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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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God has given us gifts and talents

God has given us gifts and talents

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus told a parable because the disciples were near Jerusalem and his hearer “supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.” (Lk 19:11)

The purpose of the parable was to stress what we are supposed to do in the “in-between-time” before Christ will come again to gather his faithful.

The parable deals with a nobleman (probably King Herod the Great) who went to a distant country (Rome) to get royal power for himself and then return. He called in ten of his slaves, and gave each of them a large sum of money (about three-months-wages for an agricultural laborer) and instructed them to “Do business with these until I come back.” (Lk 19:13)

When he returned, he called in his slaves to see how they did. Those who made a profit were given more responsibilities. Those who held onto the money for fear of losing what their master had given them, were condemned.

The moral of the story is that God has given us gifts and talents to use until the Lord comes for us. We serve our Master well when we use our gifts and talents for our own well-being and that our brothers and sisters in our world. This is what God expects; this is also the key to true happiness.

We should always focus our direction in life toward total fulfillment – “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness can only come from within. No one else can “make us happy.” Life is too short to be wasted on hatred, revenge, faultfinding, prejudice, intolerance and destruction. We constantly need to develop a positive way of thinking and acting.

The following Scripture quotes can help us form positive attitudes:

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” (Rom. 12:9-10)

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Rom. 12:16)

“Welcome one another just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Rom. 15:7)

“Rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace. The God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor. 13:11)

“For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.” (Gal. 5:13)

“My brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” (1 Cor. 11:33)

“That there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12:25-27)

“Be at peace with one another.” (Mk 9:50)

“Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

“Do not seek your own advantage, but that of others.” (1 Cor. 10:24)

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32)

“Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” (Col. 3:16)

“Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (Jam. 5:16)

May our lives be full of love and peace!