“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone, it is the same God at work.”1 Corinthians 12:4-6
The Bible teaches that born-again believers have one or more spiritual gifts, which the Holy Spirit gives them to do God’s work here on earth. However, in the church today, only a tenth of the people employ their gifts in the Lord’s service.
Sure, people show up every Sunday to praise and worship the Lord but ask someone to lead a Bible study, visit someone who is ill, or go on visitation to share the gospel, and it’s always the same handful of people who answer the call and step up willing to serve.
In Matthew’s gospel, chapter 25, Jesus shares a parable about a master who entrusted his servants with his wealth before going on a journey. Scripture records, “To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.”
The one who received five bags put his money to work right away and gained five more bags of gold. The one who received two bags also invested wisely and earned two more bags; however, the one man
received only one bag chose to bury his gold in the sand.
When the master returned home, the first two servants approached him to show him that they had doubled what he had entrusted them. The master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
However, when the third servant approached his master and said, “Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”
His master was not pleased with the one he had entrusted with so much, saying, “You wicked, lazy servant!” The master told the servant that he should have at least put his master’s money in the bank to draw interest. Then the master ordered that the servant’s one bag of gold be taken away from him and given to the one with ten gold bags.
Now, you might be thinking that the servant with ten bags of gold had enough already. However, here is what the master said, “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have, will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus’s parable prompts a poignant question: What has God entrusted to you? Have you been given the word of wisdom, knowledge, or faith by the Holy Spirit? Perhaps you have the gift of prayer, teaching, or preaching. Then again, maybe you have the gift of compassion, counseling, or grit, meaning you would go in that dangerous neighborhood or in that part of the world to minister to others.
What will you have to show the Lord on that day when He calls you home? Will you have invested your spiritual gifts wisely in this life, or have you merely buried them in the sand? If buried, let me encourage you to pray, asking God to lead you by way of the Holy Spirit to employ those gifts to minister to others, to make a kingdom difference in the world, to make a difference in someone’s life this day.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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