Use It or Lose It

MEMORY VERSE: “Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” —I Corinthians 4:2

MATTHEW 25:14-30

THE title of this lesson, “Use It or Lose It,” is very appropriate in connection with the Parable of the Talents, which is the scriptural basis for the study. The Scriptures are clear that if the Lord’s people do not use that which has been entrusted to them they will lose it. This is especially true with respect to the main gift with which we have been blessed; that is, a knowledge of the truth, the Gospel of the kingdom.

Our memory verse is to the point. The Lord’s stewards are indeed required to be faithful. The preceding verse reads, “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” It is our stewardship over these “mysteries” to which the Lord requires faithfulness, and a failure to be faithful stewards will eventually lead to the loss of the truth.

The first verse of the lesson makes it plain that what was delivered to the servants were the Lord’s “goods.” Whatever of natural talents the Lord’s people possess have a bearing on the extent to which they are able to promote the truth; but without the truth, which has been given to them by the Lord, they could not participate in his Gospel-age program at all.

Naturally there is a variation of talents among the Lord’s people, and the Lord expects us to use all that we have, and faithfully, in his service. Whatever we might possess in the way of natural abilities is a stewardship over which we should also strive to be faithful. It is a human failing to decide that because there is not much that we can do it is not important that we do anything.

But our important stewardship, as we have seen, is over the “mysteries of God.” These mysteries are revealed, or delivered, to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, and it was the Holy Spirit, described by Jesus as “the Spirit of truth,” that he promised to give to his disciples when he left them.

Jesus fulfilled this promise. Ten days after he returned to his Heavenly Father the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the waiting disciples at Pentecost. They knew in advance what this was to mean, for Jesus had instructed them to wait at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high—the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

And in the power of the Holy Spirit of truth Jesus’ disciples were to be his witnesses, beginning at Jerusalem and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. This was their commission—the great enterprise in which they were to be engaged. This has been the work of the Lord in the earth from then until the present, and it still continues. Our responsibility is to be faithful stewards of the truth which we have received through the Holy Spirit; for it is only those who are faithful to this stewardship who will live and reign with Christ in his kingdom.

We should remember that in a parable the thing said is seldom, if ever, the thing meant. Actually no literal talents, or money, were given to the disciples by Jesus. The Lord’s work for the Gospel Age has not been the making of money by trading with finances that the Master gave them. The Lord’s work has been the calling and preparation of those who will share the rulership of Christ’s kingdom, and this is being accomplished by our faithful use of the truth.

But the parable does illustrate principles involved in connection with the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of his people to their stewardship over the mysteries of God, the great gift of the Holy Spirit of truth which has reached them through Jesus, who is represented as the One who bestowed his “goods” to those in the parable.

The parable reveals that there is a wonderful reward for those who are faithful to their stewardship. We read, “His lord said unto him, [who had five talents] Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (vs. 21) This same statement was made to the one with two talents.


What are the “mysteries of God” over which his people have been made stewards?

Are we also stewards over our earthly possessions and abilities?

What does the Bible teach concerning the reward of those who are faithful to their stewardship?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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