Tales from the Kingdom of Heaven: The Apprentice

Here is another post from my other blog on Sunday, September 11, 2005:

This Sunday (September 11) we talked about the fourth of five stories Jesus told which illustrate how we should live our lives in light of the ever-present possibility that He could return at any time. You can read about it in Matthew 25:14 – 30.

In this story, a master gives three of his servants a test while he goes on a trip. Two of them succeed and one fails. It reminds me of The Apprentice in that people are tested to see how they handle small challenges to know if they can be trusted with bigger ones. Unlike The Apprentice, though, it’s not cut throat and everyone has a chance to succeed.
The first two servants are motivated by the opportunity and demonstrate diligence by immediately putting what was given to them to work to try to bring a greater return for their master. They were willing to risk loss, but succeeded in doubling what was given to them. They were both rewarded by being given greater opportunities and were invited to celebrate with their master.

The third servant was motivated by fear and an unhealthy understanding of his master. He accused the master of being someone who exploits others. He hid the funds that were given him and brought no increase to his master. He had the little that was given to him taken away and is kicked out of the master’s household. Even if he had risked what was given to him and lost it, I believe the master would have been more merciful to him.

This story shows us that God wants us to take what we have been given (relationships, abilities, finances, etc.) and actively work to increase the influence of His kingdom in this world. We sometimes need to take calculated risks, even if it means we could loss everything. If we tightly hold on to the little we have we probably will not keep it for that long. God will reward our faithful diligence with greater opportunity and joy.

As we closed we pondered the questions, “How much an I willing to risk for the sake of God?”

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