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Principal’s Blog – July 2024

Faithfulness for the Long Haul

I recently had the privilege of addressing the QB New Pastors’ Conference. In one of the morning sessions I shared from that familiar parable of the talents, recorded in Matthew 25. You’ll remember that Jesus tells the story of a wealthy businessman who is preparing to go on a long journey. But before he leaves, he entrusts a significant amount of money to three of his servants. To one he gave five talents, to another two and to the last, one talent. Of course, a talent wasn’t a gift or an ability, but a sum of money; a significant sum of money. According to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary a talent was the equivalent of twenty years of wages for a labourer. In today’s money a talent would have represented $1.2 M. So, the first guy was given around $6 M to look after, the second guy was given around $2.4 M and the last guy was given $1.2 M.

You remember how the story goes. Upon his return the businessman asked each of these servants to give an account of what they had done with their master’s money. The first two had actually doubled their master’s money during his absence, and they both received the same commendation, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master’s happiness”(Matt 25:21). But the last guy simply hid his master’s money until his return. He did nothing with it! And for his efforts, or lack of effort, he received a stern rebuke, “You wicked and lazy servant!….Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (Matt 25:26 & 28).

In a similar way, God entrusts to all his servants, gifts that are designed to be used for God’s glory and the blessing of others. In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul reminds us that as members of the Body of Christ we have each been entrusted with ‘spiritual gifts’, just as God has determined. But these gifts were never given for our own personal benefit, nor for our self-aggrandisement. They were given “for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7).

Earlier in 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul reminds us of another important matter when it comes to the gifts that have been entrusted to us. He says, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor 4:2). In other words, we have been called to be faithful with our use of the gifts that God has entrusted to us. They are not given to promote ourselves but to bring glory to God and to bless others. But let me suggest that this faithfulness involves, not just faithfulness in the use of the gift, but even more importantly, faithfulness to the giver of the gift.

When I commenced my ministry journey around 35 years ago, God burned this verse into my heart, and the deep longing of my heart throughout all these years is that I would be found faithful in the use of the gifts that God has entrusted to me and faithful to Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. What is needed today, as much as ever, are servants of God who have a genuine desire to be found faithful.

Peter Francis (Principal)

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