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26. The Christian's attitude to his own abilities

The Master's Instructions about everyday life. (Matthew 25:14-30).

The Bible records the stories of many men and women who used their natural skills and abilities in the everyday world to further the cause of God. Some of the examples are:

In the Old Testament:

Moses’ brother, Aaron, used his public speaking

(Exodus 4:10-16);

the widow Zarephath supplied food and a room

(1 Kings 17:17-24);

a couple at Shunem offered a room and furniture

(2 Kings 4:8-10);

David gave from his wealth for the temple (1 Chronicles 29:1-5),

and the people followed his example from their own resources (vv.6-9);

Nehemiah’s workforce turned their hands to almost any job for the Lord

(Nehemiah 3:1-32).

In the New Testament:

Peter used his home and his boat (Matthew 8:14-27);

a man at Bethphage lent his animal (Matthew 21:1-3);

another shared his home (26:17-19);

a boy gave his picnic lunch (John 6:9-11);

the believers in Jerusalem shared all they had (Acts 4:32-37);

Aquila and Priscilla opened their home and their work to Paul

(Acts 18:1-4).

From a parable our Lord Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30, we can learn

the principles of using every ability we have to serve God and to do His


Accept what you have and what you are as a gift from God

God equips every man and woman with the abilities He wants to use. Not

everyone will have the same gifts. You are responsible to use what you

have, not what you don’t have!

Two men put their talents to good use. They immediately set to work for

a good return. Through energy and efficiency they earned a reward.

The third man made bad use of the talent he was given. It wasn’t much to

him, but his fear resulted in him losing it altogether. A hidden talent is

of no value. By trying to keep it, he lost it.

Account to God for what He has given

All three men were summoned to report on their activities. Again, they

were personally responsible. It was not what their friends had done, but

what they had done themselves that the Master wanted to know about.

The Master was pleased with two men. He accepted their faithfulness

and said they had done a good job. He had invested in them and was

rewarded, so He rewarded them in return.

The Master was displeased with the third man. Because he was found

unworthy of the trust his Master had placed in him, he was made to give

it up completely. His Master viewed him as worthless. He described him

as both wicked and lazy. He was ‘rewarded’ too, but not in the way he

would have wanted.

The application of the parable is very simple

Make sure you use what God has given you to fulfil His desires. Do you

live in this world with your eyes on this world? Or do you live in this world

with your eyes on the kingdom of God?

There is something God wants you to do and He has adequately equipped

you to do it.

Discussion guide for ‘the Christian attitude to his own abilities’

1. Read Matthew 6:21. What does this verse mean? How should it

affect our daily lives? Set it in the context of verses 19-20.

2. Discuss what you believe God has “entrusted” to you, Matthew

25:14. Let other members of the group add to this – and then do

this for every group member.

3. Discuss the meaning of the phrase in verse 15, “each according to

his ability”. Similar phrases appear, with respect to a person’s

money, in Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:3.

4. What do you think is the meaning of “good and faithful servant”,

Matthew 25:21, 23? Describe why the first two servants deserved

this title.

5. What will you have to do in your life to merit the same praise from

our Master, the Lord Jesus?

6. Why do you think the third servant was afraid to risk losing his

talent? Consider verses 24-26, from man’s viewpoint and also from

God’s viewpoint.

7. Share one thing you believe God wants you to do with your life, and

how He has equipped you to do it.

8. What is the solemn warning in verses 29-30? How does this impact

your attitude to life today?


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