him:
“What is that in your hand?”
In essence, God was saying: “Moses, I am not interested in what you do not have; I am only interested in what you do have….reach out your hand…and certainly I will be with you.”
For years an army recruitment advertisement has been challenging young men and women to “Be all that you can be.”
As a Christian the challenge is : “Be all that God meant you to be!”
The parable of the talents tells us that God creates and that God calls us to be co-workers for the unfolding of history.
To help that become a reality, God invests in us and expects a return on that investment.
In the parable of the talents, a man set out on a journey, entrusting his property to his servants.
It is important that we recognize from the outset that this man represents God.
It is God who owns the world.
We are His servants.
The word “talent” has come into our language from this parable.
Rather than money, however, it has come to mean abilities and special gifts.
Now, we must be careful not to interpret the parable of the talents simply on the meaning of the word “talent” that has evolved over the years.
Rather, the question that each of us must ask is: “What did Jesus mean by the talent?”
I would submit that everything we have and everything we are comprise the talents entrusted to us by God.
This includes our abilities…
…each precious moment of every day, every week, every month, and every year given to us…
…our material and financial resources…
…our relationships with loved ones and friends…
….the gift of God’s salvation and redemption in Jesus Christ…
…in short—our very lives!!!
All of this is entrusted to us by God, and we are called to be God’s stewards!
Now, the work of the Kingdom is so great that many people may wonder why God left it to us….
…but He has…and we must keep that in mind….because people’s souls are at stake!
But just think of how exciting this makes the Christian life!!!
Yet how often are we like the one-talent man?
Our faith, instead of being an adventure, becomes a heavy chain of obligations.
We cling to the status quo…hoping we can get by without too many crises or challenges.
We are content with the usual routine.
The one-talent Christian fails to see how much he or she is needed….and the result is deadly.
In actuality, no Christian is one-talented. We are all many-talented!
We can pray…
… we can be present at church and invite others to come with us…
….we can share our faith…
….we can share our gifts…
….and we can serve.
God calls all of us to realize the potential of our lives…
…to maximize the years of our lives!
And this is exciting!!!
There is an urgent purpose that God has given to each of one of us, and this purpose demands the very best that we can believe and give.
In our gospel lesson, one servant gets five talents…
…one servant gets two talents…
…and the other receives just one talent.
When the time came for an accounting, they were not judged on an absolute scale…
…they were judged in accordance to what they had been allotted.
So, the important factor is not what we have or what we have gained….
…What is important is what we have done in relation to what we have been given.
God wants His stewards to be action oriented.
The servant who received the five talents went “at once” and put his talents to work…and so did the servant who received two talents.
Now the first two servants had a completly different view of the master than the one-talent servant.
They saw him as a person who would appreciate bold and daring action.
He liked to give a great deal of freedom to his servants and he expected them to be self-starters—to take initiative.