Are you familiar with The Parable of the Talents Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-29? In it, Jesus talks about three servants who were each given talents by their master and the opportunity to build on what they had received. Contrary to what many believe, the purpose of the parable is not to show how hard we must work for God, but how servants can become “rulers over many things” through the application of God’s grace. And how those who resist grace, as in the case of the servant in the parable who buried the talent given him, end up as losers.
Here are a few very important lessons from The Parable for your benefit:
1. Firstly, we need to recognize that these talents are symbols of the grace of God and all God gives us freely in Christ Jesus. Notice, the servants did not have to work for them. They were given freely to each one. This is to remind us grace is totally free. The blessings of salvation are totally unmerited. Never try to earn them. Learn to simply receive them with gratitude.
2. The second thing to recognize is these talents were extremely valuable. While we cannot be certain how much one talent was worth, it was worth a lot, at least in the thousands, and some interpreters say each may have been worth as much as a million dollars. Grace makes us rich. It bestows upon us everything we will ever need for life and godliness and provides all we need to do God’s will perfectly. Remember, the goodness of God makes rich and he adds no sorrow to it.
3. Thirdly, in giving them these talents, the master was making a huge investment in each of his servants. That is what grace is–God investing in you! Consider how much God has invested in you. Consider all He has done for you and given to you from the day you were born, to preserve your life, to provide for your well-being, to promote your interests, to get you to where you are today. Jesus was an investment. Salvation is an investment. And so are the church, all your pastors, brothers and sisters in Christ, spiritual gifts and the blood. All are huge and costly investments God has made and is still making in you for your good!
4. Fourthly, the talents could be received and employed, or rejected and buried. When two servants received and eagerly employed them, they increased and became more. When the third servant rejected and buried his, he forfeited it. Grace is like that, the more you embrace it, and draw upon it to meet your needs and in the service of your Master, the more it grows and the greater it becomes. But if you reject it, or refuse to rely on it, it will do you no good. If you continue to reject it, the opportunity to use it will one day be gone forever. That would be a sad day, indeed!
5. Lastly, those who received the talents gratefully and eagerly put them to work became “rulers over many things.” Grace turns mere servants into co-rulers with their Master, giving them kingly authority “over many things.”
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NKJV)
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14 NKJV)
Brethren, truly grace turns servants into rulers. Don’t resist it like the one-talent servant did, and lose it. Instead, embrace it, eagerly, freely, thankfully; draw upon it lavishly. God has invested His grace in you, so that by grace, you might live and reign with Him forever. What a good God, what a merciful Master!
Who do you believe is the happiest person in the world? Is it the person with the greatest amount of money? Or the one wielding the greatest amount of worldly power? Not so. The happiest person is not a human being. The happiest person in the universe is actually God!
Most people don’t associate happiness with God. Instead, they think of Him as a somber, serious, sin-conscious being, who is almost always at least a little angry and disappointed with these fallen creatures He brought into being thousands of years ago. They portray a God who is perpetually in a bad mood. How untrue!
The truth is just the opposite. God is, in fact, “infinitely happy because He is infinitely perfect.” That’s right, infinitely happy because infinitely holy! His happiness flows from His perfections; the result of being completely holy. God is not sad and God is not mad.
Instead, God is: “The Good Being, a fountain of infinite benevolence…eternal, independent, and self-existent…whose purposes and actions spring from Himself, without foreign motive or influence…the most pure, the most simple, and the most spiritual of all essences…true and holy…the cause of all being…eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing that He has made…who, from His infinite goodnesss, can do nothing but what is eternally just, right, and kind.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
How can such One so perfect, so holy, and so complete not be infinitely happy!
Religion, surely under the influence of Satan, has done a masterful job in distorting the picture of God and the nature of holiness. But Jesus, who revealed the Father perfectly, painted quite a different picture of His Father and of the effect of His holiness on the minds and hearts of those who knew Him well and fellowshipped deeply with Him. Check out the story of the Prodigal son, in Luke 15, and you will see what the Father is truly like according to Jesus. You will see the Holy God at work, planning and throwing a huge party for His son, replete with lots of food, joyful music, and plenty of dancing. God loves a good party. He loves to “dance!” Hallelujah!
David apparently knew this as well because he writes:
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalms 16:11 NKJV)
The NCV makes the link between God’s holiness and His happiness even clearer:
“You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever. (Psalms 16:11 NCV)
Child of God, the Gospel is the good news of a happy and holy God who has forgiven us of all our sins and is making it possible for us to be as holy and happy as He is, through our union with His Son. You see, God loves to dance. And He is inviting you and the whole world to dance with Him in Christ. Amen!
We hear much today about generational curses. Some scrupulous and some well-meaning ministers are telling believers they are the victims of curses being passed down to them due to the sins of their ancestors. And in order to ever experience freedom from the curse, they need to receive special prayers of “deliverance,” often requiring repentance for the sins of their fathers, renunciation, fasting, binding and casting out of demons. But is this biblical and is this necessary for the believer?
In John 9, Jesus ministered to a man who had been blind from birth and his disciples brought up the subject of generational curses.
“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” (John 9:1-2).
The disciples believed the man was possibly suffering for the sins of his parents due to a generational curse. But Jesus rejected the notion altogether and gave a completely different reason for the man’s blindness.
“Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” (John 9:1-3 NASB)
When given the opportunity to talk about generational curses, Jesus did not. Why? I suspect it was because either He did not believe in them at all, or He did not believe in the same way the disciples did at that time and many do today.
The truth is God is not pronouncing curses upon families that are passed down from one generation to the next as punishment for sin. And if, in fact, there is such a thing as a “generational curse” being passed down from one generation to the next, then it is the curse of Adam, which is passed down to every member of the Adam race. That curse, produced by Adam’s sin, is called spiritual death–being separated from God and existing without God’s life inside. Spiritual death, and all its negative consequences, is the source of all forms of defeat in those whose origins are in Adam.
Thankfully, Jesus came to bring the Adam race to an end and to begin a new race of people. To Nicodemus, a member of the Adam race, He said, “You must be born again.” To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The believer, therefore, is no longer “in Adam.” He is now “in Christ.” His “deliverance” from the “generational curse” received from Adam is accomplished already. It took place when Jesus died and rose again for him. So, the believer in Christ can now give “thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:12-13 NKJV)
“Delivered from the power of darkness” and qualified “to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints?” What is this? Nothing less than a generational blessing! Just like the curse upon Adam flowed unto all those born to Adam, so the blessing upon Jesus flows to all of us born to Jesus. The curse in Adam has been replaced with the blessing in Jesus.
Child of God, stop believing you are cursed. The day of your salvation was the day of your deliverance. The only deliverance you may still need is from the blindness and unbelief that prevents you from resting in the sufficiency of Jesus and His finished work. Ask God to help you see all you have in Christ. And instead of believing that a generational curse is operating against your progress, start claiming and enjoying the “generational blessing” that flows to you from Jesus. Amen.
“Have the faith of God,” Jesus says, literally, in Mark 11:22. Not your own faith, God’s faith. The God kind.
Now, if I say to you, “Have some water,” I am saying to you that water is present, available and accessible to you right now. Is that not so? So, when Jesus says to me, “Have the faith of God,” He is telling me, its available and accessible to me right now and I can have it and use it if I choose, to conquer a problem, obtain a breakthrough, or win a victory. Jesus is saying, if you have a mountain that needs to be removed, you can exercise the faith God gives you, the God-kind of faith, to make the mountain move.
The mountain can be anything that is standing in the way of God’s best for you, that is preventing you from experiencing God’s best. It can be sickness, poverty, marriage difficulties, anything in the way of God’s will. Nothing is impossble to you. Nothing, because you have the faith of God in you.
Now, how do you release your God-given faith to receive miracles and answers to prayer? How do you unleash the power of God for miracles? The same way God unleashed His power to accomplish His purposes for creation and the same way Jesus released God’s power to work miracles on earth. It involves words.
God believes in the power of His words. He declares: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
And in Job we find: “You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.” (Job 22:28 NKJV)
Then Paul writes: “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;” (2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV)
And Jesus Himself declares:
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:22-24 NKJV)
Take all these passages together and it should become clear that God wants you to operate like He does. First, perceive His Will; second, believe His Word; third, speak to your “mountain,” believing that the very thing you are decreeing will be done for you.
You say, “I can’t do that, believe that I will have what I say. I am not God.” You certainly are not, but you don’t have to be God. You just need to be a child of God, to have His Spirit in you, to have God backing you to be able to do this.
Start believing because you are partaking of God’s nature in Christ, and are righteous in His sight, your words have great weight. That because we are a kingdom of priests, your words are highly anointed. That because those who have received abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign as kings in life, your words command great authority. (See Rom. 5:17, 1 Peter 2:9)
Child of God, if your world is without form and void and darkness is hovering over you, you can do something about it. But you have to open your mouth and start decreeing what you know to be God’s will for your life. Start commanding light and life to manifest and darkness to depart. Start decreeing the Word of God. That is what God did. That is what Jesus told us to do. Nothing happened until God spoke. And nothing will happen until you speak.
“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” (Zechariah 4:7 NKJV)
So, what are you waiting for? Believe and speak. And keep believing, and keep speaking. This mountain shall be removed, “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6)
Remember, it is not enough to just have faith in your heart. You need to speak in order to unleash the faith of God in you to make miracles happen.
Here is one such passage:
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 5:5-11 NKJV)
Notice several reasons Peter gives us for choosing to humble ourselves:
1. God resists the proud, but “gives grace to the humble.” God offers unmerited favor, undeserved blessings, well-timed help, and moment-by-moment assistance to the humble. Not to the proud. Can you use more grace on a daily basis?
2. God will “exalt you” in due season, if you humble yourself. He does not tell you just how God will exalt you, but he guarantees you God will. Wow!
3. God will “care” for you. God will literally take personal interest in everything regarding the humble, and actively attend to you and watch over you with “deepest affection.” Knowing this, you can cast “all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him.” (AMP). What a promise!
4. God will protect you from the devil who is looking for someone to “devour.” The proud are an easy prey for the enemy. But God defends the humble, as He cares for you and gives you grace in every situation and under all circumstances. Thank God!
5. The God of all grace will be with the humble during times of suffering and “after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” How comforting, how reassuring, how empowering!
Why does God make such magnificent promises to the humble? According to Peter, it is so that through these “exceedingly great and precious promises…you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4) These Scriptural rewards provide the Holy Spirit with what He needs to motivate and empower us to obey.
Child of God, do you want to partake of the divine nature? Then, make the decision to clothe yourself and walk in the humility God provides for you in Christ. Ask Him to break the power of pride in your life and to change your attitude. Start to pore over and pray over these precious promises daily. By so doing, you will be cooperating with the Holy Spirit and He, who is faithful, will give more grace as He produces His humility in you.
Be blessed, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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I know Jesus said we should “seek and we will find.” And I know many use the term “seek” to refer to steps they are taking to hear from Him and receive divine guidance. And that’s fine. But seeking Him as though He is far away, or hard to find, makes no Scriptural sense. In fact, it’s an act of unbelief.
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Some of you may have noticed I have not been publishing new blogs lately. I have taken a break to assess how to best use my time and how many people are actually reading and finding the weekly blogs helpful and valuable.
Since I stopped publishing new ones, I have only had one person to inquire. This suggests to me not many people miss the blogs and there is no need to continue producing them.
If I am wrong about this, and you really want me to continue my weekly publication of A Moment of Grace, I need to hear from you. Please drop me a line and let me know your thoughts and feelings.
I am willing to resume writing, but only if I know it’s worth my time and effort because many people are actually reading and being helped by them.
Bishop Darlingston Johnson
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