As a pastor, I often ask myself questions about other people. For example, I ask, “How can I be an instrument in this person’s life to help them grow in God?” I also ask, “Why do some people seem to grow quickly, and others seem to grow painfully slowly…or not at all?” While discussing these questions the other day with a relative, we concluded that discipleship in this current “spiritual climate” doesn’t just happen. God has provided all we need to grow and overcome all obstacles. However, He will not force us to obey Him, to seek Him, to read His Word, or to attend church. The hunger and desire for progress in our faith comes from Jesus as we take practical (and sometime small) steps in response to His grace. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus distinguishes between two types of servants to whom He invested grace and provision (symbolized as property and money). There are those who work to increase the investment given to them and those who do nothing with the investment. The Master’s grace was given freely; the response was the free choice of the individual servant. Those who received “Well done!” from the Master combined faith and action. The Bible says, “The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work, and gained five more” (v. 16). The servant judged by the Master only offered lame excuses for buried resources. As a pastor, my joy is watching and helping God’s people love God and grow as disciples of Jesus. Be careful because the distractions of the world will try to diminish your devotion to Christ. The cultural mindset today says, “God exists for me…to make me happy and give me a good time.” Stay in the Word of God! Jesus deserves our best, and He waits to reward His good and faithful servants.
Pastor Mark Boucher