Scriptures: Matthew 25:14-30, John 15:9-15
This reading plan isn’t about devaluing great acts of faith, but about enlarging the circle of great faith to include the “ordinary” acts of all humans on the spectrum, not just the upfront people. God isn’t asking you to be famous; God’s asking you to be faithful…before any great acts, after any great acts, or without any great acts.
In Matthew 25, when Jesus returns to see what we’ve been up to, He doesn’t seem too concerned with our worldly accomplishments, but rather wants to know what we’ve done with what we’ve been given, even if it’s “just” working in the “fields” or “grinding the grain.” The words we should hope to hear are “Well done, my good and faithful servant” not “Well done, my good and successful servant.”
The displeasure of the Master with the one servant in the parable isn’t about the lack of dividends but for the reasons behind the lack of dividends. If we retold the parable today, I think an accurate paraphrase of the One Talent Fellow’s excuse would sound something like this:
“It wasn’t much compared to everyone else, so I did nothing with it.”
We don’t know what the reward would’ve been for the One Talent Fellow, but if the previous rewards give us a clue, it sounds like he would’ve been given many things and the opportunity to share in the Master’s happiness. The man was cast out because he wasn’t faithful to the Master’s business.
In the Gospels, we learn all about the Master’s business.
It’s to bear fruit as we abide in Jesus by loving like Jesus loved.
How can you love the others in your sphere with the unique gifts God has blessed you with? Can you be faithful in that?
Faithfulness doesn’t mean you’re never tired or you haven’t made some mistakes.
It means you’re seeking to be faithful to what you know to be true of the Master’s heart. When you mess up, don’t bury the mistake like the One Talent Fellow. You know the Master wants you to own up to it, so confess, and receive grace.
And sometimes faithfulness doesn’t mean pressing on, but it means saying no, taking a rest, or asking for help. Faithfulness is a marathon not a sprint. It’s a race, but it’s not a competition.
Tomorrow we’ll wrap up our thoughts with one final concept that places faithfulness in the character of God and the context of the everyday.
written by Matt Orth | www.lesswithoutyou.com