Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Matthew 25:16
He did not waste any precious seconds or minutes. He went immediately after receiving the loaned talents. He went immediately to double the amount of the talents. One would inquire, “Why the rush?”
I cannot answer for this servant. I can try to retort for us. We can respond to the call of service immediately. Without rolling our eyes, we can take the route to the mission field. Without dilly dallying we can pack and go with confidence. Here’s why.
Know the Giver. His love is constant whatever the result of the mission. We know we can depend in His power not on our skills. We know we can stand by His grace and providence. Any mission has its beginning and its end and He is present in all the time with us. We will find challenges along the way, but we will find Him lifting us in every hurdle. When we know the Giver, we can give ourselves immediately.
Know your talents. It’s not the same weight as the above but it’s important. It’s important to know what you can do so you can ask God what He can do. Empower the laborers. What do you possess? Pray to the Giver to bless your gifts. Scan the mission field. Where will you use the talents? Pray to the Giver to bless the receiver(s) of your talents. When we know our gifts, we know what we can share immediately.
Souls are perishable goods. Don’t delay. Serve Him immediately.
For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8
Isn’t it an eye opener?
Paul was doing his missionary visits and work while he was also working to provide for his needs and feed himself. He was not a burden to the flock he was serving. He was serving them not them serving him. He did not eat using their plates. There was no free lunch for the preacher. There was no gratis dinner for the epistle writer. He did not sleep on anybody’s bed. There was no free lodging. There was no sleep over or whatsoever. If Paul has a ministry, his is self-paid. If Paul has a mission, his is self-sustaining. Imagine Paul writing a fund raising letter addressed to himself. He was a full time worker and a full time servant. He worked to gain income. He served for God to gain souls.
I am not saying missionaries should find a secular job to sustain their ministry. What I am stressing is this – you can be a full time missionary even if you are employed full time. This was Paul’s example.
Let’s imitate Paul. You can be a preacher and at the same time go to an office as an accountant. You can serve as a small group leader even as your brain and hands are busy on marketing strategies. You can teach God’s word to the church or community while attending to your job as an engineer. You can be a computer whiz worker in parallel with your service as a music worship leader. Your work and service may be two different things in a sense but can be one in service. You don’t need to give up your lay job, unless there’s a radical call for that, to visit hurting believers. You can keep your work and keep on serving the beleaguered flock. You don’t need to be a burden to others, rather be a burden to yourself.
Two extremes exist; you work full time then serve part time or no time; or you don’t work full time or part time when you serve full time.
Open your eyes. You can work and you can serve. Full time.
“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Luke 7:23
I do not know why John sent his men to ask Jesus if Jesus is the one they were waiting for or not. I do not know what is in John’s heart and mind during that time. Maybe I can assume but there may be hundreds of assumptions we can propose. Maybe at the prodding of his own disciples, he did it. Or was he getting impatient? But one thing is sure, Jesus warned John – do not fall away on account of me. Jesus is telling John’s men, “I am he, but even if I am the one you are waiting for, do not stop and continue your work.” “Do not fall away from your calling even if I have taken my place healing the sick, curing diseases, making the blind see, allowing the deaf to hear, blessing the lame to hop and declaring God’s kingdom.”
Believe it or not, I have seen it happen. I saw men and women who were passionately serving God yet when the time came they needed to pass the baton to their understudies, these servants faded in the shadows. They have fallen away as if they have reached the peak of their zeal for His house. They have wandered because they knew someone has taken their place. They have been laidback thinking somebody will do the work even if they are not there.
Sometimes, I find myself in their shoes. I will not serve because I know someone will do it. I will not preach because there are already thousands of preachers out there. I will not blog about God and His gift of life because Bo Sanchez or Bobby Quitain writes better than me or further, there are multitudes of Christian bloggers in the virtual world who will do just that. I will not proclaim God’s word for someone more gifted will eventually declare the message. I will not go to the social service of the community since I know I am not in-charge of the activity. I will not spend time with my kids since I know their mother will have her time with them. I will stop since someone else will start.
Jesus warns us about this. We must not be falling away on the account of someone taking their place in God’s work. When someone has risen to partake in God’s work, he/she is not replacing you. There is a place only for you to occupy in God’s plan of action. There is a ministry designed for your God-given capabilities and gifts. Do not fall away. Be blessed.