Matthew 25:14-19 is the parable of the talents. This parable shows us that not everyone produces profit from what was given to them. Some people hide what they have been given and no-one profits. So how can we know that we are wisely using the investment God has put into us?
I believe the Fruit of the Spirit is one sign of the return on God’s investment in our lives.
Galatians 5:13-26 (NIV)
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
For a Christian if there is no fruit of the Spirit there is something wrong. It could be that we have buried and hidden what God has given us like the servant who buried his master’s talents. When we suppress God’s investment out of unreasonable fear we cannot glorify Him. And just like that servant the whole investment could be lost and given to someone more productive.
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
In the parable of the seeds we see the farmer’s investment as the good seed. But though the seeds are good they do not all grow and produce a crop. In Matthew 13:22 it seems that this seed compares directly to the buried and unproductive talent.
Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
This is the same description of what happens to those who squander what God has given to them, they lose it.
God is consistent in His message to us. We must use the gifts and talents he has put in our control or we will lose them. He will re-invest them into another who will produce fruit and glorify Him.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.