Growing Our Gifts

Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30. What is the most significant thought that stands out to you in this story? Why were the first two servants commended by God and the last servant condemned? What does this parable tell us about the use of our talents? Particularly notice Matthew 25:29.

The master gave to each servant talents according to their “own ability” (Matt. 25:15, NKJV). Each individual received a different amount. One received five talents, another two, and another one. Each servant had a choice of how to invest or use the talents that they were given. A crucial point here is that what they were given wasn’t their own. It belonged to someone else who gave them charge over it.

The concern of the master was not who had superior or who had inferior talents. It was not how many talents each was given. The concern was what each one did with what he had been given.

Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NKJV), “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” For God, what matters isn’t so much what you have, but rather, what you do with what you have.

God commended the first two servants because they were faithful in using their talents. Their talents increased with use. The “wicked” servant did not use the talents the master had given him, and they did not increase. It is an eternal truth that “The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men.”—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 326. The unfaithful servant squandered his opportunity to serve and ultimately lost the ability to serve.

When we use the gifts that God has given us for the glory of His name, they will increase, expand, and grow. How can you discover the gifts God has given you? Humbly ask God to reveal to you the areas He desires you to serve in for ministry. As He impresses you, get involved. Your gifts will grow as you use them, and you will find satisfaction in His service.

Think about this parable and apply it to your own life. What, if anything, does it say to you about what you are doing with what you have been given by God? (Remember, anything that you have is a gift from God, too.)

Additional Reading: Selected Quotes from Ellen G. White

“Has not God said He would give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? and is not this spirit a real, true actual guide? Some men seem afraid to take God at His word as though it would be presumption in them. They pray for the Lord to teach us and yet are afraid to credit the pledged word of God and believe we have been taught of Him. So long as we come to our heavenly Father humbly and with a spirit to be taught, willing and anxious to learn, why should we doubt God’s fulfilment of His own promise? You must not for a moment doubt Him and dishonor Him thereby. When you have sought to know His will, your part in the operation with God is to believe that you will be led and guided and blessed in the doing of His will. We may mistrust ourselves lest we misinterpret His teachings, but make even this a subject of prayer, and trust Him, still trust Him to the uttermost, that His Holy Spirit will lead you to interpret aright His plans and the working of His providence. {3BC 1155.7}

It was Christ who guided the Israelites through the wilderness. And it is Christ who is guiding His people today, showing them where and how to work. {3BC 1156.1}”

“At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days. {FLB 292.6}

God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word. {FLB 292.7}

The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God…. {FLB 292.8}

If they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe. {FLB 292.9}”

Those who hoard up their talents to rust, unemployed, unimproved, must not think that such action in any way relieves them from responsibility, for God holds us responsible for the good we might do if we took up the yoke with Christ, lifting His burdens, learning more of His meekness and lowliness of heart day by day. The interest continues to accumulate on buried talents, and instead of decreasing our responsibility the burying of our talent only increases and intensifies it. {TMK 326.3}

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Unlimited Possibilities


Differing Gifts: United in Service


God: The Giver of All Good Gifts


The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts


Discovering Your Gifts


Growing Our Gifts


Further Thought