by Timothy Jerry
So far we have looked at the first two keys to discovering our purpose.
The first key to discovering our purpose is to realize that we were created for God and His glory. We were designed and created to worship our creator.
The second key to discovering our purpose is learning to fellowship with God through prayer and His word.
The third key to discovering our God-given purpose is to get busy serving others with your time, talents and resources.
In today’s me first, self-serving culture, this may seem like an alien concept, but we were created for a purpose greater than that of serving ourselves.
Many Christians are waiting around for God to give them some great revelation of His will for their lives, but we discover God’s will as we love others, by giving of our time, talents and resources, in advancing God’s Kingdom through serving others.
Discovering God’s purpose for our lives is a progression that is determined by our faithfulness and obedience. God will not reveal the next step of your journey until you do something with what He has already given you.
I’ve always said, “If you want something done ask a busy person to help you.” I have found that many of the people who have the most disposable time are often very hard to motivate and keep on task.
The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25:14-30 (NLT) Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
“After a long time, their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We are Stewards of God’s Blessings and Resources.
This parable illustrates several very important truths that we need to take hold of in our own lives. These servants were stewards of their master’s resources.
In like manner, everything we have, including our talents and abilities belong to God. We are stewards of what God has given us. This means that He expects us to use what we have for the advancement of His Kingdom purposes.
Are you using your time, talents and finances for God’s Kingdom or just consuming it upon your own pleasures and personal interests? Jesus said that our heart would follow our treasure. If we only treasure what is in our own best interest then our heart will follow after those things.
When we begin to allow God to change our priorities so that they align with God’s heart, then our heart will follow after those things that please God.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
If you want to know where your heart is, just look at what you spend money on.
Many people, including Christians, think nothing about spending money on all sorts of THINGS that benefit their own desires, but then object to being asked to give into God’s kingdom when asked to help the cause of Christ in the earth.
We have all heard people make the proverbial statement “All churches or preachers want is your money!”
You will never hear people make these types of remarks about their bank, or the sports teams they follow, or the Casino they may frequent.
This is just a reflection of where their heart is really at. Their heart, as Jesus said, is following their treasure.
The world speaks of finding happiness, but happiness is not really a biblical term. What Scripture speaks of discovering and living within is contentment.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NLT) Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
As we set our hearts on serving God by serving others, we will find contentment in this life and God will direct our steps.
People like to absolve themselves from personal responsibility.
You will notice that the servant who was given only one talent was the only one of the three who did nothing with what he was given.
You may feel as if your life is insignificant at times, but this is a lie of the enemy, designed to keep you bound in a non-productive life. Throughout the Bible, we see example after example of God taking the little that someone has and doing great miracles.
Moses only had a walking stick, yet God delivered an entire nation through the use of that rod.
The widow only had a little oil, yet at the word of the prophet, it was multiplied to meet a great financial obligation.
Jesus used a few fish and loaves of a young boy to feed a multitude.
Your one talent with God’s ability can do much greater things than you may have ever imagined. But it will do absolutely nothing if you just keep it to yourself and do nothing with what God has placed in your care.
Your local church is a great place to start.
The entire New Testament was written from the context of serving within a local body of believers called the local church. If you are not part of a local church you need to get hooked up with a strong Bible-based church where you can begin using your abilities and resources.
1 Corinthians 12:18 & 26-27 (NLT) But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it.. – If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.
You will notice that in these two passages that we were designed to serve others within the context of the local church. As each member uses their God-given supply, the body is strengthened and grows into maturity in Christ.
Ephesians 4:13-16 (NC) This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path. No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head. The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.
God’s desire is that each of us reaches full spiritual maturity in Christ.
It’s time to grow up
Hebrews 5:12-14 (NLT) You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. (6:1) So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
Christians need to grow into strong mature believers who can help and serve others. Unfortunately, many Christians spend the majority of their lives consumed with their own problems. As we begin to turn our attention to serving others, even when we are in need ourselves, it releases God’s blessings into our lives.
I am convinced that most Christians would be set free from bondage of depression, anxiety and a number of other problems they face if they would just begin putting their hand to serving others.