Matthew 25 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them. To one, he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one – to each according to his own ability.” Matthew 25:14-15
In most circles, the words “gifted” and “talented” are synonymous. While gifts and talents are both attributed to grace, I think of each as having its own unique purpose.
“GIFTS”, or “spiritual gifts”, are ABILITIES the L_rd bestows to all people. (See the lists in: Rom 12, Eph 4, 1Cor 13-15 and elsewhere) Each person is created to glorify G_d uniquely. G_d desires everyone use their gifts for His glory. Sadly, most people don’t attribute their gifts to G_d. They simply think of themselves as extraordinary, and seek to use their gifts to glorify themselves.
Gifts come in combinations. Like the contents of a piñata, everyone’s gift set is varied and unique. Still, one gift usually dominates the others.
I consider a “TALENT” as an OPPORTUNITY in which to invest your gift in G_d’s kingdom. When the L_rd gives a talent, He always matches the opportunity with your ability: Gift & Talent. Perhaps, you have heard the phrase, “Where G_d guides, He provides.” I would add, “When G_d provides a spiritual gift, He always guides us to a place to invest that gift."
Those who follow His leading and invest their gifts, see an INCREASE. The increase is directly proportional to the talent/gift combination. Increase is measured in 1) Kingdom impact, and 2) your personal growth. Your faith broadens, as others are discipled by you seizing the opportunity to invest your gift(s) in their lives. As your faith grows, the L_rd gives you greater opportunity. It all spirals upward.
“To whom much has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:48b
Let’s say you ignore G_d’s “talent”. Maybe, you’re scared or unsure. The kingdom doesn’t grow, and nor do you. “Burying” your talent negatively impacts your faith. You never give the L_rd a chance to build your faith by showing His increase. Instead of stretching, you shrink. The L_rd may send someone else to accomplish what you refused to begin…and they (along with the person/people invested-in) will reap the increase.
Everyone is gifted. Every believer has the privilege & opportunity to labor in the Kingdom. Let’s be sensitive to how G_D leads us today, and let’s invest the gifts He has given us in the opportunities He presents, thus reaping the rewards of the faithful!
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, May 14, 2013