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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, March 10, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The bags of gold represent any kind of resource we are given. God gives us time, gifts, and other resources according to our abilities, and he expects us to invest them wisely until he returns. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have but how well we use what we have. (NLT)
Matthew 25:14-29 – [Jesus said] “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone. He gave five bags of fold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities—and then left on his trip. The servant who received the five bags of gold began immediately to invest the money and soon doubled it. The servant with two bags of gold also went right to work and doubled the money. But the servant who received the one bag of gold dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money for safekeeping.
“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 gold said, ‘Sir, you gave me five bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.’ 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!’
“Next came the servant who had received the two bags of gold, with the report, ‘Sir, you gave me two bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.’ 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 gold came and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard 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 and here it is.’
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! You think I’m a hard man, do you, harvesting crops I didn’t plant and gathering crops I didn’t cultivate? Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest. Take the money from this servant and give it ot the one with the ten bags of gold. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. . . .”
The man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. – Matthew 25:18 (NIV)
Cynthia Zimbelman-Burr (Kansas) titled her story “HIDDEN TREASURES;” here is a portion of Cynthia’s story:
“Years ago, I boxed up my collection of antique dolls and stashed them in the basement. Sometime later a friend invited my daughter to attend a week-long medical mission trip to Jamaica. As we wondered how we might raise the needed funds, it occurred to me that I could sell my doll collection on the Internet. . . . I also thought of the servant who hid his master’s money in Jesus’ parable of the talents. I began to feel as if I had been doing the same thing by ‘hiding’ these treasures in my basement when they could be invested in a good cause. . . .
“My hobby of selling on the Internet has blossomed into a missions project for our church – selling donated collectibles that have been in closets, basements, and attics. . . . Digging up my ‘buried talent’ has reaped more rewards than I ever could have imagined.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Where can I discover hidden gifts from God?
Prayer: Generous provider, thank you for gifts of love, compassion, and the desire to serve. May we share these gifts with others. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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