When a general contractor, the one who is in charge of making sure that the building gets completed, finds that a portion of the work necessary to complete that project is going to be beyond the capacity of his company’s ability to perform to ensure that the project is done on time, he will sub-contract a portion of that work out. He will in a sense take part of the money that he has been given and distribute it to another company or individual, and they will fulfill that part that he is not able to, ensuring that the project will be completed within the time frame allotted.
In a way, this is the same idea that our Lord was speaking about in the parable of the coins, (Matt. 25:14-30) according to their abilities, each of the three individuals were given a portion of the master’s goods, and they were responsible for the task that he had given them, increase what they had been given. Two of them got a one-hundred percent return, doubling what they had been given, and thereby were given even more, for they had been found to be faithful in a little, and so could be trusted with even more. The Lord, the contractor, had sub-contracted out part of the work to one when he had found to be faithful and wise, and so in the future he could be trusted with even more, but not so with the third one. Even though he had been found to have the ability, or so it was thought, to handle one task, one coin, even in this small venture he had failed, his fear of his Lord overpowered his desire to even try, and so he just put the coin in a safe place, and then returned it to his master upon his return. The consequences of his actions, to say the least, were not beneficial to this unwise servant. (v 26-28)
Stewardship is not just about material possessions, our money, our time, the born-again believer has been entrusted with the oracles of God, a very rare thing indeed in this day that we live in. Out of the eight-billion or so people on this planet, how many do you think own a Holy Bible, and out of those, how many read it, and then, out of those, what percentage do you believe actually study the Word of God on a regular, daily basis and apply it? There are a lot fewer true servants of the Lord God than you might like to think my friends. What is the main difference between the two that were given five and two coins, and the one that was given one, besides the fear? Two went and did, the one did not, they all had abilities, the Word makes that quite clear, but the one did not think it worth his time to apply himself, his fear and lack of desire to serve kept him from being profitable, and like the one who was invited to the marriage banquet, but didn’t think it that important enough to even change his clothes, (Matt. 22:12-13) both were cast out, neither was found to be profitable.
Do not be deceived here, these two that were cast out were never saved, they were called, but because of their actions, or lack thereof, they were not chosen. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) They were given an opportunity, and although our sovereign Lord knew the choices they would make, they were allowed an opportunity so when they failed at it they would know this failure to be of their own doing, in other words, they were given a chance and they blew it. Their fault, not Gods. “And those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Prov. 8:17) And those that find Him find Him to be most wonderful.
You have been blessed with abilities, some of them in the form of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, others that the Lord has enabled you to do, the hand can grasp items, the foot can run, arms can reach out, there are many members to the body and the Lord has given you certain abilities that He has also given to others. With these abilities you are to glorify Him, so that when He gives you your coins, the growing knowledge of the Word of God, you can be profitable to Him in the spiritual arena. This is the most important stewardship items that He has entrusted you with, not your house, not your vehicle, not your money or job, His Words of Truth. How you rightly divide the Scriptures, how you give an account of them to others is the most important role that you will ever play in this life, and it is not to be taken lightly. Just as the three who were given the coins, you will need to give an account of how you handled what you have been given, what you did with the Word of God. Did you go and do, or did you only hide it in your heart. Starting to make some sense now is it, are you beginning to see your stewardship of all those materialistic possessions as less than secondary compared to what you have been given a responsibility to be a steward over, the Word of God Himself.
Don’t stop vacuuming your house just yet, keep putting oil in the car when it needs it, but start getting your priorities in order. You cannot act like a Christian, you either are or are not saved, and if you are then you have abilities, and these coins that you have been given, these words of the Scriptures that you have hid in your heart serve a two-fold purpose, one is so that you will not sin against your Lord, (Psalm 119:11) the other is to share them with others. You are to be profitable, and the one who went and buried the coin, the one who had some of the word but kept it hidden, was not profitable, the one who was invited but didn’t think it necessary to even change his clothes, was not profitable, and if you do not start sharing the Word of God that has been entrusted to you, you will never be found to be profitable either.
Did you notice the one who was given one coin, he wasn’t afraid of other people, he was afraid of his master. He mistakenly thought that if he screwed up that he would be punished, and so his fear kept him from even trying, “If I just keep it hidden and then give it back to him, I’ll be okay.” The master told him that he would have been happy with just interest, even the smallest amount would have been enough, and it would have been enough for the servant to be entrusted with more. His abilities would have grown, his trust in the Lord would have grown, and the cycle would have continued until his trust would have been complete and unquestioning in his Lord and Master. The key word here my friends is effort, the two that were given five and two coins went and did with the abilities that they already possessed. They were not told “Here is the ability, here are the coins, now go” they already possessed the abilities, as each and every one of us do.
You have a strong point, you possess the ability to do something, and with eight-billion people on the planet, I am not going to be foolish enough to fall into Satan’s trap and tell you that you are special, but you do have certain abilities. In a way, the amount of Scripture that you have hidden in your heart is the amount of coins that you have, the truths of the mercy, grace, love, compassion and every other part of the Scriptures that you know have been entrusted to you, they are your coins, and you are to increase them for the glory of God. And how do we do that? We go and tell others what we know about Christ, we bring forth 30, 60 or a 100-fold, you can’t spread the seeds of the gospel of Christ unless you go and open your mouth. It never ceases to amaze me just how simple our Lord made this for us, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:18) So, go be a fool for Christ.
The one who was given one coin was right to be afraid, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28) He should have used that fear as a jumping off point, you get rid of the fear, and you learn to trust. You will see miracles happen right before your eyes, rejoice yes, but rejoice more because you will have the assurance that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev. 3:5)