Impressing God?

 

Impressive boy

Listen to the audio version of this devo here!! (Or find Feeding on Jesus on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher!)

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“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one…” (Matt. 25:15a, NKJV).

There’s a hidden truth in this parable that just might surprise you.

First though, let’s discuss what’s immediately obvious. The man with five talents, by some standards, might be considered the lucky one. He ended up with more than everyone else. He represents those people in our world that seem to have been dealt the most impressive “hand” from God in this life. You know, the ones that seem to have it all together. Or the ones that seem to be brilliant at everything.

Sometimes this “winning hand” takes the shape of greater advantages the person had growing up: access to more wealth, better education, and open doors of opportunity. In other cases, the individual has been naturally endowed with astonishing intellectual genius. Or outstanding creative ability. Or remarkable leadership charisma. Or even a stunning combination of these gifts. In other words, the five talent guys in our lives leave many of us looking on with admiration and maybe a little envy.

The man in this story with the five talents had more than everyone else. He was the type that was easy to begrudge. He was the one that caused others to look discontentedly at the cards in their own hands, wishing for his.

You know what, though? God categorized this man’s five talents as non-amazing. In commending the man’s faithfulness, notice that He did not say, “Wow, you are an impressive individual! I am blown away by your abilities! Staggered by what you have managed to accomplish!” Nope. Rather, His commendation was “You were loyal with small things(Matt. 25:21, NCV). The substantial hand dealt to this man may have seemed extraordinary to other humans, but to God, it was “small.”

After all, whatever we have to offer in this life… it is a gift. We did nothing to come up with it. As the Lord pointedly, lovingly asks us, “Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7, NCV). He could not get more frank than that. He tenderly confronts us with this liberating truth: we have absolutely no grounds for boasting. We have no basis, whatsoever, for self-congratulation. Everything that we have, everything that we can do, is His accomplishment. Not ours.

For this reason, no matter who we are, our talents do not impress God. Neither to our achievements. Their quantity carries no weight with Him either. Nor does their apparent sparkle or shine.

What does draw His rapt attention, however, is our wholehearted faithfulness.

It’s the way we pour out our everyday lives to Him in worship, giving to Him our very best, that gets written in His Book of Remembrance. It’s how we offer back to Him what He has so generously bestowed on us. Our loyal, devoted, minute-by-minute investment of time into seeking what matters to Him – this captures His heart and causes it to overflow.

No matter if we have five talents, or two, or one, or sixty, or .003, Jesus is equally delighted when we are unreservedly faithful with the hand He entrusted to us. When we get up in the morning and offer Him the day ahead for the purposes of His heart, His soul swells up with joy. His lovely voice speaks into our spirits once again, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”

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Has Holy Spirit taken you on a journey to dismantle certain values commonly instilled in us from the surrounding culture, and replace them with Kingdom values? If so, which ones?

27 thoughts on “Impressing God?

  1. Yes! “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you”
    In our self-promotion and “you’re important if you’re seen” culture, staying under the radar with Jesus has been an ongoing two-year journey for me. Many times it’s been painful and I’ve gone to the Lord in tears because I felt so unseen by so many around me. However, this has been transformational for me, mostly because I am learning the extraordinary value of knowing that I’m seen by my Father; and if He’s the ONLY one to know and see me and the things that I do then that is a greater reward than anything the world can offer.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I don’t consider myself anything special, but the reality is this: as an ordained Catholic deacon, I have been given a platform from which to try with my meager skills to nudge the culture toward our Lord. Frankly, I don’t deserve the title if I don’t try. And He is nudging me to speak and write about the restoration of a respect for life, centering on abortion, racism and gun violence. I must do what I can with God at my side. — Mike

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ohhhhhh yeah the Holy Spirit has taken on continual journeys. The Lord regularly is turning things up side down for us to see He is right side up. Love our God. We see it often in the photography and videography we do in displaying His works and creations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful! We offer to God all that we have, because He has given us everything.We ask Him to direct our day and our plans. But like the five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus multiplies everything again and again. Not only is there enough of everything, but there is plenty. Whatever we bring to the Lord is magnified.We see miracles unfold and it is an amazing thing. Our dreams and plans are nothing like the ones He designs for us…His plans are always above our thoughts and plans, as scripture tells us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smiling with Holy Spirit joy because I just made reference to that multiplication story a short while ago in responding to Mike’s comment on this post. I love it when we flow in Him together! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts, Linda!

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  5. This reminds me of my favorite Erma Bombeck quote of all time, and it was uncharacteristically serious for a woman who was famous for her humor: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

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  6. Jennifer, your messages give evidence of a pure and holy heart. I thank you, for the talents and gifts our Father has given you. Sharing one’s life and thoughts is significant but bring our relationship with Jesus is a treasure with eternal consequences.
    I think back over the years, I have walked with the Lord and now understand more fully that offering up that which He has blessed me with is compounded when I give it to others, that they may be blessed. Amen Len Wisniewski

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, you are so welcome my dear brother. It’s a true joy to be able to share here what He has shared with me! I pray regularly for those who will read the posts, that they/you would encounter more of Him, His love, His beautiful heart! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. His richest blessings to you!

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  7. Hello my sister in Christ,

    I love the part- “Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?”

    It reminds me of when God said to me “What do you know? Everything you know you were taught. You had to learn it. I ALONE AM WISDOM. I teach the proper path. I create. I am LIFE.” The way He speaks is amazing. It humbles you so poetically. ….. what do you know? I LOVE IT. and how he tells me.. ‘you had to learn everything you know’ – just like what you wrote- what do you have that was NOT given to you? Everything we have, we have because of Him, so how can we not give it , if someone needs it. Amen.

    To answer your question about dismantling values- YES. Absolutely He has. There are so many. The main basis it revolves around is “I will send you a counselor, He is the HOLY SPIRIT of Truth which leadeth in all TRUTH.” And therefore, He has me dismantling and unmasking the strategies and operations of the dark side. In specific detail, how to identify Truth, when we hear it, how to know it is Truth, how to understand how it feels, vibrates, the frequency of it, the texture, the exact vibration of Truth, -we must have experience after experience after experience so that TRUTH becomes our first nature, and even that is NOT enough, because we are imperfect prone to mistake and miscalculations.. so we must have EXPERIENCE + HOLY SPIRIT DISCERNMENT+ HIS WORD. One more thing- we are bombarded and assaulted from the exterior, meaning all the lies, masks we see, false things, words spoken, fake operations, fradulent things, are sent toward us as we walk or stand, they come toward us and hit us. Which is the exterior- the physical- therefore let us be ROOTED in the interior and solidified eternally upon the ROCK SOLID ETERNAL FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST. What does this do? it allows the enemy to continue bumping their gums NON STOP- cause that’s all they do, talk, talk, talk, and strategize and strategize, and hope that their WORDS, are absored and take root in our minds, which stir fear, and give rise to doubt, as we begin to question everything. —–But if we understand the above, it renders all that futile and powerless because it doesnt matter anymore what comes towards us, or even hits us in the mind, or takes root and begins to grow in the mind, because the spirit is rooted in truth of Jesus Christ and the spirit will unveal it, unmask it, and eliminated it. HALLLLLLELUAH. Take that to the bank Sister Arimborgo and cash it!!! amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A joyful chuckle enjoying your wonderful enthusiasm, my brother! Yes and amen to the vital importance of the Holy Spirit to teach us all of God’s truth! And getting it rooted deep inside of us! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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