Summary: What are those things that the Owner of all things has entrusted to you, and how are you going to respond to that trust?

Matthew 25:14-30

“Will We Run With the Ball in 2008?”

The front page of a Texas newspaper a few years ago carried the picture of a young and beautiful African American mother born without arms and legs!

The State Department of Public Welfare had charged in court that she was incapable of taking care of her five-month-old daughter.

During the court hearing the mother surprised everyone by proving she was competent to take care of her baby.

There…before their eyes…she undressed and then dressed the baby again by using only her lips and tongue!

The judge was so impressed that he not only awarded custody of the baby to her, but said, “I have to commend you very much for your courage, spirit, and ingenuity….You have proven that physical endowments are only a part of the spectrum of resources that human beings possess.”

The young mother was a good steward of her wounds.

She did not dwell on what she did not have.

Rather, she chose to use to the utmost what God had given her!!!

Have we chosen to use to the utmost what God has given us?

I’m sure that many of us have heard people excuse themselves from becoming involved in the Kingdom Work of the church by appealing to what they do not have…

… “I’m too old.”…

… “I’m too young.” …

… “I’m not educated.”…

… “I’m don’t have time.” …

… “I’m not good enough.”…

… “I could never do that.”

Remember 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 Christians the challenge to us is: “Be all that God created you to be!”

Are you being all that God created you to be?

If not, thanks be to God, we all have a brand new year in which we can move more and more into being just that!

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 this 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 to 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 very parable.

Rather than money, however, it has come to mean abilities and special gifts.

We must be careful, though, not to interpret the parable of the talents simply on the meaning of the word “talent” as it has evolved over the years.

Rather, the question 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, 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 through 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 this in mind…

…because people’s souls are at stake!

But just think of how exciting this makes the Christian life!!!

Yet how often do we forfeit this excitement, this joy, this fulfillment in life by living like the one-talent man?

When we live like this, 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.

We don’t invest ourselves into the work of the Kingdom of God.

We don’t live into our calling.

The one-talent Christian fails to see how much she or he is really needed…and the result is deadly.

In actuality, no Christian is one-talented.

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