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Summary: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matt. 25:23

Theme: Duty consciousness

Text: Zeph. 1:7, 12-18; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; Matt. 25:14-30

Today’s Scripture reading from the gospel of Matthew belongs to what is referred to as the Olivet discourse as it was delivered as Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. Addressed to His disciples it was intended to give them a prophetic overview of events that would take place in the near and distant future. It includes a generally chronological description of events preceding Christ’s return, lessons on watching, waiting and being prepared for Christ’s return and a warning of judgement and a promise of reward at Christ’s return. In today’s gospel reading Jesus Christ teaches about responsibility and about making the most out of the opportunities that God offers us. This parable is about a master who, before going on a journey, entrusted his possessions to three servants. The first servant was given 5 talents, the second 2 talents, and the third 1 talent. The servant with 5 talents invested and worked with his master’s money and doubled the amount. The servant who had been given two talents did the same by also doubling his master’s money. The third servant who had only one talent didn’t use it or invest it. Because he failed to use what his master had given him, his one talent was taken from him and given to the man who had ten talents. This parable is clearly teaching that God does not want to receive back merely what He has given to us. He wants us to use and multiply what He has given us. This has nothing to do with whether we have much or little but has everything to do with how we use what we have. It has everything to do with duty consciousness as we wait for Christ’s return.

God created man to serve Him faithfully. The Scriptures affirm this truth with the words “The just shall live by faith”. In spite of the uniqueness of every individual we have something that is common to all men. We are all created with a divine purpose that is with the ability to relate to God through our worship and our life of faith. We can all make a difference in one way or the other but we need to realise that what we have does not really belong to us. It belongs to God. We are really only stewards of what God has given us to manage. To say that God really owns our time, talent, and treasure is to say that He has the right to whatever He wants whenever He wants it. As the owner, He has all the rights. What we have are the responsibilities. Each person will be held accountable for what he or she does with what God has entrusted into their care. The Scriptures assure us that Christ will return and there will be a day of reckoning. We need to be always ready as we do not know the time but are certain that day is coming.

There are no two people in the world with the same features that are found in different organs of the body such as eyes, fingerprints or DNA. Today there is the move to use biometric data to identify individuals and very soon every human being will be registered in a centralised computerised data bank. The world is already compelling everyone to use biometric data and very soon we will see its use fulfilling biblical prophecy when the data becomes implanted in human beings as is already being done in animals. God made each one of us unique for a purpose and there is something that only you can do. You may not be able to teach but you may be able to pray. You may not be able to sing but you may be able to help with taking care of the Church buildings. We cannot do everything well, but we can each do something well. God has entrusted every individual with a gift. Unfortunately many people go through life without even discovering their gift. We have all heard of Ephraim Amu. He went to seminary to train as a minister but certain events in his life led him to discover His gift to compose music. Today Ephraim Amu is remembered for his legacy of world acclaimed compositions. Ephraim Amu discovered his gift and took responsibility to develop and use that gift for the benefit of mankind. God has entrusted each of us with various resources. We have all received what we can conveniently handle and to fail in our assignment can be only due to laziness or due to hatred toward the Master.

God is faithful and expects faithfulness. We have a choice, whether or not to submit to the Lordship of Christ. When we submit to God He expects faithfulness from us. He expects faithfulness in our management of the resources He entrusts to us. When God entrusts His resources into our care He expects an increase. No firm in the world would employ you if you were not capable of improving the fortunes of the company. You would actually lose your job if you failed to make profit for the company. If man demands this from you why should we expect otherwise from God. God expects obedience to His Word. He expects a life that impacts others as we wait for His promised return. His return is certain otherwise how else can we be held accountable for how we used His resources? Every prophecy about Christ will be fulfilled just as it was prophesied.

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