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I was asked recently what one of the most frustrating things about serving and leading within God’s Church is. This wasn't a hard question for me as this frustration often keeps me awake at night, praying that God will work to resolve this struggle. The disappointment revolves around people struggling to take personal responsibility for their spiritual growth and having difficulty taking responsibility for all that God has given us. Jesus speaks specifically to this issue in Matthew 25:14-30. Take a moment to read through this scripture by clicking on the link attached to the scripture as mentioned above.

As I read this scripture, the following points offer motivation and inspiration to take responsibility for our spiritual growth. Don’t just read through these points below; reflect and pray through them, asking God to help you better steward the responsibility that you have been given!

1) God has entrusted us with something so valuable! As people created in God’s image, God has invested in us something very significant. In this parable, Jesus gives three people several different 'talents.' A talent equals 20 years' wages, so in our American culture, that would equate to around $1,000,000! Imagine being given $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 … it is a significant, valuable trust! What our Master has given you is something more valuable than these amounts – you have been given the keys to the kingdom, the ability and opportunity to shape where people spend their eternity, and the power of the Holy Spirit. These are sacred trusts!

2) God expects us to invest what he has given us! Two of the servants were faithful in doing this and were rewarded; one didn’t... and wasn’t. The investment we are to make with what God has given us is to be made in the only thing from this earth that can travel into eternity with us – people! The love, grace, power, and truth that God has given us must be invested in the lives of others.

3) God wants us to have an accurate picture of him so that our response to him can be correct. We see in verse 24 that the lazy servant has an inaccurate view of his master. He says he’s a “hard man” and wanted to play it safe. His erroneous picture of his master led to an incorrect response. It is the same way with us and God. Unfortunately, our view of God is often shaped by cultural and personal inaccuracies rather than the revelation of God found in the Bible. In contrast, the faithful servants were more than willing to ask God to examine them and what they had given themselves... because they had responded accurately to who they understood God to be.

4) God waits in heaven, wanting to celebrate what we’ve done. Both faithful servants hear the incredibly humbling words from God himself, “Well done, good and faithful servant." I think Jesus loves to say those words! He loves to reward those who earn them with greater responsibility, and he wants us to share his happiness. This scripture also tells us that, reluctantly, God can’t always say these words about our behavior and faithfulness as our actions separate us from him. He always loves you, but he wants to celebrate you as well. Are you living in such a way that he can?

A big part of being responsible means understanding the following statements and their implications. How are you doing in understanding and applying these statements?

Be Faithful.

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