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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day 56: Matthew 25:1-30 & Psalm 57 - What Are You Doing With What Jesus Gave You?

Today's Reading: Matthew 25:1-20 & Psalm 57

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What Are You Doing With What Jesus Gave You?

"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
"For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away." - Matthew 25:13-15, ESV
Sometimes you'll see the stories in the news of the investors - brokers or hedge fund managers - who lost all of their clients' money in some scheme. Sometimes they get fired, sometimes they end up in jail and sometimes they choose to end their lives in shame. In today's passage, Jesus tells a story about three servants who were entrusted with their master's money, to invest wisely while he is away on a journey.
Each talent mentioned in this parable was a large sum of money, weighing as much as 75 pounds. If these were gold talents, then they were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each. If they were silver talents, they may have still been worth $10,000 or more each. For us, these talents represent the resources and opportunities Jesus has given us to advance His kingdom.
What have you been given by Jesus? Do you feel like the man who was given five talents, greatly blessed by God with education, opportunity and financial resources? Or do you feel more like the two-talent servant, blessed with much but not necessarily wealthy? I doubt many people reading this blog would have the right to feel like the one-talent servant, but maybe you do. Maybe you feel like God has hardly given you any resources you can use for His kingdom. 
However much you have been given, you have been entrusted with something: You have your life, your relationships, your time, your educational background, your financial resources, your understanding of spiritual things, your church, etc. If we really think about it, most of us have indeed been greatly blessed.
How much you have is not the question. What you do with what you've been given is the only thing that matters. So, what are you doing with what Jesus gave you? 
Are you praying for the people you know who don't know Jesus? Are you looking for ways to share the Gospel with them? Are you supporting solid Gospel-proclaiming ministries with the financial resources you have, starting with your home church? Are you looking for opportunities to invite people to church? to share Scripture with them? Are you teaching a Sunday School class or leading a Bible study? Are you looking for ways to serve the poor in your community? to support missions around the world?
One day, the Master will return and the accounts will be settled. I know none of us want to be that poor servant who buried his talent in the ground out of fear. 

Prayer Based on Psalm 57:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to You, O God Most High,
    to You, my God, 
for You fulfill all of Your purpose for me.
You will send from heaven and save me;
    You will put to shame 
him who tramples on me.
You know my enemies 

and how tempted I am to believe lies 
and run after my own destruction.
You will send out Your steadfast love 
and Your faithfulness!
My soul is in the midst of lions - the devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking to devour;
    I lie down amid fiery beasts—the world and its destructing ways, my flesh and its deceptive lusts.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
 
   Let your glory be over all the earth!

My heart is steadfast, O God,

    my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
    Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn!

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!

    Let your glory be over all the earth!

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