Here it is guys, part ii, I’m sorry it’s a little delayed. It’s been crazy busy trying to wrap up the end of the semester with the college students and planning outreaches and whatnot, so I appreciate everyone being patient. But the wait is over and it’s finally published! If you haven’t read “part i” you can go check it out here. It’s a great word, not that I’m biased or anything, and it’ll only take you five minutes to read so go check it out before you read this post if you haven’t already.
I finished up my last post talking about Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents and how the one servant’s misunderstanding of the master lead him to misuse his gift. He misunderstood the master to be a harsh man so he buried his gift and didn’t develop it or grow it into more. The master’s reply in vv. 26-30 is this, “You wicked and slothful servant…You ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what is my own with interest.” Then he took the gift that he had originally given him and gave it to the other servants.
Now, this sounds like a harsh response. I mean, “wicked and slothful servant” is enough to send anyone packing with their tail tucked between their legs. Despite being harsh, it gives us a hint of insight into what God expects us to do with the gifts that He’s given us.
God expects us to turn our gifts into more, but he doesn’t want the motive to simply be advancement.
The master’s response in vv. 21 and 23 to the servants who had been faithful with their gifts was, “Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
The reward for stewarding their gifts well was what? Joy.
There’s one thing that we have to understand and that is that joy is the currency of Heaven. Joy is what enables us to do amazing things as followers of Christ. Hebrews 12:2 says that for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross. We have to get this through our heads if we’re ever going to understand what it means to be sons and daughters and how to use our gifts in that light. Jesus had a vision of joy that sprung from his love for people and that vision enabled him to endure the worst torture ever; it motivated him to die because he had a vision of the joy that would exist in the relationship that people would have with the Father through his death. Jesus was able to do what he did because he had a vision of joy and that joy looked a lot like a relationship.
Come on! If that doesn’t wreck you, then I don’t know what you’re looking for!
So we see with the parable of the talents that God expects us to turn our gifts into something more. But we also see that He wants us to develop our gifts because of the joy that exists in the relationship with Him that results from growing and learning our gifts.
Another biblical example is Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1. He had a face to face conversation with God and God asked Solomon what he wanted. He didn’t ask for wealth, he didn’t ask for long life or good health or power or authority; he asked for wisdom. Solomon knew and acknowledged that he wasn’t cut out for the job of ruling over all of God’s chosen people (vv.10). So Solomon humbled himself and asked for wisdom. Solomon knew that leading the people with wisdom required being close to God. So by the transitive property of math, we can deduce that ultimately, the one thing that Solomon asked for, when given the option of literally anything, was to be close to God.
That’s most of what I have for this post guys. I want to do something a bit out of mold for me in these last few sentence. I’m going to lay out a list that illustrates how sons and daughters (I’m going to say sons, nobody get offended, I’m including women too), use their gifts when they know who they are in relation to the father. Then I’m going to illustrate how orphans use their gifts. It’s convicting. The first time I heard this it definitely made my head spin a little bit. But it’s incredibly comforting as well. Use it as a road map, a toolbox to check your attitude. You’ll notice yourself growing in intimacy with the father as you do. Here it goes
–Orphans use their gifts to try and get ahead and climb the ladder while sons use their gifts to climb into their father’s lap and discover him.
–Orphans gifts will cause a sense of entitlement that strips them of character. Sons will steward their gifts with gratitude and seek to serve those around them with what they’ve been given.
How many of you know that we’re living in a generation of entitled orphans. I’m winking at you millennials, don’t get offended because I was born in ’93. I’m the same generation as you.
-Orphans will look for security and identity in a gift but are left empty and broken while sons look for security in the giver of the gifts and then walk with confidence in those gifts.
–Orphans gifts are bound by fear while sons gifts are fueled by love that breaks off fear of failure.
–Orphans gifts are bound by a prison of perfectionism. They have to get it right to get God’s approval because they are defined by what they do, not by what God did. Sons are defined by what the Father has done for them and they soar with their gifts in the wide open spaces of the Father’s excellence.
Perfectionism is driven by fear (it’s a prison). Excellence is driven by joy and love (it’s a blank canvas. A wide open space).
–Orphans gifts cause jealousy and competition towards the success of others. Sons walk in humility and unity with their gifts and they value others and are able to rejoice in their blessings and successes.
Ouch. I know these sting a little. bear with me for one more.
–Orphans use their gifts to fight for what they can get while sons walk out their inheritance with their gifts and watch them flourish beyond what they could have done in their own strength.
We were called to a miraculous life guys, but we have to understand the heart and the relationship it holds to the gifts that God has blessed us with. because the heart connects our relationship to the father to the gifts that He’s blessed us with.