When God made each of us, He gave us different gifts and abilities. That means no two people are the same in this world. That’s what makes each of us unique and special in God’s eyes.
We all know that God does things for a reason. There is always a purpose behind what He does. Our God is not a God of chaos and disorder. Everything in our universe has its place and reason for being. That’s how God designed the universe. It stands to reason, then, that God has given each of us our special gifts and abilities, our talents, for a reason. God has a purpose in mind. He didn’t give us our special gifts and abilities just because.
What is that reason? It’s quite simple, actually, but very hard to put into practice. God gave us our gifts and abilities to bring glory to His name. That’s it. But the challenge is using our gifts and abilities to do that. We don’t always use them in a way that pleases our Lord. Sometimes we don’t use them at all. But the reason God gave them to us was for us to use in a God-pleasing way.
"Why can’t we use our gifts and abilities in a way we see fit? Why does God always have to figure into the equation? Can’t I do what I want with the gifts and abilities I have?" Well, we can if we want to. We’ve been given the freedom to use our gifts and abilities how we wish. That’s quite evident in the way some people use their gifts and abilities. Some use them in a dishonorable and impure way. Some use them to bring glory to themselves. Some fail to use them at all and as a result they never reach their true potential. For them, God isn’t in the equation.
That’s what happened in our text. The man who was given one talent buried it in the ground. He did nothing with it. And as a result, he never reached his full potential. However, the other two who were given five and two talents used them the best they could and maximized their potential. How do we know this? Their master was pleased with their results, so much so that he gave them even more.
So, we can use our gifts and abilities however we wish, whether it be for good or for evil. There is nothing stopping us. Our text provides us with a good example of the freedom we have. Two of the men did the right thing with their talents while the one man did nothing with his. God wasn’t in the equation for him.
But there is a catch here. We may have the freedom to do what we wish with our gifts and abilities, but a day will come when we will have to give an account of how we used what God gave us. Since God gave each of us our talents, He demands that we give account to Him of how we used them. That means how we use our talents in life right now becomes a much more serious matter. It might behoove us to think more carefully about how we intend to use what God has given us.
The problem is we believe we have all the time in the world to use our talents for God. If we’re not using them in a God-pleasing way right now, there is still time left for us to change course. There is always time.
That might have been what the man with one talent was thinking. "I’ll bury the talent right now, but I’ll do something with it later." He wasn’t sure when his master would return and so he procrastinated. The day for him to do something with the talent he had buried never came to pass. His master returned and demanded an accounting. The day of reckoning had come.
At that point, it was too late for him to change course or do anything with the talent. There wasn’t any time left. He had to tell his master what he had done with the talent. Our text tells us that the master was displeased. He wasn’t at all happy with his servant.
The point is we don’t have all the time in the world. We need to make wise use of our gifts and abilities while we have the time. We need to use them in a way that brings glory to our Lord. That’s the reason He gave them to us in the first place.
We only get one chance at this. There is no going back to change what we’ve done. The day we stand before God Almighty is final. That’s it. No more game of life to play. The game is over. No more opportunity to go back and change how we used our gifts and abilities. So it’s essential that we use them as God would have us use them right now.
Just think of the remorse we’ve experienced by not being able to go back and change something we’ve done. Do we want to experience that remorse on the Last Day? I certainly don’t. So let’s make good use of the time we have by using our talents in a God-pleasing way which won’t cause us any remorse down the road.
If we haven’t been using the gifts and abilities God has given us, let’s start now. We can change the course were on. It’s not too late.
If we have regrets about how we used or didn’t use our gifts and abilities in the past, we can turn to the Lord for forgiveness. His forgiveness is the only real cure for regret. We know we can’t go back and change what we did; we can only trust in the Lord’s forgiveness. His forgiveness covers our mistakes of the past which we hope will not prevent us from entering God’s kingdom.
Jesus went to the cross to wash away all of our sins. If He hadn’t done that, none of us would have a chance to enter heaven, and the sins of our past would cling to us forever. But praise God that’s not how it works. Jesus went to the cross for the express purpose of forgiving our sins, to give us another chance.
Jesus rose from the dead to prove to us that our sins can’t keep us in the grave. We too will rise like He did. Our sins won’t hold us back. So there is hope even though we haven’t been faithful with God has given us.
Now we have the opportunity to use our gifts and abilities for God’s glory. I hope we won’t let such an opportunity slip through our fingers. We can do good things for our Lord with the time we have remaining in our lives. Just think how much of a blessing we can be to others when our talents are put to use for God’s glory.
I think there are some of us who realize this. That’s evident in our service for the Lord in the church, in our workplace, at home. We are using the gifts and abilities God has given us for His glory. Let me make it clear that we can make good use of our talents outside the church. Some feel bad that they don’t do enough here in the church. However, God may be using our talents for His glory in places other than here. And that’s wonderful. What we do outside the church may affect others and bring them into the church. God’s using our talents as a testimony to His goodness and possibly as a way to spread the Gospel.
That’s why it’s important to use our talents for His glory. When we don’t, we bring disgrace on His name. Whether we like it or not, we are His representatives here on earth. People are watching us, and believe me, are quick to condemn Christians when they do the slightest thing wrong. So conscious of this fact, we have to watch how we use our gifts and abilities.
I encourage us to give thanks to God for all the gifts and abilities He has given each of us. What we have comes from God. I pray that we will use our talents in a God-pleasing fashion. It’s to our benefit and for the benefit of others that we do so. On the Last Day we all will have to give an account of what we’ve done with what God has given us. If we use what He has given us for His glory, we will have nothing to be ashamed of.