Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Devotion 12.9.15

Is it me, or does it seem sometimes that when God was parceling out gifts among mankind, some received a generous portion and others, like me, received a spoonful?  I remember sitting in class while some people just seemed to get it, and others, like me formed, study groups to collectively get it.  I remember, vividly because the sting is still there, Dr. Jerome Wolfe, professor of English at my university, placing a D on a paper I worked on feverishly with a note that is still embedded in my memory, "Dr. Gilbertson teaches a course in logic.  Take it."  Ouch.  Meanwhile the guy next door to me gathered his materials, borrowed my typewriter at midnight, and wrote a paper for the same assignment which Dr. Wolfe held up as an example of what true thinking was.

I see it all the time, and yet I should take comfort in the phrase, which is biblical, "To whom much is given, much is expected." (Luke 12:48 - "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted, they will demand more.")  I hope the genius sitting next to me in Dr. Wolfe's class has taken note.

And yet each of us has been given a gift (or more) from God.  How do we use it?  The Parable of the Talents is a story Christ gives of a man going on a journey and "entrusts" his servants with his property.  To one five, another two, and another one, "each according to his ability."  You know the story, he returns and finds the two who received two and five increased its value while the man who received one buried it.  His explanation, "I was afraid and went and buried it." (Matthew 25:25)

There is the distinction. We are to fear God, but fear that comes from his being God.  The explanations do not say, "Be afraid."  The servant in Matthew described the master as "hard" which is not a descriptor we've been given of God.  This sheds light on the passage in Philippians then, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."  (2:12 - 13)

Out of fear and love, we use what God has given us.  We do not bury it. We pray we use those talents that God has given us to his glory and to work his will here on earth.

Hope Men's Ministry

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