Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman


Talents, Ministry, Success,

Fear, Failure


  In Jesus’ parable of talents; one was given five talents, one two, and another one. When the master returned, he asked an accounting from His managers. The one given five talents had doubled his, the one with two had doubled his. The master’s response was, “Well done, good and faithful servants!” However, the individual with one talent came saying that out of fear he had hid his gift. Understandably, the master was upset. The talent was taken from him and given to another. That unprofitable servant was removed from His master’s presence. What can we learn?...


  First and foremost, it all belongs to the Lord. We're only stewards of God's wealth; we own nothing, only caretakers for a few years. Funeral cars don't pull U-Hauls, there are no pockets in funeral shrouds. We will leave it all behind. Understanding this will change our Christianity, our stewardship. Amen?


  We're equal to the task. Each servant was given a different amount, one appropriate to his ability. The demand for equality and fairness in gifting talents, blessings, are a product of our culture and is not taught in Scripture. We are different; we have different talents, different abilities, different opportunities, different ministries. Our attempt to make everyone equal is causing serious problems in the church, our families, our nation, and in our schools. People are unique. No amount of legislation can change this. God calls us to be different. He has a unique expectation in your life and mine. Attempting to change this can and does lead to a lifetime of frustration and disappointment.


  Obedience is doing, not having. The test of faithfulness is not on what we have, but what we do with what we have. We must stop trying to have more; catch up with others, or worse, drag them down to our level. Just be what God has asked us to be, regardless of what we have, or what others have. The faithful steward went at once, immediately, and traded making five additional talents. Applying God's gift is a work, a ministry. The Kingdom of Heaven is spoken of as: A field, a sower who went forth to sow. It's like a vineyard, like a business where pearls are bought and sold. Faithfulness, contentment, fulfillment, happiness is not found in having, but in doing God's will. We need to learn this! Amen?


  Fear is failure. Fear is never an acceptable excuse for our failure to do the will of God. Fear comes from Satan.


• Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife, not once but twice. Abraham’s failure was caused by fear. Fear leads to sin.


• At the burning bush, Moses began to make excuses about not working God's plan for him out of fear.


• At Kadesh-Barnea, the spies were afraid saying: "We saw giants"…"We're grasshoppers before them." Israel's intended blessings were not received because of their fear.


  God will not accept our fearful excuses. We fail in ministry opportunities because of our own fears, real or imaginary. God is not calling us to be extraordinary people. He is not calling us to do extraordinary things. He wants us, just common ordinary folk to respond to Him out of faith; not shrink back in fear. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him”...“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline.”


  Judgment is inevitable. One day the Master will return. There'll be an accounting, a judgment day resulting in our togetherness with God, or an eternal separation from Him. If that day came today, what would be our destiny?


  Judgment will bless those the Master finds watching, waiting, doing, serving the Jesus in others. But eternal separation awaits those who are not using their gifts. Paul was plain in his writing to the church at Corinth and to us, “It is required of stewards (Those who have been given a trust) that they be found faithful.”


  You see, our response to God’s commands, expectations, and blessings, has eternal consequences. May we serve Him in such a way that we will hear the Master say: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Amen?"