Post 98 / The Next Language
July 12, 2022
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. … Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matt 25:14-15, 28-30 KJV]
“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy til I come. … And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. … And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: … And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.” [Luke 19:12-13, 15-17, 20, 22-26 KJV]
In Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom He told two stories that seem to have unavoidable application to this day. Both seem to have the same teaching points.
In both cases the nobleman went to a far country with a promise to return. Luke indicates that he has gone to receive for himself a kingdom. I would think that is the very kingdom we are part of and which we are serving and participating in.
In each story the nobleman distributes “talents” otherwise referred to as “goods,” “pounds,” or “money.” In each case those assets are the Lord’s — not the servant’s. In each case every servant got something according to “his several ability.” There is no indication that anybody was left out. Instructions were very sparse but the entire suggestion seems to be that this was the nobleman’s investment in the future. An investment by definition anticipates some kind of return over value.
If you are American one of your “talents” is the most universal and sought after and highest valued currencies in the world. That may not last much longer.
Although money is mentioned and is the normal application of these parables when used for fundraising purposes, it is clear that “talent” suggests much more than money. The fact that the loan was accompanied by the command to “Occupy til I come” indicates to me much more than money.
So, what has the Lord given us for which He could expect a rightful return?
How about time? Time is a gift we have little to do with receiving but for which we could rightly be expected to be held responsible. How do we manage our time? Is it counting for the kingdom? Or, more importantly, for the King? I would challenge you to do a time management study on yourself like my computer app does on me. It informs me even of my off time. Last month it informed me that I had deprived myself of my quality “refreshing” time (between 10 pm and 6 am) by being on calls and email 17 nights when I should have been sleeping. That deprivation was all for Kingdom business of course.
We have received multiple Bibles in multiple versions in both print and audio, dramatized and non-dramatized, commentaries and sermons live and online, worship music for every taste and the Gospel in thousands of languages in the palm of our hand.
We have benefited from much accumulated knowledge of the creation- both cosmic and microscopic which point to a magnificent Creator. We exist in a virtual global environment which has no borders. We live in neighborhoods where people walk who are from hundreds of cultures and speak hundreds of languages from around the world.
We have accumulated over one thousand years of the documented testimony of saints and martyrs. We have witnessed the victorious and faithful witness of faithful Christians living today.
We have inherited governing systems that strongly reflect the cumulative impact of the values of the Gospel.
We have the cumulative story of successful missionary ventures over the church age to the most remote and hidden peoples.
We enjoy technology and luxury and convenience and transportation opportunities that could take us to anywhere in the world in less time than it took Jesus to walk from Galilee to Jerusalem. We can communicate instantly to the most distant point on the earth. The potential to “occupy” is incomparable to the day of Jesus.
We have multiple media platforms that did not exist in Jesus’ day to carry the message.
Are not the talents of good health and a clear mind God given assets?
What about the gifts of the Spirit? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” [Gal 5:22-23 KJV] None of those gifts is primarily designed for personal gain, but the presence of the last one –“temperance” (self control) — indicates that personal intentionality should be controlling everything — for the King and not for self. Scholars have noted that every one of the nine fruits can be faked except the last one, self control.
Every one of us is given a sphere of influence that includes both creatures, persons, and creation. How do we use that influence? Does that influence reflect back any improvement? Especially improvement that is eternal in character?
Given these “talents” at our disposal it is amazing that there is still any corner of the earth that does not have the light. We have without a doubt received many “talents.” What are we doing to multiply and increase these deposits for the Kingdom?
I believe these parables were delivered and preserved to instruct us in this church age and challenge us to appraise our “talents” and prayerfully go to the Giver of the “talents” to get further guidance on how to best invest toward the day when the King returns. It is unavoidable to see that the consequences are eternal.
What will you give to Jesus? What will He give you?
If you are reading this in English God has given you what is easily the most spoken language in the world. What are you doing for Him with that “talent”?
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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