Again, (the kingdom of heaven) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. . .
After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ . . .
Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master, . . . I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. ‘ . . . His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!’ (From Matt 25)
GOD’S PLAN IS FOR INCREASE. I say this in the most positive way, not to make us feel guilty because we aren’t producing enough “fruit.” The scripture that comes to mind is, “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” Is 9:7
Think of Abraham. God told him, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.” Abraham did father many physical nations — the Hebrew nation and, through Hagar, the Arab nations.
But Abraham also fathered today’s spiritual nation. “For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” (Romans 4:16b-17a)
In other words, God’s plan for increase is being fulfilled today all around us.
Going back to the parable of the bags of gold, what the master expected was for his servants to go out and do something with the wealth – take risks, “cast their bread on the waters”– in order to make the amount multiply. It was wicked to maintain the status quo.
In the same way, I think God expects us to do something with our knowledge of him, not just as an act of obedience, but because we realize He is ABOUT INCREASE. It is only natural that something as powerful and good as God would move in a positive direction. It is an insult to think otherwise.
And as God cares for His people, it is only natural that His power will be on their side. This has been proven over and over again in the stories of the Old Testament. Moses leads the people out of Egypt. The Israelites conquer Jericho. Gideon is able to defeat the Philistines with only 300 men. David slays Goliath. And so on.
The sin has always been in doubting God’s power and His faithfulness to help us. The sin is that we make God too small in our eyes.
In the parable of the talents, if you apply it to the Jews of the time, of course God would expect them, as His people, to go out and live effective productive lives. If you apply it to the gospel, the good news was something powerful, it was MEANT to leaven the whole world. Of course God would expect those who heard it to utilize this powerful agent.
The crazy thing I’m realizing is that we are living in a time of increase like never before. Those who believe in Jesus, “will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) There is “incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Eph 1:19)
And yet we feel impotent and defeated. We feel like the chaos and evil of the world is winning all around us, crowding out godliness, quenching the light bit by bit.
That is the greatest lie in the world. It’s not what God is about. We don’t need to feel bleak and conquered. God’s kingdom is increasing. We have to believe it is increasing, and we have to believe that we are meant to be a part of the increase. It doesn’t matter if we feel weak and ineffective. Even the smallest mustard seed of faith can move a mountain. Those with just one talent are expected to do something.
And God will spin the straw of our feeble efforts into GOLD, because that is what He does.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. I Cor 3:7