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The Reward for Faithfulness

Matthew 25:14-30 

"For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. [15] And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. [16] Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. [17] In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. [18] But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master's money. [19] Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. [20] And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.' [21] His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.' [22] The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.' [23] His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' [24] And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. [25] And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.' [26] But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. [27] Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. [28] Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' [29] For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. [30] And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" 

I am appreciative of your overwhelming support of me going back to college to learn Spanish so our church can better minister to our community. I'm looking forward to seeing our congregation get more diverse as we take this step to be missionaries in our own community. I'm enjoying my class, and love mi profesor. But don't read into these statements that I'm doing particularly well. All I can say is I'm working hard.

One of the things I'm enjoying about taking a foreign language is discovering words that can have a slightly different meaning just by the way they are pronounced. As a writer and a public speaker, I've always enjoyed the subtle nuances of words and now I'm finding the same enjoyment as I attempt to learn a new language. For instance, if I say "pero," I mean the conjunction but, but if I roll the "r" and say perro, I'm saying dog. 

One of the key words in this parable-talent, represents a similar problem. Is Jesus using the word talent exclusively to make a distinction between a talent and a Spiritual Gift? We usually define a talent as something we come by naturally-something we're born with and a spiritual gift as something mystically given to us by God when He saves us-something we're "born again" with. Certainly there needs to be a distinction between talents and Spiritual Gifts, but part of that distinction does not need to be the source of the ability. Whether we're born with it or God mystically bestows us with it after our conversion, the source is the same-God. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (KJV) So whatever the "talent" is that the master gives his servants we must note that the source of the gift is the master, the servants would not have it without his act of giving.

But the word problem is deeper than that. As I've said, when we use the word "talent," we immediately think of it as a special ability that someone has; so we immediately interpret this parable Thank you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
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