5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
The two talents
Charles Spurgeon, Author
“He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:22-23
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:1-17
If by divine grace—(and it is only by divine grace that this can ever be accomplished)—our two talents be rightly used, the fact that we did not have five, will be no injury to us. You say, when such a man dies, who stood in the midst of the church, a triumphant warrior for the truth, the angels will crowd to heaven’s gates to see him, for he has been a mighty hero, and done much for his Master. A Calvin or a Luther, with what plaudits shall they be received!—men with talents, who have been faithful to their trust. Yes, but know ye not, that there is many a humble village pastor whose flock scarcely numbers fifty, who toils for them as for his life, who spends hours in praying for their welfare, who uses all the little ability he has in his endeavour to win them to Christ; and do ye imagine that his entry into heaven shall be less triumphant than the entry of such a man as Luther? If so, ye know not how God dealeth with his people. He giveth them rewards, not according to the greatness of the goods with which they were entrusted, but according to their fidelity thereunto, and he that hath been faithful in the least, shall be as much rewarded, as he that hath been faithful in much. I want you briefly to turn to the chapter to see this. You will note first, that the man with two talents came to his Lord with as great a confidence as the man that had five. “And he said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two talents beside them.”
For meditation: These words, spoken exactly 34 years before the day on which Spurgeon died, remind us not to covet the gifts of a Spurgeon. Our concern, as believers, should not be how much we have got from God, but how much we gladly use whatever we have got for God (1 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 8:12).
By: Joe Stowell
“I am the way…” John 14:6
In one of my all-time favorite Peanuts cartoons, Charlie Brown is standing on the deck of a cruise ship with a rather disheartened look on his face clutching his unfolded deck chair. Lucy, who always seems to have it all together, has already unfolded her deck chair and is waxing eloquently about life. She says to Charlie that some people set the deck chairs of life to look at all that has gone by, others set their deck chairs to look at all that is in the here and now, and that still others position their chairs to look at all that is ahead. To which Charlie responds, “I can’t even get my deck chair unfolded.”
My guess is that we’ve all had days when we feel more like Charlie Brown than Lucy. Down deep inside—sometimes way down deep inside—there is this nagging feeling that we don’t quite have life figured out. That when we are really honest with ourselves, life isn’t all we thought it would be. Shouldn’t there be something more than the endless to-do lists? And, why does the pressure to perform and prosper make us feel like the proverbial donkey chasing the carrot dangling forever in front of us? And why is it that when we take life by the throat and pull off a smashing success, it quickly morphs into a mere memory as life trudges on?
Want something more—something different? Then pack up your bags and enlist yourself as a Person of the Way. Join the revolution! The revolution headed by the world’s greatest revolutionary, Jesus. I’m not sure what you think about when the thought of Jesus crosses your mind, but my guess is that the word revolutionary rarely surfaces. Yet that is exactly who He is! Missing the point that Jesus came to spark a revolution in this upside-down world—a revolution to take upside-down people and turn them right side up—is to miss the very heart of why He came and to miss the point of life as it is intended to be.
Jesus’ arrival on our planet was an invasion from another world to overthrow the ruthless regime of King Beelzebub and to set earthbound captives free. But the revolution doesn’t stop there. It’s about freeing us sin slaves from the grip of hell in every aspect of our lives. It’s about setting up a whole new way of thinking and living, about giving freed captives a life of purpose and significance. And I don’t mean that it is a revolution whose end game is to get you to go to church more, to keep more rules, or to get busy doing more jobs for God. We already have too many who are on that bandwagon yet have no clue about the revolution. This revolution is about changing the way we think, act, and react and then raising the torch and taking the way into every aspect of our lives—into every encounter, every relationship, every responsibility, and every commodity we own.
If you see yourself as a follower of Jesus, but you still think about your money like everyone else; react to your offenders like everyone else; think about your career like everyone else; live with “you” at the center of your universe like everyone else; think about sex like everyone else; find life to be an endless string of random unfulfilling events like everyone else, then one thing is clear: You have missed the revolution.