Week 28: Use It or Lose It

Today’s Text: Luke 19-20

Key Text: Luke 19:26

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.”

It’s one of Jesus’ more difficult stories to hear.

It’s about receiving talents – and using – or losing – them.

It’s about being given an opportunity to be about “kingdom work” while we await Christ’s return.

It’s about responsibility, and accountability.

Like I said, it’s one of Jesus’ more difficult stories to hear.

Read it for yourself – this little tale about a man of noble birth who travels to a distant land to be named king. Before leaving, he gives his servants some money, which he fully expects those servants to use for the benefit of the kingdom. Upon returning, he checks over the accounts and sees what the servants have been up to in his absence. Some can show they have been busy doing the king’s work. Others don’t have much to show. Some are rewarded. Some, well, like I said – it’s one of Jesus’ more difficult stories to hear.

It’s a harsh story, yes. But it teaches an important lesson.

Being a part of God’s kingdom – being God’s servant people – is more than just being on the “receiving” end of things.

Yes, we are the grateful recipients of God’s “amazing grace.”

We are also called to serve – to help build up the kingdom – not in “payment” for what we have received (we could never do that) but simply because that is what being a servant of God is about.

We have much ministry to do, in Christ’s name, until one day he returns.

We are, to use a modern phrase, called to “use it or lose it” – our talents and abilities – called into service – that is.

So, what can you use – to His glory – this week?

You may be surprised at just how much talent you’ve got. Why not use it? Today.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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