Have you gotten used to the idea of a brand new year? There’s something invigorating about a blank canvas – a clean slate with countless options. It can also be a bit intimidating. A couple weeks ago, I was challenged with some opportunities that promise to make 2012 very exciting. What will I do with these opportunities?
Rearranging my schedule to include time for new things will be challenging. It’s so much easier just to continue on with what has become ‘comfortable.’ But growth requires change and hard work. I’m not sure what the end result will be, but prayer and encouragement have brought me to this crossroads. Will I step out in faith?
Reminds me of a parable shared long ago. Jesus told his disciples the story of a man who was travelling to a country some distance away. Before he left, he gave each servant a specific amount of money to manage while he was on his trip. What would they do with the treasure he had left them?
I can only imagine the hours of planning and research done by these servants. No doubt careful thought was given to how the money should be invested. How would their employer invest the money? What would bring the biggest return on investment? Each servant had to make a decision.
Armed with the knowledge he’d gained, the first servant went out and managed to double what he had been given. The second servant did the same – doubling what he’d originally been given. The third servant, however, didn’t see the value of what he’d been given. Maybe he didn’t want to devote the time to studying or planning. Maybe he was so focused on his own agenda that he didn’t make time to take care of the gift he’d been given. Maybe he was undisciplined and gave in to the temptation to be lazy. Whatever his reason, he was responsible for his choice, “But he that had received one (talent) went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money,” (Matthew 25:18; KJV; word in italics mine).
When the master returned from his journey, he was very interested in what the servants had done with the treasure he’d given them. The first two servants were commended for their diligence, and received words of praise, “Well done, thou 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 25:21,23).
The third servant was full of excuses, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine,” (Matthew 25:24-25). His master was upset, and with good reason. He chastised the servant, and rebuked him for misusing what he’d been given.
The lesson? How am I using the ‘talents’ (time, abilities, money, etc.) the Lord has given me? When He opens doors and gives me opportunities, am I quick to follow Him? Am I willing to devote the time necessary to accomplish His purposes? As the new year unfolds, my prayer is to step out in faith as He leads and guides me!
What opportunities do you have this year? Will you determine to step out in faith and fulfill God’s will for your life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the opportunities You’ve given me. Help me to step out in faith this year, and embrace what You have for me. I want to be like the good and faithful servants in the parable. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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