Developing Spiritual Growth
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Developing Spiritual Growth
Page 22

Third Servant's Mistake

Perfume BottleIt is important to understand that it is not being a small church that is bad but wanting to remain small that God frowns upon! In Jesus parable of the bags of gold, the third servant made an error of judgment. In Matthew 25.14-25 the story recounts, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money." The Greek word for a "bag of gold" in this parable means "talent." A talent was worth about twenty years of a laborer's pay! A talent of silver was the value of nine man-years of skilled work. Five talents or even one talent was worth a fortune to most of the servants! The third servant however, was thinking that it was maintaining his bag of gold that mattered, rather than putting it at risk so that it might grow in value. Church people must realize that even though their faith in Christ is like precious perfume in earthenware pottery to them, in order to keep it they have to keep on giving it away! Every church should be striving for growth, and the only effective means is evangelism. Malvina Reynolds, (1900-1978) an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist wrote the "Magic Penny" which reads, "Love is something if you give it away. Give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, You end up having more." Each church and every individual needs to practice giving away their love and their faith to people constantly and giving away their money generously. As the second verse of the song said, "It's just like a magic penny, Hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many. They'll roll all over the floor."

Budget for Evangelism!

For this reason, I always recommend that every local church hold at least one dedicated piece of evangelistic work every year and set aside part of their annual budget accordingly. Better still, that every organization within that church have one or more church growth activities of its own as well as a major thrust together! Before this can happen, however, we need to shake off the idea that we were meant to be small. This is an obstacle to giving away growth.

"Developing Spiritual Growth"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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