Gifted for a Purpose

The Bible teaches that each of us is a creation of God. Even though each of us comes to be as a result of a biological process, every one of us is uniquely and divinely endowed. Each of us has been given gifts, talents and abilities. And that which God has entrusted to us is intended to be used to bring glory and attention to Him, not to ourselves.

As humans who are sinful, flawed and intrinsically selfish, we often get this wrong. We mistakenly appropriate as our own that which has been entrusted to us by God. We use our gifts and talents for our own pleasure and personal gain and we behave as though these capabilities are somehow of our own invention.

On the other hand, we sometimes err in the other direction. Just as it is a mistake to take credit for that which has been given to us by God, it is also wrong to undervalue the gifts and talents which come from God. We all have been gifted by God for a purpose and to ignore or downplay what God has entrusted to us is to fall short of being the true follower of Jesus God created us to be.

Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus spent time telling His disciples stories to prepare them for the time when He would no longer be personally walking alongside them. One such lesson is called the parable of the talents and it exemplifies what I just described in the form of a story about a master and his servants.

We find the parable (a parable is a story designed to illustrate a truth) in Matthew, chapter 25.

Matthew 25:14-30
14 “Again, it (the Kingdom of Heaven) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.
15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more.
17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.
18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His 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!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His 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!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘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.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.
29 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.
30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Now, clearly, this parable speaks more about squandering what God has entrusted to us than it does about taking credit for what God has given us but both are pitfalls we should take care to avoid. For now let’s focus on the objective of this parable since it’s probably more common in Christ’s Kingdom than the other.

Let’s begin by restating what I said earlier: Each of us is endowed by God with gifts and talents. None of us is exempt. It’s crucial to understand this because we will, otherwise, minimize and discredit that which God has entrusted to us for the purpose of bringing glory to Him. In other words, if you and I don’t recognize, develop and utilize our gifts and talents – even if our motive for doing so is rooted in humility – we will then fail to bring glory and honor to God which He deserves. We will fall short of the purpose for which God created us.

So, you ask, the only reason I exist is to glorify God? The simple answer is, Yes. We are His creation and all that we are and do is intended to bring attention to that very fact. Of course, we do this in many different ways; through our personal conduct, our relationships, our jobs, our passions, our generosity, etc., but the mark of a life well lived is the testimony that we were good stewards of what God entrusted to us.

Yes, some are given more to steward than others. That is up to God. But every one of us is gifted according to our unique capacities. It seems that the amount we’re entrusted with isn’t the point but how we steward what we’ve been given.

Notice, too, that there is a benefit and blessing to good stewardship. Being a good steward over a few things earns us the opportunity to become stewards over more. Our gifts and talents do not change but they have the potential to be more significantly employed because of our faithfulness and obedience.

The bottom line, then, is this: You have something to offer God’s Kingdom. You are not insignificant, useless or unimportant. God has uniquely equipped you for His purpose. Therefore, it is wise to discover how God has equipped you and to offer it back to Him in full measure. In the process you will bring Him glory and your example may be what causes someone else to take notice that your live your life for a higher purpose. That purpose is the reason for which you were created; to bring honor and glory to God.

 

Comments

  1. Robin welch Patterson says:

    David and Kathy thankyou for sharing and putting your sermon on my Facebook so I can open it up read it as you know I don’t go to Church so this great for me and to share with my family.. I love you both so much

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