by Ronald H. Matthews

Life Investment Analysis: How Are You Doing?
Rev. Ronald H. Matthews
Matthew 25:14-30

Last Sunday our lesson focused on spiritual readiness or being prepared for the day when the books are closed on our life account. Today's lesson continues that theme with The Parable of the Talents.

Jesus tells about a generous master who went away, leaving all his property in a trust agreement under the management of his servants. We tend to use this text as a theme for financial stewardship, but there is more to this story than mere fiscal accountability. It is our reminder that we will stand before God for a final audit. We all will be asked to give an account for ourselves. You might say that one of the reasons we need to be involved in a community of faith is that we need spiritual investment counsel. Our involvement in small groups like Sunday School or United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, United Methodist Youth etc. are opportunities for us to grow together in knowledge and service. We all need to periodically review our spiritual portfolio and make sure we are doing what we need to be doing in order to achieve our goals. That's not to say we are "earning" God's favor or mercy. Like the parable, God, the Master, trusts us with everything. Part of that trust relationship is our accountability to be wise in our stewardship of God's gifts.

Behind this lesson in accountability and personal responsibility lies the implication of judgment. That is next week's message, but it becomes readily apparent here. Keep in mind that judgment is not just something which happens at the end of our journey; it is occurring on a regular basis as we make our life choices. In every moment of life, we are failing or succeeding, growing or diminishing, becoming or losing ourselves. Throughout the NT we hear admonitions for self-examination; stressing the urgency of getting ourselves ready for the judgment AND a consistent message that we do this by how we li ...

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