Friday, December 20, 2019

The Master Craftsman

What has the Spirit of the Lord been impressing on this brother lately?  This:

The Parable of the "Talents"

14“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsc and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents,d to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.e You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The talent was a unit of money way back when but I dont think we have to dig too far to understand our Lord was talking about more than just money here.  He was talking about something He gave us, deposited in us that He expects a profit from.  How interesting that in the English language talents are exactly our gifts and abilities that many times do translate directly into cash because its what we are good at but thats not the real message either.  The real message is He gave us gifts and abilities to be used in His service.

He is the master craftsman and we are the tools in His tool box.  One of us is a hammer, another a saw, another a screwdriver.  What would happen if you were a craftsman and one day you had a job you wanted to do so you went out to your garage to grab a hammer and that hammer was no longer useful to hammer anymore?  It would be useless to you, time to throw it away right?  Now we are getting somewhere....

When we read the parable of the talents we can see the punishment for the useless servant who did not develop the talent given to him.  Fairly harsh punishment wouldnt you agree?

But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

In the case of the brother who writes to you today, some unique talents have been given that have no apparent, current use so it has been a struggle to find the motivation to develop them because the question "why" keeps coming up where there is no current use in sight.  Thankfully in His love, patience and mercy the Lord has not left His servants without answers.  Here is some of the answer that has been given to the question "why develop talent(s) that have no apparent current use?"

1.  Back to the hammer.  If the hammer had a brain and was sitting in the tool box watching the saw, the screwdriver and the tape measure being used but itself not being (currently) used it might wonder to itself why remain a hammer?  But we know why the hammer should remain a perfectly useful and functional hammer right?  When the craftsman decides He needs a hammer that hammer better be ready to act out its hammer skills

2.  The parable of the talents-we were given gifts for a reason.  The reason was Divine, we do not have to understand "why" we just have to recognize the "talent" and develop it in faith that He who deposited that talent knows how and when to use it when He decides to in the future.  Maybe its not today, so what.  The hammer was given its ability to hammer so on the occasion (maybe only once!) that it was needed it could be employed.

3.  Living in and with the talents we were given is our "happy place."  It is our zone, our calibrated setting, our edge, our purpose.  A horse rejoices in running because they are really good at running.  So we too rejoice in acting out our divine purpose in and through the talents we have been given.  Working with and developing the talent is its own reward.

4.  We do not have to know or understand how we are going to be used.  Stop trying to figure it out, just be ready when the call comes.  We are the tools who must be fit for use when our God comes calling on our talents.  He could do everything Himself if He wanted to but He decided not to do that.  He takes pleasure in working through His servants (that's us) so we need to be ready when He decides to act.

I think by this point you get the picture.  The Lord has been leaning on this message for some time now.  His work is obviously not finished on this earth.  If His work is not finished our work is not finished.  Sit down and take a hard look at yourself, what are you good at?  What weird or seemingly irrelevant talents do you have?  What has the Lord God deposited within you that He might call on some day in His service?  Develop those things, do not neglect them.  You do not have to understand how, why or when you will be used that's not your job.  Your job is to be ready and able to employ your gifting, talent when the Lord comes calling on them.

What a wonderful God we serve.  Oh yes, and this emphasis on "talents" is another loving way the Lord is preparing us for His unexpected arrival.  How?  When we are all judged, whenever we leave this earth the entire counsel of God-the Word, the Bible is what we will be judged by.  If we have read the parable of the talents we understand it and are responsible for it.  Our loving God does not want us to be ashamed on the day we stand before Him so He is mercifully preparing us now to do those things that maybe we have not done that would cause us to fall short in some way of His best for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for us on an unexpected day and hour, of that we can be sure.  Those who say it cannot happen have a serious problem.  We do not want to be one of those people who was caught not watching and ready when our Lord shows up.  This talent thing is part of our readiness to meet our maker.  Glory to God.

grace and peace