For athletes, the off season is the time to stay in shape for the playing season. To be successful, they must be conditioned for the stress and strain of competition. It’s essential. Jesus taught us in the gospels that it’s the same for us.
Somewhat surprisingly, when Jesus told a parable about using your talent, He first talked about being a grateful recipient. The master “delivered his goods to them.” (Matthew 25:14 NKJV). The first two servants were given five and two talents, respectively. That’s about $1.25 million per talent in today’s value! Large sums of money, no doubt. More importantly, these first two servants were eager to go to work and both doubled the value of their talents. The church was not created to keep us busy, it was to make us productive. In God’s economy, being productive means freely using your talents to honor God and love people.
Have you hidden your talents or gone into the marketplace with them? The master gave “to each according to his own ability;” (Matthew 25:15 NKJV) The more capacity we have, the more we are going to receive. Like an athlete who stays in shape by training, we grow in our ability by using our talents.
Like the gifted athlete who never reaches his potential, the third servant who received one talent just hid it and let it sit. Instead of using his talent for the benefit of his master and others, he did nothing. He was in no shape for success. If he had only done something with what he had received, his master would’ve praised him and given him more.
God is thrilled to “deliver his goods” to us. All He asks is that we put our gifts and talents to work for His kingdom and purposes. Use what He has blessed you with to bless others. When you don’t hide your talents, but freely share them, you’ll be ready for every big game that life brings you. And God will give you more as you use what you already have received!
Everybody wins when we stop hiding and start living!
Dr. Derek Grier
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