Blog Post #82: Receiving YOUR Talents

RECEIVING YOUR TALENTS

Matthew 25: 15

We must always examine the Scriptures closely to see how they apply to ME. In Matthew 25:15, The Lord makes clear that the distribution of the talents was “to each in proportion to his own personal ability.” How often do we look at what the other person gets and say to ourselves- or to anyone who will listen- “Humpf! What’s wrong with my ability? I should have gotten the five talents! I’m as good (better!) as s/he is! I feel disrespected because s/he got more than me!” Or, having received two talents, we say, “Well, at least I know I’m better than that person who got only one talent!”

What is wrong with these pictures? It’s like looking in the old Fun House mirror and saying, “My, don’t I look good!” Our focus is mis-placed, our view is distorted, so our self-assessment is inaccurate PRECISELY BECAUSE WE ARE ENGAGING IN “SELF”-PERCEPTION! We disciples are called upon to exercise our gifts “according to the measure of faith” we have been given by our Master, not to try to compare ourselves with anyone else or their results! (Romans 12:3: “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Our focus and concentration should be upon Him who has given the gift(s) and our sole objective should be to please Him and to “find favor in (His) sight.” (Exodus 33:13) If our faith is centered on Him, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does! His focus is on us and what we do with what He has entrusted to us! Observe closely that each servant who got the most out of what s/he had been given received the EXACT SAME REWARD for their efforts: “Enter into and share the joy which your Master enjoys.” To“enter into” the joy of our Master is to become like Him in mindset and perception: peaceful, serene, fulfilled. To“share the joy our Master enjoys is to be fully realized in our “selfs” knowing that we are “fully iterated beings” even as He is, living in and living out our purpose.

Finally, because “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1), there can be NO COMPETITION IN THE KINGDOM! If we give a good faith effort in our striving to position ourselves to glorify God, He “will provide the increase”- “some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times”. Our task is to go “at once and trade with” the talents and gifts, the measure of faith we have received and let God do the rest. Remember that “trading” is a relational activity.

Fasting is, probably, the one form of sacrifice (“I desire obedience and not sacrifice.”) that will always be acceptable in GOD’s eyes as long as our motives in doing so align with His purpose for our being. ALL of Isaiah 58 spells out THE LORD’s perspective/position on this matter.“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes.”

We are “more than conquerors” when we align with His Word, with His revealed purpose for our lives. Let’s hear from Him:

I John 4: 4MSG: My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.

1 John 4:4NLT: But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Romans 12: 2MSG: Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

God’s desire is for us to take full advantage of Him. His desire is for a closeness, an intimacy wherein He can make the “most” of us. This requires our availability and our willingness to surrender ourselves to Him.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like total destruction.” -Cynthia Ocelli (Mystic Medusa)

—Minister William “Bill” Hicks aka The Disciple

About THE DISCIPLE

William H. “Bill” Hicks is a graduate of Wesleyan University, BA, Religion, 1971 who also holds a Masters in Public Health Degree (MPH) from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health (1973). Bill also has studied at the Dallas Theological Seminary. He grew up in Harlem, New York City, USA during the 1950s and 1960s, graduating from high school before attending Mount Hermon Preparatory School and undergraduate school in Connecticut. He has spent most of his professional life in the public health arena, while being constantly in ministry. He received his license to preach the Gospel at Oklahoma City, OK in 1971. He has written extensively on Christian topics. He enjoys life in Chattanooga, TN with former District Public Defender Ardena Garth Hicks, his wife of 30 years. They have two daughters, Rachel (BA, University of Memphis magna cum laude, 2014) and Sarah (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Global Scholar, University of Tulsa, 2017).
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