1. GRACE is the “FULNESS” of God manifest in Jesus Christ, “And of HIS FULNESS have all we received, and GRACE FOR GRACE. For the law was given by Moses, but GRACE and TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST” [John 1:15-17] It is the ability of God in us; to RECONCILE man to Himself and WORK in us to accomplish His PURPOSE, “For it is God which WORKETH IN YOU both to WILL and to DO of his good pleasure” [Philippians 2:13] GRACE is “WORKING CAPITAL”; the TALENT which the MASTER apportioned to His SERVANTS, as it is written: “And unto one he gave FIVE TALENTS, to another TWO, and to another ONE; to EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS SEVERAL ABILITY; and straightway took HIS JOURNEY” [Matthew 25:15] Jesus Christ is the MASTER and we are STEWARDS OF GRACE, who received SALVATION in His name. GRACE is not earned, inherited or the franchise of any man, nay an organization; it is the GIFT of God, “Wherefore he saith, When he ASCENDED up on high, he led captivity captive, and GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN” [Ephesians 4:8] If any man is in Christ, he is a STEWARD OF GRACE and shall give account at His Coming “Moreover it is required in STEWARDS, that a man be found FAITHFUL” [1 Corinthians 4:2]
2. Whatsoever we are or claim to be is of GRACE, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and WHAT HAST THOU THAT THOU DIDST NOT RECEIVE? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” [1 Corinthians 4:7] In the Parable, one STEWARD got “FIVE TALENTS”, another “TWO TALENTS” and “ONE TALENT”. The “NUMBERS” did not make one SERVANT superior to the other. We received of “HIS GOODS”, a measure of God, according to divine providence and no measure of HIM is inferior to another, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them HIS GOODS. And unto one he gave FIVE TALENTS, to another TWO, and to another ONE; to every man ACCORDING TO HIS SEVERAL ABILITY; and straightway took his journey” [Matthew 25:14-15] Your TALENT is the basket of heavenly resources committed to your care to accomplish DIVINE PURPOSE; it is not a REWARD of service to God, lest any man should boast, but an ASSET freely given in expectation of Kingdom PROFIT, “For unto WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM SHALL BE MUCH REQUIRED: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” [Luke 12:48] Beloved, God will not give you a net and expect you to harvest onions. If He gave you a net, he expects you to catch fish, “For it is God which WORKETH IN YOU both TO WILL and to DO of his good pleasure” [Philippians 2:13]
3. We are STEWARDS OF GRACE received from ABOVE, not of men, and should bring forth FRUIT fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, “If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” [Colossians 3:1] The faithful STEWARD is not one who built Cathedrals all over the world but one that TRADES His TALENT to WIN and RAISE men endowed with TALENTS into the Kingdom of God, as it is written: “Then he that had received the FIVE TALENTS went and TRADED with the same, and MADE OTHER FIVE TALENTS. And likewise he that had RECEIVED TWO, HE ALSO GAINED OTHER TWO” [Matthew 25:16-17] The SERVANT who got FIVE TALENTS raised FIVE others established in GRACE, likewise the man who got TWO TALENTS, but he that got ONE TALENT buried it in the earth [Matthew 25:18] Listen to him, “… I knew thee that thou art an hard man, REAPING WHERE THOU HAST NOT SOWN, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was AFRAID, and went and HID THY TALENT in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” [Matthew 25:24-25] He knew what His MASTER required of him but accounted the GRACE of God to his own enterprise and SOWED His TALENT in worldly activities for earthly GAIN. He was AFRAID of his MASTER’S RETURN, but did not amend his way; his SOUL was irretrievably mortgaged to the affairs of this world, “… destitute of the truth, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS: from such withdraw thyself” [1 Timothy 6:5]
4. Every STEWARD labours in anticipation of REWARD and so do we, watching earnestly for the appearance of the Lord. We look forward to a REWARD beyond the present world, as it is written: “And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give every man ACCORDING AS HIS WORK shall be” [Revelation 22:12] LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU, whatever we have or have not in this world is not the REWARD of GRACE, but TALENT to do the WORK of GRACE. The WORK of GRACE is SALVATION of SOULS. I therefore charge every STEWARD to be FAITHFUL, dutifully working with what we have received as the DAY approaches when He shall appear, When He RETURNS, the Lord will not take census of our parishes or consider our bank status but shall examine how we TRADED His TALENTS and what we GAINED of TREASURES of ETERNAL RELEVANCE, and unto “… EVERY ONE THAT HATH SHALL BE GIVEN, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And CAST YE THE UNPROFITABLE SERVANT INTO OUTER DARKNESS: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Matthew 25:29-30] Beloved, the appearance of the Lord is certain and imminent, what do you HAVE; the riches of this world or TREASURES of EVERLASTING LIFE?
5. If any man has not Christ, he has no TALENT TO TRADE. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and receive your TALENT, amen