Outstretched Arms of Love: Day Twenty Two, Saturday

In this Lenten series I would like to invite you to consider Jesus’ “outstretched arms of love” toward all who followed him as disciples, seeking to emulate his life, self-sacrifice, and humble service to others. Today we will reflect on one distinct time and way Jesus stretched out his arms of love to all who beheld his glory, believed his message, belonged as his disciples, and sought to become more and more like his image and with more of their true identity in Christ Alone.

Read Matthew 25: 14-30

The Parable of the Talents is also a Kingdom parable, designed to portray those who understand God’s desire for our fruitfulness in life. Those who think they know more about God than they truly do, end up missing out on the greatest of all gift of eternal life. The contrast is stark and the outcome is either blessed or bleak depending on where one lands in stewarding talents received and assigned by God.

The story is about a man who before heading out on a long journey calls his servants together, and entrusts his property to them while he’s away. To one he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents, and to the third he gives one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The one with five talents put his money to work and gains five more. The one with two talents did likewise and gains two more. But the one with one talent dug a hole and buried his master’s money.

After a long time had passed, the master of those servants came home and settled accounts with them. The man with the five talents brought those back and five more. The one with two did likewise and presented to the master two more. Both men’s stewardship pleased the King, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” However, the one with one talent simply brought that one talent back, thinking the master was a hard man, harvesting where he did not sow and gathering where he did not scatter seed. The talent was taken from him and given to those who had more.

That “worthless servant” was then thrown outside into the darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. This harsh punishment was brought upon by his bizarre rationale and illogical conclusions. His choices kept him out of the Kingdom. But, the reality of the Kingdom is that it won’t be for everyone. Some will choose to say yes to God’s invitation, initiation, and intention, while others will simply reject God and his ways. Therefore, everything we have has come from and belongs to God, and is to be stewarded with generosity, shared for the glory of God and offered as a blessing to others.

How well are you stewarding all you’ve been entrusted to for God’s glory? Is there a portion of your talents you’re hiding from the Father’s heart? We all long to someday hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” as we’re ushered into God’s Kingdom forever.  In the meantime, it’s best to steward and multiply that which we’ve been entrusted to care for in this life.

Today, openly receive all that God’s outstretched arms of love offers. Behold the generosity of Jesus; believe that you are richly blessed to be a blessing; belong to all good and faithful stewards; and become a servant who desires nothing more than to please the Master forever.

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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