Investing God’s Gifts


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH RC SPROUL

Investing God’s Gifts
=====================
Matthew 25:14–30 “You ought to have invested
my money with the bankers, and at
my coming I should have received what was
my own with interest” (v. 27).

Five of the virgins in Matthew 25:1–13 are
fools because they believe that the
way to eternal life is easier than it
really is and do not prepare themselves
for the master’s return. Yet as
verses 14–30 indicate, the one who thinks the
Lord’s way is harsher than it
truly is will also be revealed as a fool on the
last day.

Today’s
passage shows what it means to expect the second coming of Christ and
ready ourselves for it. Jesus exhorts us to stay awake and be prepared for His
return in 24:36–25:13, but those verses give few specific,
practical
directives for how to wait and equip ourselves properly. The
parable of the
talents makes it plain that the waiting and preparation Jesus
expects is
ethical and active. We must work, putting our gifts to use for His
glory,
which means nothing less than the love of God and neighbor (Micah 6:8;
Matt.
22:34–40). Our Father has gifted us abundantly for our own salvation
and for
our neighbor’s good (John Chrysostom, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers,
first
series, vol. 10, p. 472).

A faithful servant in the ancient Near
East often became a steward over his
master’s household (for example, Joseph;
Gen. 39:1–6a) and could be entrusted
with enormous resources. This is the
background for the parable of the
talents; even the servant who is given one
talent is entrusted with much as
one talent is equivalent to twenty years of
pay for a first-century day
laborer (Matt. 25:15). Similarly, our Creator has
blessed everyone in Christ
with spiritual blessings above and beyond our
undeserved salvation. Even those
who have comparatively fewer gifts are rich
in Him and must put their time and
talents to work. God sovereignly
determines our gifts and graces (v. 15), and,
whether we have many or few, He
mandates their profitable use. Even those with
only one gift have no excuse
if they do not use it to bear fruit for the
kingdom (vv. 24–30).

An
inappropriate fear of his master makes the one-talent servant do
nothing;
similarly, thinking of our Master as a tyrant who demands the
impossible will
make us fruitless as well. God has not given His people an
unattainable goal;
the Spirit enables us to please Him (Heb. 13:16). Matthew
Henry comments,
“Those who think it…vain to serve [the Lord], will do nothing
practical in
religion.”

Coram deo: Living before the face of
God
========================================
John Calvin says, “There will
be no excuse of the indolence of those who both
conceal the gifts of God, and
waste their time in idleness.” Far too many
professing Christians are content
to sit around and not use their time,
talent, and money for the kingdom. Are
you one of these? Can the leaders in
the church count on your service in one
or more of its various ministries? If
not, begin working today lest you meet
the same fate as the unprofitable
servant.

For further
study:

Proverbs 14:23

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s