All Women’s Chapel is one of my favorite events each semester. It never fails to be a wonderful time of worship and hearing from God’s Word alongside my Southeastern sisters.
This time, Dr. Ashley Allen taught us from the parable of the ten talents, as found in Matthew 25:14-30.
In this passage, Jesus tells about a Master who entrusts three of his servants with talents (each talent was worth many years’ wages). One servant received five talents, another received two, and a third received one talent. The first two servants wisely traded their talents, but the third one squirreled his away until the Master returned.
But go read it for yourself because Scripture is always supremely better than the Anna Schaeffer Version. I’ll wait here…
I’ve read this passage many times before, but Ashley really made the application come alive for us.
First, she points out how the Master entrusted. He owned the talents he gave out. They did not belong to the servants, and the servants knew that. The servants did not have anything that was not given to them. In the same way, our Lord entrusts us with gifts and talents. It all belongs to Him, so everything we do with what He’s given us is by His grace and for His glory.
But sometimes, we’re like the third servant, who doesn’t do anything at all with the talent. I imagine him burying it under a bush or something and then sitting there, staring at where he’s hidden it while the other two servants are out using what they’ve been given.
Ashley said, “Things that have value lose their worth when they are not used.” How true! If we don’t go out and use the gifts God has given us, how are they building God’s Kingdom? How are they contributing to the spread of the gospel and (Hey, Southeastern, you’ve heard this one before) fulfilling the Great Commission?
The Master also gave separate talents to each individual servant. Ashley pointed out that the Master knew each servant individually and gave to them according to their unique abilities. Similarly, God knows each of us individually and intimately, and He gives us gifts and talents according to that. This really takes the pressure off of us, because when we grasp this, we see there’s no need for feeling jealous or trying to operate as though we have the gifts God has given someone else. We are unique and we are uniquely graced.
But what if our efforts go unnoticed? Ashley reminded us that they are still of value. Our accomplishments are just as significant as the most well-known Christian with the biggest platform, even if no one sees them. Why? Because our Master doesn’t compare us to others. He just looks at how we’re being faithful with what He’s entrusted to us.
Toward the end of her talk, Ashley drew our attention to Hebrews 11, commonly known as the Hall of Faith. The chapter lists the names of God’s people who were faithful to His call, including Abel, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and more.
But then toward the end of the chapter, we read about men and women who lived by faith, yet their names are not given. They endured hardship and persecution and torture. And, as verse 37 tells us, they were people “of whom the world was not worthy.”
Even though we can’t read about these believers by name, they’re included as God’s faithful ones. Their obedience was just as important and significant as the ones who are named.
Ashley concluded by encouraging us to focus on Christ. To make our mark where we are and run our own race. Because, as she so powerfully stated, “God doesn’t compare your kingdom work to others and neither should you.”
Run your race, friends. Use the talents and gifts God has given you to show the world who He is. And one day, may we hear our Master say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Watch the whole thing here.