Friday, March 17, 2023

The Vision (3.17.23): The Stewardship of Your Life


Image: Auguste Rodin, The Thinker (Le Penseur), model, 1880, cast 1901, bronze, National Gallery, Washington, DC.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's setrmon on Matthew 25:14-30.

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto him his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one….” (Matthew 25:14-15a).

“For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” (Matthew 25:29).

The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 is aimed at all of us living in this present evil age, between Christ’s first advent and his second.

The Lord has sovereignly given of his endless store to each of us. And at the end of this age, he will come again and “reckon” with us as to our stewardship (25:19).

One interpreter suggests that if we take the talents to refer to spiritual abilities and gifts that the Lord gives to his people, “the main meaning of the parable is that every person receives from God certain abilities and potential that he is called to realize…. Each person has particular abilities—some have more, some have less, each according to his measure. God gives them initial capital that each must put into circulation” (Alfeyev, Parables, 388).

This same interpreter notes that in the application given in v. 29 one finds two emphases:

“The first stresses that man cannot remain neutral with God. He either moves forward or falls backward. As for the mission that God lays on each individual person, one cannot simply choose to play a waiting game: a person either does what God expects of him or not. Whoever does not fulfill God’s will, fulfills the will of the enemy.”

He adds: “The second part of the saying points to the fact that a man’s spiritual riches grows exponentially if he puts his talents to God’s service and the service of his neighbor. The more income he accrues, the more it grows… a person’s spiritual capital grows when he puts it into circulation” (Alfeyev, Parables, 389-390).

The final question then: What are we doing with the stewardship of our lives? It is well-worn Christian slogan, but no less true: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

There is also a warning here, as in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins: Don’t be a false professor. Don’t propagate a false understanding of God in your mind and heart.

Live for him. Serve him, with the best of the unique abilities that he has given to you, so that in the end you will hear his words of commendation and approval: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (25:21).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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