Luke 19:20-24 “Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’”

Do you realize that we are accountable to God for what we’ve done with the gifts He has given us? And do you realize that everything we have is such a gift? God has given all of us many things. We can start with things we often take for granted, like the gift of sight or the ability to walk; for you see, it is just such things that not all people have been given. Then there are the abilities and talents we have. We may have worked to develop them (which He gave us the strength to do), but the basic abilities as well as the opportunities to develop them have been given to us by God. Then there is the material wealth, like money, our homes, our vehicles, and everything else we “own.” All of these things are “from him and through him and to him” (Romans 11:36).

So, what are we doing with these things that are “ours”? Are we good stewards of them, using them to bless others around us, and thus laying up our treasures in heaven – or are we hoarding them, keeping them exclusively for “me, myself, and I”? Do we resist giving what we own, or giving our time and abilities to bless others, because we are afraid we won’t have enough for ourselves? Do we realize the true nature of the God who gave these things to us, or do we believe God is a miser, doesn’t really have our best interests in mind, or worse yet, that He doesn’t even exist? Such viewpoints are consistent with a lack of faith or trust in God, and anyone who doesn’t believe or trust Him may wake up someday to the sobering words of Christ in the story in Luke 19 above. That reality will be the utter and total loss of every gift they’ve ever received from God, and furthermore an awareness that all these things that they were stingy with on earth will be given to those for all eternity who were not stingy and who trusted God with their lives, abilities and possessions.

What about you? Are you a giver or a hoarder of God’s great gifts? God help us not to hoard the things He has given us for the few years of our lives on earth, to then, in the end, lose them for all eternity.

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