As I mentioned previously, our men’s retreat last month inspired Eric to write some devotionals. The following is the first devotional he wrote after getting back. I think he did a pretty good job, especially for a 12-year-old!
Eric. J. Jordan
Are you using the resources God has given you to bring others to him? The parable of the talents warns us to use our God-given gifts to draw people to him. In the parable of the talents, a master goes away and gives his servants money, each according to his own aptitude. The first servant, who is given five talents, and the second servant, who is given two talents, invest all the money given to them and double the amount, while the other servant decides to protect his one talent and buries it in the ground. Upon the master’s return, the first two are entrusted with more money, and the third servant gets the money entrusted to him taken away. He is thrown outside, where it is harsh and, as Jesus said, “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” What did the first two servants do to please their master? And how did the last servant displease his master so? How can we, as Christians, live our lives like the first two servants?
Let’s take a look at the first two servants, and how they pleased their master. First they knew their master well. They also respected their master. And, most importantly, they obeyed their master’s will, even in his absence, by wisely investing the money in stock. By the time their master returned, they had doubled their share, which greatly pleased him. These two servants brought joy to their master.
Now let’s examine the third servant. First off, the third servant was given less, implying that he was less able to manage more. In the story, it is unknown why he was unable to oversee more; however, it could be that he was given money in the past and failed to invest it wisely. Maybe this was the first time he was entrusted with money, and the master was testing him. Perhaps he did not do well in the seemingly picayune things; or maybe he did some other thing that made him untrustworthy. Like the first two servants, this servant also knew his master well, and he understood his master’s high expectations, but he let his fear of the consequences of failing override his obedience of the master. To avoid the consequences of dissatisfying the master, the third servant protected the one talent and, being the lazy person he was, he buried it. It seems wrong for the master to treat the servant like he did, doesn’t it? After all, the servant protected his money. Maybe, but the purpose of this story is to explain God’s expectations for his people. God is disappointed in us when we don’t invest in his kingdom.
What can we do to please God and apply the lessons in this parable? We can get to know our neighbors and show them love, or we can go on mission trips. The purpose of mission trips is to share the gospel with people who sometimes haven’t even heard Jesus’ name! We can even quote scripture when playing with our friends. We can also please God by being nice to those who are vindictive to us. The Bible even says “If your enemy is hungry feed him, if your enemy is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing so, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20) We should seek to please God by applying the lessons in this parable.
We should try to be like the first two servants and take risks for our master, Jesus Christ. The first two servants are praised for their virtue and obedience. The third servant’s lazy actions are excoriated by the master because that servant was entrenched in his habit of taking the easy way out. We should be exorbitant in our sharing of the gospel. It is important that people know the gospel well to protect themselves against the Devil. This is why we should share the Word with people every day. The parable of the talents teaches us to invest our resources in building God’s kingdom.