Friday, November 07, 2008

Taking Advantage of Freedom

{Matthew 25:14-30; ESV}
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more. His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more. His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours. But his master answered him, You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In this parable Jesus tells us that it is important for us to use the gifts He has given us to advance His Kingdom. I believe one of the greatest gifts we have received from Jesus is freedom. In this country we have independence and freedom that has been unparalleled in history. Yet, many of us have squandered this wonderful gift of freedom.

One way many of us have squandered our freedom is by being enslaved to debt. Debt not only prevents us from giving the way we should, it also holds us back from creating more wealth that will enable us to do even more with our money. The reality is that many of us have followed the siren song of materialism, and we have spent money we don’t have. The result is that we cannot be as free with our money was we would like to be since it is already promised to our creditors.

A second way many of us have squandered the freedom God has given us is by being enslaved to our jobs. In part this is tied to the call of materialism. Since we feel the pressure to pay for all the stuff we are buying on credit, we have to make sure we work as much as possible to have as money as we can earn. I also believe that we become enslaved to our jobs because we want our lives to count for something so we try to find our purpose in life in our jobs. The end result to all of this is that we are exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and we don’t give ourselves to ministry and service.

A last way I think we squander the gift of freedom is by living in ignorance. We have vast amounts of knowledge available to us, but we don’t take the time to make use of it. We spend our time seeking out entertainment rather than being disciplined to learn what we can about the world around us. The result is that we are ignorant about the Bible, Church History, American Government, American History, and many other subjects. This harms us because we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past or the wisdom of our ancestors. We become enslaved to our ignorance instead of living a life of freedom that comes from wisdom.

Freedom is a great gift. Let us think of ways we can take advantage of this gift and use it to increase the influence of God’s Kingdom. The gift of freedom is a great one, don’t squander it.

  • Point to Ponder: One of the greatest gifts we have received for Jesus is freedom.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 25:14-30
  • Prayer to Pray: Father, open my eyes to the ways I have squandered the freedom that You have given to me. Help me to use my freedom to expand Your Kingdom here on earth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks, Paul