The parable of talents

Over the last few days I have been reflecting on the parable from Matthew 25:14-30. It is commonly known as the Parable of the Talents. Here’s a snippet of the bit I have been reflecting on…

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent,each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”

The story continues with the master being happy with the first two servants who used their talents wisely. He says, “Well done good and faithful servant”. To the one who buried his talents in the ground he scolded him and called him a lazy servant.

The part that really jumped out at me this time around was the phrase tucked away in verse 15. It says, “…each according to his ability…”. Often a disciples of Christ we miss this part. We often compare ourselves to others and their talents, or we feel guilty that we should be doing more things like those around us. We miss the according to our own ability message.

My ability is to share God’s Word with others. This is done mainly via the internet, and to a lesser degree in person. This is someone I am passionate about and I am drawn to do. I have an ability in this area and it brings fruit.

This doesn’t mean everyone should have a website or a blog to share God’s Word with others. But we should try to find and develop our own abilities and use our God given talents that way.

I think the key for us to use our gifts for the good of others (1 Peter 4:10). We need to use our gifts with passion, use our gifts with love and most importantly use our gifts to bring glory to God.

When we do this according to our own ability, we will bring joy to the heart of God. And in the future we will also hear those wonderful words, “Well done good and faithful servant” when the Master returns for us too.

How about you? What abilities have you got that you can use to bless others and bring glory to God?

Five principles of Christian leadership

Leadership gurus describe leadership as being “influence, nothing more, nothing less”. In some ways this is true. However, I believe there is more to Christian leadership. Christian leaders are people who are moved at God’s pace and in God’s time to God’s place. Christian Leadership is about taking a central role in taking people further into God’s plans and purposes and encouraging others into a deeper relationship and understanding of God.

Over the years I have read a number of leadership books and seen some of these principles in practice. Some have been good and some not so good. In this article I want share the five of the most important things I believe Christian leaders should do and be, to be the most successful leaders they can be.

1. Christian leaders need to cultivate an intimate relationship with God

The first and most important thing Christian leaders need to do is develop and strong and intimate relationship with God. In an article by Gordon MacDonald he says, “the forming of the soul that it might be a dwelling place for God is the primary work of the Christian leader”. Developing this intimate relationship with God through daily prayer and reflective Bible study is vital if Christian leaders are going to be all they can be in God.

We see that Jesus modelled this drawing away to a solitary place to connect with His heavenly Father in prayer. In Mark 1:35 we see that He did this alone and in Mark 6:35 he called the disciples to draw away from the pressing crowds. As Christian leaders we need to follow Jesus example to make sure we come aside from the business of life and ministry to make our connection with the Father. As we do, we find that our relationship with God grows and we allow Him to speak to us. We can also learn from Scripture and receive guidance on how He wants us to lead the people we are overseeing. I believe this time alone with God is vital for our growth, seeking direction and for our long term survival of the pressures of ministry brings.

2. Christian leaders need to have a servant heart

The second thing Christian leaders need to have is a servant heart. In 1 Peter 4:10 the Bible says that “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. At the heart of this verse is being called to serve and we are to use what God has given us for the benefit of others.

In Matthew chapter 20 we see the disciples we having a discussion on who was the greatest amongst them. Jesus enters the conversation in verses 26 and 27 and says, “…Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave”. In this short statement Jesus turned their views of leadership and greatness completely upside down. The Gentile rulers of the day lorded their power and authority over the people and treated them harshly. Jesus told His followers they need to live different and that greatness comes not from being served, but by being a servant to others.

3. Christian leaders need to be shepherds of God’s people

I believe as Christian leaders one of our prime objectives should be to love and care for people under our ministry. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:2 that Christian leaders should, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God”. This verse tells those in leadership to watch over those in their care like a shepherd watches over his flock.

In John chapter 10 Jesus talks about the role a shepherd plays in caring for his sheep. He says that they provide food, water and protection and if one strays the shepherd goes out to look for the lost sheep and brings it back to pasture. As a result of this care and protection the sheep trust and listen to the shepherd’s voice. Our heartbeat as Christian leaders should be to provide love, care and a safe place where people can grow in their faith and service to God.

4. Christian leaders need to live with character and integrity

One of the keys to successful long Christian leadership is the desire to live with character and integrity. In 1 Timothy 3:8-12 and Titus 1:5-9 it lists 24 characteristics that should be seen in Christian leadership. Some of these include being of good behaviour, not greedy for money, not given to excessive drinking, not quick tempered, but being self controlled, a responsible steward, one that holds fast to the Word of God and has a good reputation outside the church. It tells us that these qualities should be evident in the lives of those who are called to Christian leadership. In saying this though, it does not say that one has to be perfect to be in Christian leadership. That is not possible as we are all human and fall short at times. However, it is saying that these things must be evident most of the time.

I firmly believe that as Christian leaders we need to have this same commitment to living with character and integrity the Bible talks about. We need to have a good testimony both in and outside the church and before God and man. Billy Graham put it perfectly when he said “If I were ever to do anything dishonouring to Christ, I would rather He take me home to heaven before I did it”.

5. Christian leaders need to be committed to making disciples

The last words of Christ before returning to heaven are recorded in Matthew chapter 28:19-20. It says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you”. This verse is a clear command to reach people with the love and saving message of Jesus and to teach them how to follow Jesus and His teachings.

As Christian leaders I believe the core of what we do is to love God, love people and to make disciples. We need to focus our energies on loving and bringing people into the Kingdom and teaching them how to continue to grow in their faith and service of God. The early church understood this and as a result many thousands of people came to faith in a short time. In Acts chapter 2:42 we see that, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer”. In committing themselves to these things, the early church members were able to grow to maturity and be sent out in their community to reach others for Christ.


In this article I have shared the things that I believe are vital for those in Christian leadership. I believe that the foundation of Christian leadership is the forming an intimate relationship with God by regular prayer and disciplined Bible study. As we do these things we will grow and change and are able to start to see the world through God’s eyes. This then allows us to move out into the world with a servant heart and the attitude of a shepherd to love and care for those entrusted to us. As we do these things we need to live with an attitude of integrity and humility before God, while resolutely playing our part in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Confess and be blessed

I was reading Psalm 32:1-5 this morning for my devotions. It listed a number of blessings that happen when we confess our sins to God.

1. It starts by saying blessed is the one whose…

  • Sins are forgiven by God
  • Sins are covered by God
  • Sins do not count against them
  • Spirit has no deceit in them
2. Next it talks about when we keep our sins silent…
  • My bones felt like they were wasting away
  • Your hand [of judgement] was heavy upon me
  • My strength felt like it was sapped
3. Then it talks about what they did next and the result…
  • Confessed my sins to God
  • Did not try to hide or cover up my sin
  • God forgave their sin
Confession should be a key part of our lives if we want to be happy and right with God. It helps us to walk lightly before God.
When I first came to Christ and confessed my sin to God I felt like the world had been lifted off my shoulders. Now when I confess my sin and it keeps me right with God.Now just let me clarify what I mean by confession. I don’t mean sitting in a small room confessing to a Priest through a partition. I mean sitting alone with God and saying sorry for the wrong things I have done.

In saying this though, there have been times in my Christian life where I have been struggling with an issue and I have shared it with a friend so they could pray for me. But 99% of the time, I am alone with God.

A great passage from 1 John reminds us that we all sin and we all need to confess and receive forgiveness. I John 1:8-9 says…
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The key for us today is confess our sin and be free of it. Don’t cover it up or try to hide it. Confess and be blessed.

If you would to find peace with God and have your sin forgiven, I would encourage you to visit the salvation page on my website.

The righteousness of God through faith

In the NLT the heading for this passage is the “Righteousness of God through faith”.

Romans 3:21-26
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,
26 for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.

As we know in the OT times people were made right with God through faith and various ritual sacrifices. They would sacrifice an animal to cover their sin and temporarily make them right with God.

In our times since Christ, we are made right with God through faith. Faith in what Jesus has done for us in His death on the cross.

Today’s text tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory in the way we live in verse 23. Verse 24 tells us that we are now free from the penalty of our sins. And verse 25 tells us that we are right with God when we believe in Jesus.

I really like that God tells is there is an issue – our sin. Then He tells us our sin is dealt with – in the death of Jesus. And finally we are right with God – because of our faith and trust in Jesus.

If you are in Christ – meaning you believe He is the Son of God who died on the cross for your sin, you have confessed your sin, and you have invited Christ to be you Lord and Saviour – you are saved, forgiven and set free.

You can take communion today assured that you are right with God. You can remember the sacrifice of Jesus for your sin. You can be assured that you will spend eternity with Him.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith is yours through Christ!

Let us give thanks for the bread and the cup.