Summary: God has invested talent in each and everyone one of us. God looks our abilities and sees not just who we are, but who we can become and what we can accomplish for His glory.
DEVELOPING OUR TALENTS
Text: Matthew 25:14 - 30
I once heard the story about a young man who called over the phone to check up on the effectiveness of his work at his work. He called the lady he worked for posing as a young man who was looking for yard work. He asked her if it were possible that he do some work for her. The lady thanked him and said that she was not interested as she mentioned that she already had a young man who was working on her yard. Then, he began to put his work to the test. "Well is this young man always on time? Does he do a good job?" The lady responded positively to both of these questions. She thanked him for his offer as she began to suggest some neighbors that might hire him as the conversation came to a close.
Although he posed as someone else looking for work, he was also checking up on his work in its efficiency. When it comes to our Christian service in the kingdom of God here on earth, how is our work? God has invested talent in each and everyone one of us. God looks our abilities and sees not just who we are, but who we can become and what we can accomplish for His glory.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE TALENTS
The servants in this parable were each given talents according to their abilities. Each servant had potential. Potential is what we call undeveloped skill. Potential is that God-given skill or ability that has been walking the sidelines in the people that we are that looks for the opportunity to be unlocked and developed. Go to any High School Yearbook or Annual and look at the Senior class and you will find those that have been given a special status by their peers---wittiest, most popular, best dressed, most talented, most spirited, most intelligent, friendliest, best looking, best all around, most athletic, most dependable and last but not least, most likely to succeed. The point that I am getting at is that God has given all of us talents that we have the potential to develop. In fact, God has given us each of these talents with His hope that we will succeed and be fruitful and bring glory to Him.
The servants in this parable were all responsible for the talents that they had been given. God has entrusted us with the talents that He has invested in us. We have an obligation to be all we can be and do all that we can do in developing these talents. "A pastor tells of standing by his father’s tombstone and reading the words, "Born 1884 - Died 1970." It suddenly occurred to him how much the little dash between those two dates symbolized". (Herb Miller. Actions Speak Louder Than Verbs. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988, p. 124). It is what we do with the talents that God has entrusted to us that determines how much or how little is represented between the dashes. That is the part of the responsibility that is up to each one of us. We are responsible for what we do with the dashes between the dates of our births and deaths that will appear on our tombstones.
THE INVESTMENT OF THE TALENTS
The talents that are spoken of in this parable are symbolic of more than just money. The talents also seem to be a metaphor for gifts and abilities. The master who was issuing the talents to his servants was giving to each one according to his ability. The master who was giving these talents expected his servants to invest, increase---multiply what they had been entrusted with. The only way that they could succeed was to apply what they had been given. Just as a seed cannot grow unless it is planted, so a talent cannot increase unless it has been invested. Investing the talent meant that work was required.
There is always a risk when we strive to invest something. The master did not give these talents to his servants to be stored in a place for safekeeping until he had gotten back. The master could have stored the talents (money) himself had that been his intention. For the servants to invest the talents that they had been given meant that they had to take a risk. There is an old adage that says "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". There is also another adage that applies, "If you don’t succeed the first time, try, try again". We all know that success is not always automatic, because it takes time and effort for an investment to begin to get profitable.
"The history books are full of stories of gifted persons whose talents were overlooked by a procession of people until someone believed in them. To name a few ...