By Pastor Ruth Denboer
I’m writing on the story of the talents told by Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30. I have lived my life, and certainly my ministry years based on the love and fearful reverence for this passage of scripture. I am looking forward to the day when I stand before Jesus and hear Him say these words to me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Let’s celebrate together.” There is nothing more that matters to me in my life than to hear those words at the end of it all. I am aware that the choices and decisions I make every day affect that outcome.
It’s clear that Christ speaks in this parable about money, but He is really talking about something far more important. He is talking about the elements of spiritual character. Money is only the vehicle He is using to teach a far greater lesson. At the end of the day Christ is more interested in what we do with our spiritual “blessings” than anything else. God has blessed me with a life to serve Him with. He has given me the scriptures to know truth, and He has equipped me His power through His Holy Spirit to live out these truths.
I’d like to share part of an article written by Jon Bloom, which so well explains this portion of scripture. Jon Bloom is a worship Pastor and an author. I love the way he brings this passage of scripture to light.
“The Importance of What We Make
What we make remains of immense importance because it actually reveals, in some measure, what we are. This is true of God (Romans 1:20) and true of us (Matthew 12:33). What we produce and our motives for producing it reveal what we believe and value.
That’s the message of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30): Faithful investment of what we’re given produces fruitfulness. It’s the message of the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31–46): What we do evidences what we are. Works evidence faith.
So the question for all of us makers becomes, what should we make of and with our lives? For each of us, the answer is different. But all of us must look to the Great Maker’s life (John 1:3; 14:6) to get our answers. For what he made with his life has great bearing on what we should make with ours. Our ultimate goals should be the same as his.
What did God the Son pour himself into making when he became flesh and dwelt among us? What did Jesus build to last? Only two things: his word (teaching) and his church (transformed, born-again people). That’s all Jesus left in the world when he left the world. He determined no other artifacts were worth preserving.
But these two artifacts have impacted the world more than anything else in history. In fact, these two things are what world history is all about. For two millennia, Jesus’s word has sped (2 Thessalonians 3:1) and his church has spread throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). And when every human civilization and artifact, and the world as we now know it, has finally perished, these two things will remain. Jesus’s word is forever (Matthew 24:35) and his church is forever (Revelation 22:4–5).
What Jesus made is not more important than what he is. What he has made reveals what he is. Which makes what he has made of incalculable importance.
What implication does Jesus’s making have on our making? Essentially it means that we should make Jesus’s priorities our priorities. If Jesus devoted his earthly life to making his word known and his church grow, then the aim of our making should be knowing and spreading his word (Matthew 28:19) and serving the growth and health of his church (Ephesians 4:13).
Does this mean that all of us should be employed full-time by a Christian ministry? By no means! Rather, it means that all of us should see all of life as a form of full-time Christian ministry, no matter what our profession is. For the Christian, there is no abiding sacred-secular distinction. All things are God’s (Romans 11:36), and we do all things for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
God does set a few aside to devote themselves to the ministry of the word, the care of the church, and the equipping of the saints (Acts 6:4; 1 Peter 5:1–3; Ephesians 4:12). But the vast majority of us are sent by God into all spheres of life to spread his word and gather and serve his church. He gives us many different talents to invest; he gives us varied gifts to use (1 Peter 4:10). And they all are made holy by the word and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4–5).
But nothing that we make on earth is sure to last, except for its effect on advancing Jesus’s word and his church. In this sense, it’s true that “only what’s done for Christ will last.”
So what are you pouring your life into making? When it’s over, what will you leave behind that will really last? When you report to your master how you invested the talents he gave you, what will you show as a return?
What you are is of eternal importance. And what you make reveals what you are. So make the priorities of all that you make to serve the priorities of your Maker. Make your making eternally durable (1 Corinthians 3:12–13) by making it serve the advancement of the word and the church.”
This is certainly my prayer, and I pray that it is your prayer as well. Wherever God has you serving Him, and whatever God has you doing, I pray you do it all for the glory of God. Resolve today to use your life as God intended. May we choose to focus on the spiritual qualities of a life that can be successful in both this life and for all of eternity!