Sunday,15 August 2021
Title: Teach me to be faithful
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
In the parable of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus told a story of a man who was going away for a long trip. Before he left, he called his three servants and entrusted each with five, two and one bag of silver respectively.
We are not told of the reasons why the bags of silver were entrusted with the servants nor did the parable tells us what the master told the servants to do with the bags of silver. However, in verse 16 of Matthew 5, the first servant with 5 bags of silver proceeded to invest the money and earned five more while the second with two bags of silver went to work and earned two more. Each of the two servants used the bags of silver differently. The third servant merely dug a hole in the ground and buried the master’s money.
A simple lesson we can pick up from here is that whatever resources, skills and talents God has blessed each one of us with must be put to good use. Often, we hoard too much today in our perceived fear of hardship which tomorrow may bring; ignoring that tomorrow may bring sunshine and abundance beyond what we dare to trust God for.
The servants in this parable merely had to put their resources to work and each was in turn blessed with a 1 fold increase in wealth. In Daniel 1:20, Daniel and his three friends made up their mind to trust God totally and were in turn blessed with abilities ten times more than any other officials of the King. In Mark 10:29,30, Jesus promised a hundred times blessings for those who have sacrificed hugely for his sake and for the Good News and he concluded verse 30 by saying “And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.”
We need to make mention that Matthew 25:15 tells us that the master gave the bags of silver to each of his three servants, “dividing it in proportion to their abilities.” This is a wonderful reminder to me every time I wonder whether I have served well enough or when I compare what I do with what other Christians do in the Kingdom of God.
We have been blessed in accordance with our abilities to handle such resources put in our midst. As long as I have wisely used the resources I have been blessed with, I do not have to worry that I have not done my part in the Kingdom of God.
In PBC’s recent Pandemic Relief Initiative, we raised a huge sum of money (over a short 2 weeks) and many gave from their heart but one young boy, Tod broke his piggy bank and gave his entire savings to the relief fund. God blesses us with resources according to our abilities to handle them.
A statement was recently made in relation to the Pandemic Relief Initiative that in doing God’s work, we must be prepared to take some risk. Matthew 5:11 specifically pronounces a blessing on those who are persecuted or suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
I was reminded of a recent picture of a PBC pastor in a lonesome graveyard setting performing a burial service with only 3 family members present in the picture. Another nearby church pastor had just passed away after being likely infected at a funeral service.
In the midst of this pandemic, men of God continue to serve and minister assured of their calling and that “Christ’s love compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14) ringing out loud in their hearts and delightfully obvious in the observing ears and hearts of others, now able to relate and understand what being the salt and light of the world really means and perhaps, even a glimpse of heaven.
Help me God to be the salt and light of the world and teach me to wisely use the resources you have given to me according to my abilities to handle. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
在马太福音 25:14-30 的三个仆人的比喻中，耶稣讲了一个人要长途跋涉的故事。临走前，他召来三名仆人，分别托付了五、二、一袋的银子。
我们没有被告知将银袋托付给仆人的原因，比喻也没有告诉我们主人吩咐仆人如何处理银袋。然而，在马太福音 5 章 16 节，第一个拿着 5 袋银子的仆人继续投资，赚了 5 袋银子，而第二个拿着 2 袋银子去上班，又赚了 2 袋。两个仆人对银袋的使用方式各不相同。第三个仆人只是在地上挖了一个坑，把主人的钱埋了。
这个比喻中的仆人只需将他们的资源投入到工作中，每个人的财富就增加了 1 倍。在但以理书 1 章 20 节，但以理和他的三个朋友下定决心要完全信靠上帝，因此他们得到的能力比国王的其他任何官员都多十倍。在马可福音 10:29,30 中，耶稣应许那些为他的缘故和为好消息作出巨大牺牲的人祝福一百倍，祂在第 30 节结束时说：“那人在来世必得永生”。
值得一提的是马太福音 25:15， 主人将银袋分给三个仆人，“按他们的能力分配”。在上帝的国度中， 每当我怀疑自己是否做得足够好时，或者当我将自己的所作所为与其他基督徒的做比较时，这经节对我来说都是一个很好的提醒。
关于最近发表的新冠疫情救济计划声明，即在做上帝的工作时，我们必须准备好承担一些风险。马太福音 5:11 特别宣布祝福那些为福音而受迫害或受苦的人。
我想起了最近的一张照片，班底浸信教会牧师在一个寂静的墓地主持葬礼，照片中只有 3 个家庭成员。附近的另一位教堂牧师可能在某个葬礼上被感染后刚刚去世。