Stewardship resources for the road
Matthew 25.14-30; Phil. 4 (?)
Premise we have unbelievable resources for the journey of life, the problem is we leave them mostly unpacked and thus unused, untested!
What happens There seem to to be two kinds of packers when it comes to travel, especially on a global scale. Some people pack for every eventuality and cram into their bag changes of clothes and medications without which they can’t bear to leave the house for even length of time. When we were new parents our little Triumph Herald SW was piled high with baby stuff that we thought would be essential and ensure we met every likelihood that we would encounter. Amazing how little we needed when we were packing for three little girls; and later how we managed to cram everything for Parachute plus three boys into the Fiat Tipo.
Seems to me a lot of people spend a lot of time and money in gaining more and better resources for “doing the Christian thing” and yet they rarely make full use of them, and they even more rarely realise that they have more than enough already to achieve what God has called them to do.
What has God done? Everyone has been given some generous provision to enable them in a fruitful life; as Paul says “God has given each of us different gifts…according to the amount of faith we have.” Romans 12.6 and “However He has given to each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.” Ephesians 4.7 But this not just a reference to special gifts but also the ordinary resources of wealth, or personality, of talent – each of us has a “bag” packed with all we need to live the kind of life for God has called and claimed us in Christ.
What we see Jesus affirming here is a kind of faith-fuelled enterprise. Faith that his purpose had planted in each, lead them to put to work all that their master had given them, leading to growth in the master’s own wealth and influence. This is strongly affirmed because it is an attitude of faithfulness taking up all that God has packed in my bag and put it to work explicitly in his service.
However He makes clear that to do nothing, with however little we have, is to be inherently disobedient. Such a response to God’s generous gift is full of a fear and surliness that gives permission to do nothing, to leads only to faithless barrenness.
So the parable is that faith-fuelled obedience leading to fruitfulness receives God’s generous affirmation and reward.
So what? In prayerful inquisitiveness you should seek to know what it is that God has packed into your bags for the journey of life – it’s never too late. What is it that you really enjoy doing? What area of our communal life looks to you like something you’d really like to get into? What resources have you managed to accumulate that God could put to work in His service?
What fears or uncertainties prevent you from trying what you believe God is calling you to do or be? What negative words have left you with a view of yourself that dares not to try to help or serve others, or put one of your cherished skills to work?
Accept that God has a calling for everyone and He has given you all you need to pursue that calling. Amazingly your life is packed full of God-given gifts and abilities, with talents and skills that answer to your personality, with character growth and development that in themselves can be huge gifts to some area of his service. What’s in your bag? How can you bring it out and use to encourage and serve God and those He fills your life with.