•NO EXCUSE• Although I have talked much about how our spiritual growth matters and how we need consistency/steadfastness to hold our faith; also, I have talked about the absence of any restriction to our spiritual growth, it still behooves me to talk more about it when I read about the Parable of the Talents. Summarily, it goes thus: A master who wanted to go on a journey entrusted to his three servants his property. He divided his money and gave 5 talents to a servant, 2 to another, and 1 to another-each according to his ability. When he was gone, the servant that was given 5 talents invested with the money and gained 5 talents more for his master. Also, the servant entrusted 2 talents likewise invested with the money and gained 2 talents more. While the third servant that was given 1 talent dug the ground and hid the one talent inside, instead of looking for ways to multiply the money. Their master eventually came back from his journey, and called all of them for the money he entrusted to them to save for him. The first servant confidently told him he invested in the money and made double the amount of the money, making it 10 talents. The second servant in the same vein presented 2 more talents with the 2 talents he was originally given, making it 4 talents. And to the two of them the master, after seeing the impressive productivity and faithfulness of the two servants, told each of them: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master”. That is, the master chose to elevate them after attesting to their loyalty. But for the third servant who hid the money instead. He gave back precisely, what he was given, which was 1 talent! And presumptively said to his master: “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours”. But the master in anger, dismissed the “excuse” of the servant, calling him a “lazy” servant, and telling him that even with the knowledge of the servant about his master being a hard man (strict, inconsiderate, overbearing man), and a person who liked to eat what he did not cook, he could have invested the money in a bank so as to earn an interest on the money. With an interest on the money, that interest would be the amount of the money the master did not work for but got anyway, and by that the servant would have been proven himself productive, regardless of what he took his master to be. So, in a nutshell, the excuse the servant gave was flimsy and baseless; it was all an attempt to justify unfaithfulness and laziness. For that, he was cast out of the master’s presence (MAT. 25:14-30). Brethren, dwelling on the lazy servant, one would be tempted to ask oneself that was he the only one who had been working with the master to know he was hard? What about the other two servants? After all, the other two servants had more money (responsibility) entrusted in their care. What then is the basis of the excuse? Virtually nothing. It solely and convincingly proved the servant to be a starkly lazy, and unfaithful one. Add to the fact he was so presumptive of his master to assume that he was a wicked person that got things without working for it. But was this true? Of course not! The master was an extremely rich man, which identifies him as a person that worked to amass so much wealth. The servant also presumptively took the master to be a wicked person. But I consider, if the master was a wicked person, would he have entrusted so much money to his servants? I do not think a wicked person could do that. So it all amounts to one thing: the servant tried to justify his laziness; he tried to find an excuse to make. Unfortunately, no excuse could justify his foolish actions. So is it with many Christians, they always look for excuses to justify their bad actions, or especially, when they are found lacking in places where they are not supposed to. Apostle Paul clearly told the spiritually-lazy Corinthians that there is no obstacle put in their way to improve spiritually (2COR. 6:3). In another verse he wrote: ‘You are not restricted by us (or any one for that matter), but you are restricted in your affections’ 2COR. 6:12. That is, there is nothing whatsoever that stops anyone from growing spiritually as a Christian, I repeat, nothing. God has not put anything in anybody’s way; He has said that whatever we need we should ask, and we will receive (MAT. 7:7-12; 21:22JOHN 16:23). Apostle Paul in the same vein pointedly told the Corinthians that they were the ones restricting themselves (2COR. 6:12). Much due to their worldliness, and as a consequence, laziness to abide by God’s Word. And I am certain that they had given excuses for their infantile, unprogressive spiritual small-mindedness (1COR. 3:1-3) for Apostle Paul to have told them there were no restrictions to attaining levels of spiritual up- building. They were the ones imagining restrictions to make excuses. Apostle Paul summarily told them in 2 COR. 6:11-13: ‘Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections (shortcomings). In return-I speak as to (spiritual) children-widen your hearts also (grow spiritually)’.
You cannot simply make flimsy excuses before God. No one can deceive Him, He is all-knowing; He knows when you try to conjure a baseless excuse to justify your intentional shortcoming, impeding your spiritual progress which you are to be blamed for. Apostle Paul wrote in GAL. 6:7: ‘Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he shall reap’. It is what you sow while on earth that will determine the level of your candidacy in heaven.
Jesus Himself, in MARK 4:24 says that the measure you get; the effort you put in your spiritual life, will be what you will get back; more so, you will be rewarded with abundant extra as a reward of your effort. Consider the two servants who invested with the money given to them. They were given both the original money, the money they earned in their investment, and the overall favour of dwelling with their master in His house. That is precisely what a hardworking Christian gets both on earth and in heaven. Unlike the two illustrious servants, the third lazy servant, even with the little he was given, that little was collected and given to the first servant who already had much in his disposal. Thus, the words of Jesus served their trueness when He said: ‘ “For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away” ‘ MAT. 25:29; MARK 4:25. And what accounts for the taking away from he who has little? That is because he does not make effort to improve on the little. So, brethren, make every effort to grow spiritually. Do good always as God wants you to (ROM. 12:9&10; 12:21). Make the effort to pray regularly (ROM. 12:12). Make effort to attend church so as to buoy your spirit with encouragement (1TIM. 4:13). Be aglow in the Spirit by constant study of God’s Word (ROM. 12:11). All in all, Apostle Paul wrote: ‘Practice these duties (spiritual duties), devote yourself to them, so that all may see your (spiritual) progress’ 1TIM. 4:15. There is simply no excuse for you to be avoiding one or all of these. MAY THE LORD STRENGTHEN YOU IN YOUR QUEST FOR SPIRITUAL MATURITY IN JESUS NAME (AMEN).


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