“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” [1 Corinthians 15:10]
No matter where you are in life right now, there are greater things in store for you, in Christ Jesus. For His grace takes you from where you are, to where God needs you to be. And for this to come to pass, His grace births in you divine desires and power. God gives a (1) Godly Desire; (2) Unique Design to perform grace-enabled good works.
As the apostle Paul says “His grace to me was not without effect,” God’s grace cannot be hidden; rather it is manifested in your life. When you experience grace, it leads to expressing grace. In Acts 11:23, Barnabas saw the evidence of the grace of God.” – we can see grace in the form of transformed lives! There may be insufficiency in situations in your life, but the sufficiency of God’s grace is more than enough to complement the lack. Abundant grace is made available to you every day. But make sure you “do not receive the grace of God in vain.” [2 Cor 6:1]
How do people miss grace and grace-enabled talents?
The parable of the talents beautifully depicts the right and wrong ways of using the talents/gifting entrusted by God to you and me. “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.” [Math25:14-29] As in the parable, the Lord gives each one of us talents and skills based on our abilities.
The man who received one talent buried it in the ground; in other words, did nothing about it. This is a vivid example of what each of us needs to avoid so that we can be a vessel of His grace.
The man with one talent had:
– Wrong understanding of God’s nature
– Wrong emotions
– Wrong mental attitude
1. A Wrong Understanding of God’s Nature:
To have a wrong perception of who God is.
“He who received the one talent came forward saying, ‘Master I know you to be a hard man…” [Math 25:24]
God is not a God who shows partiality. It is according to each one’s ability that He bestows to them talents and gifts. So if you have been placed in a particular position by the will of God, you have the ability to function in it, no matter what people may say.
Some people see God as a very hard person, who deals harshly with His children, waiting to punish their every wrongdoing. But, this is an erroneous understanding of God, who is essentially loving and merciful. His anger, if it arises, is always for the right reasons. He is a God who is slow to anger and abounding in love.
An incomplete understanding of a truly loving God will see you limping and hopping your way through life. But God has created you to walk and not faint, to run and not be weary, and even as you wait upon Him, He will help you and strengthen you to perform great things.
You are working together with a God who says to you, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” [2 Cor 6:1,2]
Your favorable time, your day of salvation is now, for it began with Christ’s victory on the Cross. Now you have the privilege of calling Him, Abba, Father. And even as you call unto Him, His promise to you is, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, show you great and mighty things that you do not know.” [Jer 33:3]
He will hear you, answer you, and help you, even as you step out and begin to operate in your gifting.
2. Wrong Emotions:
Failure to overcome emotional strain.
“So I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground.” [Math 25:28]
Fear entered man in the garden of Eden and it is still around! Fear can try to trouble you, but you can declare like the psalmist, “In the day of fear, I’ll trust God, what can man do to me?” [Ps 56:3,4]
Trusting in God, trusting in His Word, seek and find what He has spoken concerning whatever is causing anxiety and confess it aloud. You will see faith arise in your heart.
Faith will make you sow your talent, leading to life and a fruitful increase. Fear on the other hand, will make you bury your talent like the man in the parable.
God did not just say, He commanded Joshua not to be afraid when he was entrusted with a higher position. [“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Josh 1:9] Today, it is His command to us to not worry. These are hindrances that need to be put away, in order to make your talents shine for His glory.
3. Wrong Attitude:
When your attitude is wrong, your approach will also be wrong.
It’s the reason why, in the parable, the master reprimands the attitude of the man with one talent. [Math 25:26] It was one of wickedness and laziness. Wicked, for his attitude was so indifferent, one of casual disregard and neglect. Lazy, for his mental attitude was wrong, one of convenience and not conviction, and being wiser in his own eyes. [Prov 20:4,26:16]
A wrong attitude is characterized by:
– Having no regard for the talent entrusted
Perceiving and beholding rightly will cause you to become what God wants you to be. And His promise is unchanging, to the one who uses his talents wisely – “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance.” [Math 25;29]
May this blessed experience be yours, all by His grace, and not in vain. Amen.