Love God With Your Talent

The way we grow in our love for God is to love him practically with the three big Ts of our lives: time, talent, treasure. We learned last week that we are to love God with our time, all of the time, and we do so primarily by spending time with our heavenly Father in prayer and with Jesus at his church. Today, let’s look at how we can love God with the 2nd T of the “Whole Life Stewardship” matrix: our talents.
 
Talents Galore!
Our talents include our skills, aptitudes, creativity, and thinking. Do you know how many talents the average person possesses? If you said, “Approximately 700” then you checked out Wikipedia before you got here this morning. 700! That’s astounding and proves that we really are “fearfully and wonderfully made” as David celebrates in Psalms 139:14. With these 700 God-given intellectual, physical, emotional, and relational talents we are able to build a life, make a living, and make massive contributions to ourselves, families, church, and world.
 
Loving God With Our Talents: Dedicate Them
But how do we love God with our talents? The first way is to dedicate them to God. Whether God has blessed us with only 1 talent or 700 we need to pray daily, “Lord, I joyfully dedicate to you all that you have blessed me with.”
 
Loving God With Our Talents: Develop Them
When Paul told us that the purpose of life is to “Do all things for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31) a large part of that doing is to develop the talents he has given us. Sharpening our talents, whatever they may be, is one of the best ways to love God with our talents and show our immense gratitude to him.
 
Loving God With Our Talents III: Deploy Them
The third way we love God with our talents is to deploy them. Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25 shows us how seriously God wants us to do this. Jesus explains in v14-15
 
14 The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a business owner going on a long trip. He called together his investors and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last … He then left on his trip.
 
A wealthy investment banker decides to go on a trip. Before he does, he has a meeting with his top three investors (zoom?). He notifies them of his intention and before he leaves he gives to each some silver to invest for the highest possible yield. Investor #1 gets 5 bags of silver, #2 gets 3, while #3, 1. Not knowing how long their boss will be gone two of the investors have at it immediately. The 3rd one, not so much. How did the investors do? V16-18 tells us-
 
16 “The investor who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The investor two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the investor who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the boss’ money.
 
When the banker returns he asks his three investors to report on their investment activity. In v20,22 they lay out their spreadsheets and give the results of their efforts.
 
20 Sir, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more” … 22 “The one who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Sir, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
 
The investment strategies of the first two investors proved to be phenomenal: a 100% return for both. Bossman is ecstatic. He praises his two investors, breaks out the champagne, and promises to entrust them with even more resources to manage in the future (v21-23).
 
However, not all is sunny in Sunnydale! When investor #3 gives his earnings report the party comes to a swift and abrupt end. He explains with a little snark (v24-25).
 
I didn’t do anything with that one measly bag of silver you gave me. I didn’t because you are a big jerk. I really don’t even like working for you. Even if did invest your money and the market crashed you would blame me. Here, take it back.
 
How would you treat your financial advisor if s/he had the same attitude and similar incompetence? They say if you want to be successful at your job show up 15 minutes early, stay 15 minutes late, have a great attitude and ask your boss, “How can I help you today?” Investor #3 never got that memo. Without consulting the HR department the boss reads him the riot act:
 
26 You piece of work! … 27 why didn’t you just deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from him, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver.
 
Talk about having your meters in the red! The boss fires Investor #3 and bans him from ever working for his company again.
 
Parabolic Interpretation
So what’s going on in this parable? The actors in it are easily identified. Jesus is the Boss, the Big Kahuna! The “trip” he takes refers to the time lapse between his 1st and 2nd Comings. The three investors represent all of his followers down through the ages. The bags of silver are the talents he has graciously given to them.
Motivation???
The point of the parable is that we are to enthusiastically dedicate, develop, and deploy each of our talents for the glory of God and as a way to show our love for him. We are to faithfully do so until he arrives again. However, if we need a little extra motivation in the supreme joy of using our talents Jesus provides it in (v29)
 
To those who use well what they are given, even more, will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
 
This is passage is clear that Jesus will bless us way more than we can imagine, in this world and the world to come, should we use our talents as a way of loving him. However, it is also clear that those who do not use their talents (for whatever reason) will be cursed, in this world, and the world to come.
 
Conclusion: Good @ Love 2 Do?
The great news today is that it doesn’t matter how old or how young or in between we are, God is not done with us yet. Therefore, there are only two reasons we are exempt from continually dedicating, developing, and deploying our talents: (1) When God calls us from this world into the next. (2) When we stop loving God. So if we really believe that today we will enthusiastically smash the old 20-80 church rule: 20% of the people do all the work so that 80% can complain about the work being done.
 
This is a marvelous congregation chock full of amazingly gifted, highly talented, and experienced people. To help us stay motivated in our love for God, and the use of our talents, we all need to sign the “Good @ Luv 2 Du” list on the back wall.
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