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The Work You Do Matters

Often, we hear at funerals, that God would say of the person who passed away, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” Have you ever wondered where that comes from? It comes from the Parable of the Talents.

In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus shares parables of the last days with his disciples, teaching us how to prepare for his return. One of these parables is the Parable of the Talents, a story about a man traveling far away to another country, entrusting his wealth to his servants while he is away. Before he leaves on his journey, he gives each of his three servants a number of talents according to their ability. He gives five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second servant, and one talent to the third servant.

After the man returns, he is delighted to find that the first and second servants doubled their investment, while the third servant was unprofitable because he buried his talent in the ground out of fear. The man is no doubt disappointed in the third servant, calling him wicked and slothful and telling him that he should have invested the money. He takes the third servant’s one talent and gives it to the servant who has ten talents. You might be wondering, what is a talent? According to BibleGateway, a talent was a circular shape and about 3,000 shekels, in other words, a large sum of money. My interpretation of a talent in this parable is everything that God has placed under our control, including ourselves, families, possessions, spiritual gifts and abilities - it’s all encompassing. How then, do we live our lives as we wait for Jesus to return?

Let’s review three lessons the Parable of the Talents teaches us about how to live our lives: Be Ready. Are you eagerly awaiting God’s next direction for your life? In a recent Bible study ,the speaker talked about how we should wait in eager anticipation of what God has in store for us. God knows the plans he has for you, simply open your heart and let him lead you. Picture yourself being on the edge of your seat all of the time, waiting for the next step God has for you while you joyfully complete the step He has you on now. The first two servants were ready, they had most likely had a track record of performing well for their master and when he gave them a bigger responsibility, they jumped off the blocks into the race!

Give it Your All. Not only were the first two servants ready to work, they did their best. The Bible says that whatever we do, we are to do it with our whole heart as if we were working for God and not for man. Maybe you don’t like your job, your boss, or are frustrated with being a stay at home parent - we’ve all been there. On difficult days, (and let’s be honest, sometimes it’s seasons) it is important to remember to give your best as if you’re working for God. A wonderful example in the Bible of someone giving their all is told through the story of the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-44: “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” The work you do matters to God, especially when you do it with all of your heart, mind and soul. Be a Good Steward. As a believer, someday we can expect to be held accountable for our actions (Romans 14:10). Having good stewardship means that you take what God has given to you and invest it in the Kingdom of God. The servants were given enough by their master to produce more, yet two of them were productive and one was not. God won’t give you more than you can handle and he will not give you more until He sees that you have wisely invested what He has already entrusted to you. How are you managing your resources on God’s behalf? If we get back to basics, the easiest and most obvious way to be a good steward is tithing so that His work can be multiplied through the local church. Besides tithing, you can steward your time and relationships by taking advantage of opportunities to spend time with Jesus, share the good news and be generous to others. The Lord sees what we give to him and what we keep for ourselves. Second Corinthians tells us, whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap generously. Be a cheerful giver!

What lessons resonate with you? Keep growing! - Danielle

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