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The Marks of a Christian - Faithfulness

Matthew 25:14-30 - 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘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.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  • What is faithfulness? What does it look like? How do we start? Well, Jesus answers all of those questions for us in a parable called the parable of the talents. He starts by saying that the kingdom of God is like a man who goes on a journey and gives his property to three of his servants. The amount of property, or talents, given to each servant is different, but the responsibility is the same. They are to take care of their master’s property, or money, until he comes back from this long journey. Each servant is responsible for what they do with what they have been given.

  • So, the master goes away and we are told that immediately the servant with five talents goes and trades with them until he has doubled his talents. The two-talent servant also makes similar investments and trades and doubles his as well. However, the third servant who received one talent just went and dug a hole in the ground to make sure the money he was given would remain intact and risk-free. Now, the master comes back and wants to see what his servants have done with his property. Each servant reveals what he had done, with the first two getting the approval from their master. But the third servant faces strong words and a sad ending. He did not use what the master had given him but wasted his time and his talent. Therefore, the master takes it from him and he is cast away from his master.

  • So, what does this have to do with faithfulness? Well, faithfulness deals with how we use what God has given us for his kingdom. Specifically, it deals with how well we use these gifts from God and who we use them for. Faithfulness looks like the two servants who invest the money their master gave them. They understood that they had been given something that was designed to do more with than simply hold on to and keep safe. They used what was given to them to multiply and grow. This is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus, as true Christians. We have all been uniquely gifted by God with talents and gifts that are to be used for his kingdom. But if we don’t use them for God, we waste what God has given us and face condemnation from him like the third servant in the parable. We all can serve God with the gifts he has given us, but the important thing is that we start right now. Don’t waste time waiting until you are older, richer, more influential, or more settled down. There are many opportunities at your church and in your community to serve right now with the gifts and talents that God has given to you. Some of you are already doing this, and that is awesome! But ask yourself this, how much time am I really giving to God? And, if Jesus were to return right now, how would I feel about how I have used the gifts he has given me? Would I be embarrassed, excited, ready, etc.?

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