From the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation - God At Work! January, 2018

For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29)

Matthew 25 shares a series of parables describing the Kingdom of God. In the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) the master leaves his immense wealth (the equivalent of 160 annual salaries) in the hands of his servants. Two servants double what they were untrusted with; while one only returns the talent he was given. The master rewards the two successful servants with even more responsibility, but casts out the unsuccessful servant. Clearly, stewardship is central to discipleship in the Kingdom of God.

The punishment of the poor steward seems severe, but the stakes were incredibly high. Thus, it is with our stewardship. Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is our job alone. What will we have to show for it when the Master returns?

Therefore, we must strengthen our stewardship so we can be the best disciples possible, not out of fear of punishment, but out of an abundant desire to do what is right and what pleases the Lord. Like a gymnast or musician, we are always looking for those occasions when it all seems to happen perfectly—in our prayers, presence, service, witness and in our giving. God does not just want our average performance, but our best prayers, our most engaged presence, our most selfless service to others, our deep and abiding witness, and our sacrificial giving. Of course, we know there will be difficulties along the way, but we have the assurance of God’s abundance.

Sue Koch