Thursday, July 19, 2012

Faithful and Zealous

Often, when I hear people talk about spiritual gifts, the conversation seems to be around what gifts we have and how we can be faithful in using them.
Sometimes though, when I hear people talk about faithfulness, I hear them speak about doing the minimum or maybe a little more. They’re still being faithful, yet I believe God wants more from us than that.
Jesus told two similar parables that are related to gifting. One is the parable of the talents in Matthew. The other is the parable of the minas, found in Luke 19. The parables both talk about a man leaving on a journey, who gives money to ]his servants that he expects they will use. Both teach us that God gives us gifts and expects us to be faithful in using them.
The parable of the minas goes further though. The parable teaches us that we are to produce and see Kingdom growth. Not only that, God will reward each of us differently according to our zealous efforts.
God wants us to be faithful and He wants us to take advantage of the opportunities He gives us.
My best lesson for this came on the lacrosse field. When I played, I was always looking for an advantage I could use to put our team ahead. If the person defending me took a wrong step, I wanted to exploit it and create a scoring opportunity. Sure, I didn’t want to lose the ball. I wanted to be faithful with the ball when I had it. But I wanted to do more. I wanted to take advantage of my gifts and use them to win.
The same is true with our spiritual gifts. We are to be more than what some people call “being faithful.” We are to be like the servants in the parable of the minas and use our gifts to not only demonstrate faithfulness but Kingdom winning and Kingdom growth as well!

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