Saturday 1, September 2012
Bible Passage(s): Matthew 25: 14 – 30
Memory Verse: “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” Matthew 25: 14
Yesterday, 31st August, we commenced this year’s City edition of the Youth Leadership Congress of the Foundation. This is a leadership development programme for youths from youth associations and clubs within city of Ibadan.
In addition, we also undertake the Adopt-a-Street programme, where participants engage in community service; going out to sweep our adopted street, the Liberty – Oke Ado road in Ibadan. The theme for this year’s congress is ‘Leadership and Economic Empowerment’. The programme will be concluded today.
The Message of Grace for this month is culled from my lecture at the congress. It is about the parable of the talents given by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 25:14-30.
Talent is an unusual, natural or exceptional ability to do something well. Everyone has been endowed with a unique ability to carry out a function by God. However many fail to recognize or they underplay their abilities. Therefore you need to identify your talent. In doing so, the first place to start is to go to God, the giver of talents.
Verses 14 and 15 of Matthew chapter 25 tell us of what to do with what not to do with our talents and we can identify the following key points in the verses:
1. God provides each of us with talent(s) according to our abilities;
2. He leaves us to do what we like with these talent(s) or abilities;
3. However, whatever we do with the talent(s) He has given us, He expects us to make profit for ourselves, for His Kingdom and to bless humanity;
4. There is no talent(s) given by God that is inadequate or unimportant;
5. He gives them to us for us to achieve His purpose on earth and bless humanity, thereby making profit for Him;
6. When we make profit from our talent(s), God will commend us and reward us: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” Verse 21
7. Those who do not make use of their talent(s), God will condemn and take away what He gave them and give it to those who already have and are willing to make use of it: “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.” Verse 28.
8. The parable concludes that: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” Verse 29.
Those who do not develop and make use of their talent(s) deny humanity of the potentials and possibilities that are inherent in their abilities and God will judge such people. Note, God gives you talent(s) according to your several abilities.
Therefore do not despise your natural abilities. Many walk in other people’s purpose when they despise their natural gifts and want to be like other men. A lot of us in Nigeria are like that; we run our lives by following the bandwagon. Following after the Jones, doing what we feel is selling or is in vogue.
God gave you the talents and abilities for a purpose. Don’t sleep at home or walk the streets waiting for ‘manna' to drop from heaven. The days of manna are over! Be bold, proactive and daring. Take your destiny in your hands and dare to do something for yourself. Dream big, but start small and gradually build up. Get information, use the internet and you will be surprised at what other people are doing all over the world to make a way for themselves and make a difference.
Note, you cannot create your purpose in life; rather, rather you uncover it. The purpose of every individual is God-given and you cannot divorce God from it. Anything that does not begin with God will never last. It becomes man’s agenda and not God’s. You run the risk of losing steam along the way. There are littered all over the world, the carcasses of dead dreams and ambitions. Do not allow your own to end up that way.
The Lord will lead and guide you. All you have to do is take the first step. ‘The journey of a thousand miles starts with a step” Take that step today and you will never regret it!
The Lord bless and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore.
Have a most blessed month.