For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
— Matthew 25:29
A business consultant who gave high-dollar lectures to large companies once asked me, “Rick, how are you able to accomplish all that you do in your ministry? It seems like God keeps handing new assignments to you.”
I was blessed by this man’s view of our ministry, as he was a very serious businessman who had seen a lot over the course of his career. As I pondered his compliment, I was reminded of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:29, which says, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” The word “abundance” in this verse is the Greek word perisseuo, which means to abound or to have something in excess. In some places in the Greek New Testament, it carries the ideas of something that is given generously or something that is overflowing, plentiful, or even superabundant.
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As I look back on all our years of ministry, I believe the word “abundance” perfectly describes the many assignments that God has given me. When it seems there is no more in us to take on new assignments, that is often when God opens a marvelous new door and beckons us to walk through it. These past adventures of faith and obedience have built a strong foundation for our ministry, which enables us to do more and more with the help of our well-trained team. Although there is still much room for growth, the strides we’ve made over the years in our personal lives, in our spiritual walks, and in the structure of our organization have put us on solid ground and demonstrated to the Lord that we are capable of doing more. So “more” is exactly what the Lord continues to give us!
In Matthew 25:29, Jesus teaches that how you perform in your current endeavor determines whether or not God gives you greater, more significant responsibilities in the future. God is watching you right now to see if you will prove yourself faithful in your present task because it shows Him whether or not you can be trusted with a big promotion. Your future is contingent on your attitude and job performance in the present!
Therefore, it’s important that you take a thorough look at yourself and honestly evaluate your condition. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I giving my present job 100 percent of my effort?
- If I was looking for someone to fill a position of great responsibility, would I want to hire someone who has my attitude and work ethic?
- Do I finish projects, or do I drop the ball along the way?
- Can I be trusted with money?
- Do I handle my money in a way that shows I appreciate its value and power?
- Does my life and attitude reflect the qualities that would make God want to choose me?
Your honest answers to these questions should help you determine whether or not you are the kind of person to whom God wants to give additional responsibilities in the future. Don’t despair if your answers are less than satisfactory. Simply determine to make necessary adjustments in your life and become the kind of person God looks for when He needs someone to fulfill an assignment from Heaven!
One thing is certain: God does not choose lazy people who sit around doing nothing. Think about it. Why would He call someone to do His work when that person hasn’t successfully done his or her own work?
There is not a single example in Scripture of God significantly using a person who was idly sitting around and wasting time when He called them. All the men and women of God in the Bible were already busy doing something when God spoke to them.
Consider Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:14-30, which tells of the master who gave talents to three of his servants. Jesus says that when the master returned from his long trip, he expected to see increase and productivity as a result of his gifts. The two servants who were faithful and worked hard were richly rewarded. However, Jesus describes the servant who brought no increase or productivity as “unprofitable.” The Greek word for “unprofitable” is achreios, which means useless. It is the picture of a person who contributes so little that he is essentially worthless, and it reveals a lot about how Jesus views lazy people.
Through this parable, Jesus teaches that faithfulness and hard work is commendable in the Kingdom of God. When God needs someone to do something for Him, He looks for hardworking, faithful, “use-what-they-have” individuals who have already demonstrated worth. These people already know how to handle money; they know how to work; and they know how to stick with the job until it’s done. Maybe they are still growing in these areas, but they have done enough to demonstrate to God that they can be trusted with more.
The Bible is loaded with examples of men and women of God who exude these qualities. The following list provides a few examples of strategic, well-known, key Bible personalities who were already successful before God called them, and there are many, many more found in Scripture.
- Noah was successful and righteous before he was called to build the ark.
- Abraham was successful and rich before God called him to become the father of faith.
- Joshua was successful as Moses’ associate before God called him to be the leader of Israel.
- Gideon was successful as a leader before God called him to lead the Israelite armies.
- David was successful as a shepherd before God called him to be the king of Israel.
- Daniel was successful in Nebuchadnezzar’s court and walked in integrity before God called him to be a prophet.
- Matthew was successful as a tax collector before Jesus called him to be His disciple.
- Peter was a successful fisherman and businessman before Jesus called him to be His disciple.
- Luke was a successful doctor before he was called into the ministry.
- Paul was a successful politician and religious leader before God called him into the apostolic ministry.
- Timothy was successful as Paul’s associate and disciple before he became the pastor of the church of Ephesus.
This is just a small, representative list of the many similar cases I could show you from both the Old and New Testaments. God called these individuals because they had already proved their work ethic through their previous endeavors. By observation, He knew each of them could be trusted with a greater assignment.
You might try to put together a list of people who were doing nothing when God chose them for a big assignment. If you do, I believe you’ll have a very difficult time assimilating such a list. I actually tried once to compile one, and I couldn’t think of anyone who was used significantly by God but was doing nothing when He called him.
Maybe you think you have enough on your plate already, and that may be a fair point. But know that when God finds someone faithful, He likes to give that person more responsibility because He knows He’s finally found someone He can trust. Therefore, don’t be too surprised if more is given to you in “abundance.” Just consider it the harvest of faithfulness and a demonstration of God’s trust in you!
I encourage you today to conduct a deliberate self-evaluation to see how you’re doing in your walk with God and where you need to grow and change. As God observes your willingness to yield to the necessary process of preparation, He will know when you are ready for more.
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I pray that You will help me honestly evaluate myself and my performance. Even more, I ask for Your grace to help me see where I need to change. I receive Your empowerment to make the necessary adjustments so You can trust me with more responsibility. In those areas where I have not done well, I ask You to forgive me, and I receive Your forgiveness. With the power of the Holy Spirit and my decision to change, I believe that I’ll make forward progress in my life and that You will put more on my plate because You’ve seen that I am faithful with what I’m doing right now.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am faithful with what God assigned me to do right now. God is watching me; He is evaluating my performance; and He sees that I am doing the best I can with the knowledge and experience that I possess. I confess that I am willing to grow and change in the areas where I have not done well. I refuse to shut my eyes to the truth, and I will be honest with myself about the areas I need to change. God’s Spirit is helping me — and with His help, I will become a vessel that God knows He can depend on and use.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Take a moment to think about people whom God called upon to do great things. Can you think of any who were doing nothing at the time that God called them?
- Based on the conclusion that God gives more to people who are doing well with what he has already given them to do, how do you evaluate yourself? Are you a candidate to whom God would consider giving more responsibility?
- As you evaluate yourself honestly, what are the areas that you know need to change?