Monday, July 23, 2012

Investing in the Kingdom

My pastor often tells us that God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. There’s a certain amount of truth in that, but I think He sometimes equips us before calling us to a particular ministry. He gives us gifts to be used for the good of His Body. Of course, Pastor Tim is making the point that we should be willing to serve where we’re needed and let God equip us for the task.

I don’t have to manufacture the ability to do things for God. I just have to use what He’s already given me:

Time. Money. My Home. Love. 
Spiritual gifts: leadership, teaching, administration, hospitality. 

When I use them for God I can watch them grow. God gives me gifts to invest in His kingdom. When I do, they will double and then He’ll give me more responsibilities. 

This parable is an explanation about how the Kingdom works:

God gives His servants gifts.
They invest them.
They present Him with the return on the investment.
He praises them.
He gives them more responsibilities.

Investment is the key principle in this transaction. He gives gifts precisely for that purpose. Giving back what He gave me isn’t good enough. Being afraid of His response to my use of it is wrong. Hoarding it so it won’t get lost is useless. Not investing my gifts isn’t just wasteful, it’s wicked and lazy. If I don’t invest in the Kingdom, my gifts will be taken away and I’ll be thrown out of it.

Using my gifts for Him is not a matter of choice. It’s so easy to say, I’ll volunteer eventually, but right now I’m pretty busy, or tired, or mad at someone or . . . God gave me gifts to invest in the Kingdom. All I have to do is use them and they’ll double. That’s what a good and faithful servant does. 

And the reward is His praise. I can’t imagine a greater joy than the Lord of Creation praising me for doing something for Him.

I can be lazy and wicked or good and faithful.
I can receive God’s praise or His wrath.
I can spend eternity in God’s presence or weeping outside the Kingdom. 

The difference is whether I invest the gifts He’s already given me.

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