DayBreaks for 5/04/16 – The Master and the Reward
From the DayBreaks archives, May 2006:
It’s confession time. I must confess that I’m guilty of envy. It was over two years ago now that the Lord called us to this town to plant a new church. I love it here. I love the body that the Lord has formed. They are the most delightful people that I think I’ve ever been involved with and I love them dearly. So what am I envious of? Well, on Friday and Saturday, I was at a Men’s Advance (as opposed to “retreat”!) where there were numerous other church planters. Some of them have been at if for quite a few years, some are even “newer” church planters than I. Here’s what I’m envious of: some of them have seemingly been more “successful” in their church plants…they’ve got larger congregations and are able to do more things than we can. And I am envious.
I know it is wrong. I know I shouldn’t be. I know that there are reasons for why churches in one place grow rapidly and others don’t: the size of the town, the culture of the area, the energy and enthusiasm of those laboring to plant the church, even the geography and demographics make a huge difference. But I’m envious of their “success”, and I ask God to forgive me for that envy. I feel we are where we are supposed to be, that we’re in the place that He’s called us to.
So what’s the point? Well, simply this: during the men’s advance, part of the teaching on Saturday was about the parable of the talents from Matthew 25, and the Lord showed me what He wanted me to know. Here’s the passage: Matthew 25:19-23 (NIV) – After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
The point is simply this: the man who had 5 talents to begin with was told, “Come and share your master’s happiness!” The EXACT same words are spoken to the person who was giving the 2 talents: “Come and share your master’s happiness!” Perhaps even more important is what the Master did not say to the first man: “You’re the best I’ve got. You’re my right hand man! Ten talents – wow!” Nor did he say to the second servant, “You know, you did great. You really did, but did you hear about what Joe did!? He made 5 talents. Why didn’t you? If he did, you could have, too!”
No, his praise to both servants was identical. It didn’t matter to the Master, you see, how much each had to start with or even at the end. What the Master cared about was that the servants had taken what He’d giving them and used it to the best that they could.
There’s a lesson for all of us who sometimes get concerned about how others are doing, instead of what we are doing with what God has given us. Be faithful with what you’ve got – that’s all He asks. Don’t compare yourself to others – the Master didn’t, and He won’t.
PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for my envious heart, forgive me for thinking that I’m in a competition sometimes. And forgive me for thinking that any of this depends upon me, instead upon Your Spirit. Teach us to use all that you’ve given us for the expansion of Your kingdom and Your glory in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.