Recently I have been evaluating what things are important in the kingdom of God and when it is time to demonstrate the fruit of being faithful in the little things.
So many times we go through life having our focus skewed by this world, by trials and tribulations, or by unconsecrated desires for things that are either not in God's plan for our life, or things that we are not ready for, or it is not time yet for us to have.
I know many times I have been sidetracked by these types of things.
So I evaluate on a regular basis, what are truly kingdom priorities and what are not. The passage below shows one of those kingdom priorities that we sometimes get out of whack.
Now to me there are 2 main points I look at in the passage below. I look at the fruit that happens if you faithful in little things, and our motivation as to why we are, or are not, being faithful in those things.
11 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. 12 He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. 13 Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ 14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’
15 “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. 16 The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’
17 “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
Now in working through this evaluation, I always have to fist look and see what is it God has given me?
You see, this passage is about being faithful in what God "has" given you, not what He may want you to be in the future.
The future is built on the little steps you take day by day, not just something that plops into your lap.
So for me I looked at my talents, relationships, and gifting.
Over the past year, there has been many times I have been asked to be faithful in the little things where I could use the treasures God has given me to be a blessing to Him and others.
As a dad, it has been a trying year to get my boys on course in their adult life. I had to be faithful to sticking around and motivating them to catch a vision and to be men of character. I would have much rather gone on and had "me" time, but that was not faithfulness to the things God "had" given me to do.
In friendships, there have been times where I had to be faithful to people who did not see nor appreciate all that I was planting and giving into their lives. Yet again, faithfulness demanded that I continue on in what God had given me to do.
Even when that was speaking something tough that was with all my understanding, for their best interest.
You see the faithfulness that Jesus was speaking about was not to religious ritual, or to some creed or church, although those who are called to be gifts to the body of Christ might have part of that included.
The faithfulness that Jesus was talking about was the little things He has given you in your everyday life in people, talents, and gifting.
The kingdom of God is not about physical structures, but about people coming out of darkness and into the light of God living within us.
So the question to ask of yourself is, what little things "has" God entrusted with me today? What people, talents, or gifts has He entrusted to me that He wants to use to bring about a profit for the kingdom?
Am I being faithful to those things, or is my focus on something else that is detracting me from that faithfulness?
That brings me to the second step in my evaluation.
What motivations cause me to be faithful vs. which ones distract or prevent me from that faithfulness?
Later in this passage in vs. 21 you see that fear was the factor that caused the unfaithful servant to hoard what had been given to him. He was afraid of retribution for failure. Thus it was fear of failure.
I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’
How many of us do not step out and do what we feel God would have us do out of fear that we might look foolish, might fail miserably, or somehow miss God? How many of us are not confident that He would be pleased?
I have done this many times.
How many of us have given up on relationships because we were too afraid to risk our hearts?
Or how many of us have not gone and given a word of encouragement or even correction due to fear of rejections, or how many of us do not share what we have learned because we are afraid that it is too simple or we might look foolish?
Fear is not a good motivator; in fact it saps real motivation. Love on the other hand, is a motivator that casts out fear.
When you love somebody, God or human, all of a sudden it becomes more important to be a blessing to them, than it is to protect yourself. Your focus changes to become a blessing to them, rather than what is in it for you.
That is why in my own life, many times I will risk saying something that I know someone does not want to hear, or I will be faithful in the midst of adversity rather than not do anything.
Love motivates me.
If I see someone heading down a path that I can see leads to pain and heartache and destruction, will love just let them go, or will it try to prevent it? You know that answer.
As some of you know, I spent 8 years putting myself out there for consideration for pastoral ministry. I have received numerous rejections, but yet I remained faithful.
Why? Do you think I love rejection? Ha! I hate it like the plague!
But love compels me to continue to make myself available to serve in a manner that to the best of my knowledge, utilizes the gifts and talents God has given me.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
Now I did not share my story of learning to be faithful in the small things to toot my own horn. Heaven forbid!
I shared it because I know that there are many of you that may have given up on being used by God.
You have given up on reaching out to people, given up on your gifts and talents. You have listened to the lie that you must not be called to invest those things.
My friend, you are called to have the fruit of being faithful in the little things.
If your talent is music, then be faithful to sing around the house, to your kids, ect. If you are called to communicate, then make video's on YouTube, or write on Facebook, or just share with your family and friends.
Show the fruit of faithfulness.
If you are called to just help and that is your gifting, then find your friends and neighbors and help them!
What "has" God given me? What is motivating or preventing me from investing what He "has given me?"
Let yourself be connected to the Vine who is Jesus. He was faithful even unto death. He will grow faithfulness in your life. He will enable you to be faithful in the little things.
When you do, you will find that God will advance your life in powerful ways you never thought possible.
And in the end, you too will hear the words we all want to hear when we see Jesus. "Well done good and faithful servant, enter into your rest."
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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