(Authors Note: This is the fourth part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)
I TIMOTHY 4:14
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
We are all very familiar with the parable of the talents. We’ve read the story, and we’ve heard preaching on this parable. We find Timothy is also being exhorted not to neglect the gift that he has been given by his Master. While Timothy received his gift by prophecy and laying on of hands, it may be different in your case. Maybe you didn’t receive gifts in such a way, but everyone has been given a gift from God.
These three young men were given gifts in the Bible. Two of them used their gifts and doubled them; one “reserved” his gift and buried it, saving it for his master only.
We easily see the result of their actions. The first two young men DOUBLED their gifts! How? Perhaps by acquiring new talents within themselves, or perhaps, by using their gifts, they were able to bring others into the kingdom of God (make “increase of the body” see Eph 4:16 above). If you add their original gifts (5 or 2), plus the gifts in the lives of the ones they brought in (5 or 2), you double the number of their original gifts (10 or 4).
5 + 5 = 10
2 + 2 = 4
It’s really just simple math.
There are some however that think their gift was only given to them to praise God with. They feel they should “reserve” their gift for God alone to be blessed by.
The math here is
1 + 0 = 1
This is altogether unscriptural as it is not making “increase of the body”.
Our gifts are supposed to edify the body in love. The edifying of the Body of Christ!! This is the reason we are given gifts…for EACH OTHER!!
So don’t “reserve” (read “neglect”) the talents/gifts God has given you. Paul also told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God,” (II Tim 1:6). Stir up what God has given you! Be zealous about it, kindle it, feed it…let it grow!
Remember what happened to the guy that reserved/buried/neglected his talent for the use of his master only?
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Ouch! My guess is we all want to use our talents!! We certainly don’t want that picture happening to us!
I had a conversation with a brother not very long ago, (I’m sure he’s reading this too) who told me that he was focusing so much on one of the gifts in his life, that another of his gifts was kind of fading away. I told him that I didn’t think God gives you one gift, only to take one away. Why? Jesus said in this parable of the talents that the master had given the servants “to every man according to his several ability;”
I looked up several, it means “their own”. God won’t give you more gifts than you are able to handle. Also, if we think of this in the manner it was discussed in this passage; the one with five talents invested ALL FIVE and gained five back. If he would have only invested four, it stands to reason that he would have had a return of four more, and had a total of nine talents, and not ten.
5 + 4 = 9
2 + 1 = 3
Note: this is not the same amount as above!!
Neglect not the gift that is in thee…any and all gifts! Use all that God has given you for His glory and for making “increase of the body”.
Has He given you a gift of song? Then sing for Him…A gift of exhortation? Then lift someone up with words. Maybe a gift of prayer? We certainly need prayer warriors!! We are here to strengthen each other, to lift each other up to add to our talents by bringing others in.
So, rather than the weeping and wailing part that comes with the neglecting of gifts, I think we should increase this body of Christ. While not using gifts is so unprofitable to God and the Body, the use of your gifts is so very profitable to us all!
Next Post: “give thyself wholly” coming soon!