A new strategy is coming to mind, using an old lesson, The Parable of the Talents. My husband and I have received a huge blessing this week. In fact, it is an answer to a prayer that we have been dedicated to this year. I blogged about it in March, and discussed the difficulty of waiting for God’s answer. So after the wait, I have been like a crazed grateful person.
I was thanking God for the outcome, again, this morning and I began to think, what now? I used to hear all sorts of confusing things about blessings. They are given to us, but we should not keep them because they could be taken away, or disappear, or you might be considered really ungrateful. All of these sound shameful. I think the point was to offer them back to God in thanksgiving; I just got stuck when they said that I could lose the good stuff. Isn’t it funny how we can make the simplest of things completely complicated and conditional?
This morning my heart really understood what to do with this blessing. I realized that I am so grateful for this answer to prayer that the natural response of the Spirit is to celebrate it by expanding it. I just want to multiply the blessing; in fact, the nature of the blessing lends itself to allowing other good God-like things. Isn’t that the mark of a blessing? When God gives things to His children they perpetuate His goodness. And, God does give good things to His children, Matthew 7:9-11, “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” If blessings are not obvious in your life, what are you asking for?
So, think of the good things in your life. I have not always been aware enough to show the proper gratitude. Some days, I have really had to work to come up with a grateful heart. Just writing that makes me shake my head. What could I possibly be thinking? Receiving this gift has demonstrated to me how much my Father desires to lavish His favor on me. When I have prayed, I have asked for the Spirit to dredge through all of the resources of heaven to answer our request. I have prayed for blessings to rain down. So, I specifically prayed for what we needed, but not about the final picture. I did not know what the end would look like, and now I am so glad that I was not a pushy prayer warrior. I did not want for God to perform; I just wanted to be obedient. It turns out that God was building a gift straight from the promises of scripture. It was bigger and more amazing than anything we could have pieced together.
I offer it back to God, because I want for Him to continue to multiply it. He has begun an amazing thing and I have to see where this can go. This brought me to the Parable of the Talents, which I have always thought of in material terms, or spiritual gifts. I don’t know why. I actually have worried about it because I don’t know if I am multiplying my gifts or my money, or anything else for that matter. I try but how do I know what is ten fold or 5 fold when you are talking about hospitality or encouragement.
I see the Talents in a new light. When God gives us talents, it can be a home, a new job, or children. It is not necessarily cash investments. There is the potential to have ministry in a home, to engage in fellowship opportunities, or to have bible studies. A new job brings a whole new mission field, the blessing of provision, and a future and a hope. Children can multiply God in the world…and eventually multiply themselves, which is biblical, too. Even finding $20.00 in your pocket can be a little blessing. That is a movie for two, with no treats. A yummy recipe is definitely a blessing when it is passed on, and even yummier when you take it to someone’s house already fixed. See how simple it can be. The multiplication factor is our obedience in using it.
What is our responsibility?
Matthew 25: 27-29, “Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
Luke 19:23-26, “Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
God trusts us with His gifts, His resources. We cannot let these opportunities pass. Blessings are given from the heart of the Father and they are not intended to be squandered or hidden, we have to put them boldly into our circles of influence. By their very nature they will multiply themselves. The Spirit can direct us in new ways to refresh old blessings. This sounds like a great way to spend the day.
Oh, and, thank you God, again!
Father, thank you for all of the many blessings in our lives, whether we have acknowledged them before or not. Be generous with your children today. Encourage us to ask for good things from the heart of a good Father, all in your will.