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Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30.

What we have is not ours. In v14 we hear about a man who was getting ready for a journey – “He called together his servants and entrusted His property to them.” It was common for wealthy men to take long journeys, and beforehand they would often delegate the control and multiplication of their wealth to trustworthy employees.

Employees were expected to bring a return on what had been handed. Given the uncertainties of transportation in those days, the time of return for even a well-planned trip was often open-ended. There was no doubt in the minds of these servants that the property and money still belonged to the master. They were the possessors, but not the owners. Their job was to manage what they were given.

Likewise, we must remember that everything we have has been given to us and is not really ours anyway. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Haggai 2:8 adds, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the LORD Almighty.” He has the rights, and I have the responsibility. He is the Master and I am the manager. I am the servant; He is the sovereign.

You and I don’t really own anything. Everything belongs to the Lord. Until we recognise this truth, we will not be good managers of what has been entrusted to us. Our days are in His hands. Our gifts and abilities are on loan from Him. Our money is an “advance” from the Almighty. Our houses, cars, clothes, and every possession we have doesn’t belong to us. We really don’t own anything. We are stewards of what is God’s, that’s a great honour, but also a great responsibility to care for our master’s property.

2. We’re given what we can handle. In v15 we see that the master gave some talents to three of his servants: “To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.”

A talent was also used to indicate a very large sum of money. Its value varied depending on whether it was copper, silver, or gold. While commentators differ on the exact amount, most agree that it would take an ordinary labourer almost twenty years to earn just one talent.

I want you to notice that each servant received talents “according to his ability.” Your responsibility is tied to your ability. This is very interesting. God’s kingdom purposes do not operate according to what is “fair” but according to what is best.

Each of us has been assigned a task. It’s our job to be faithful to what He has given us to do. You have what you have because God gave it to you. And He expects you to manage His gifts within the boundaries of ability that He has wired into you.

1 Corinthians 12, shows us there are different kinds of gifts, service, and workings, and the Holy Spirit distributes these responsibilities “to each one, just as He determines.” God entrusts different stuff to different people according to His sovereign purposes. In other words, He knows what we can handle. Our job is to be faithful with whatever amount we have to work with. Do we trust that God knows more about us than we even know about ourselves?

3. We’ve been given so we can invest!

v16 tells us that the man who received five talents went “at once and put his money to work and gained five more.” He didn’t waste any time but immediately went to work on his investment strategy and doubled his master’s portfolio. The guy who got two talents did the same thing; he worked hard because he also doubled his master’s money, ending up with four talents.

v18 describes the different approach of the third servant: “But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”

The first two guys went to work and multiplied their investment. The one-talent guy was a slacker who went off and buried his blessing, therefore missing out on his reward and depriving others of the blessing he could have shared.

Our potential is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to Him.

Zig Ziglar has said, “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.” Are you investing what you’ve been given, regardless of how much it is? Or, have you buried your blessing and kept it hidden from others?

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