September 2, 2023
Gardeners hands planting flowers in the garden.
Love Over Fear
…out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Matthew 25:25

The third servant in this story acts out of fear, and no wonder! His master is harsh and unpredictable. For that matter, the world can be too. This world can be a fearful place. When we’ve been blindsided by tragedy or have experienced cruelty firsthand, we might start to walk through the world on eggshells, just like the servant did around his master.

If we let them, though, pain and uncertainty can make us compassionate instead of fearful. They can make us more aware of how others are hurting and more willing to reach out in empathy. Jesus himself faced criticism, exclusion and violence. He must have felt afraid sometimes, but he always reacted with love. He reached out instead of retracting—moved toward others instead of away. He calls us to do the same: “I know you’re hurting. I hurt too. None of us are alone.”

Lord Jesus, help me to act out of love even when I am afraid.

- Karla Manternach

1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 • Psalm 98:1, 7-9 • Matthew 25:14-30
Gardeners hands planting flowers in the garden. Photo by Maksim Kostenko | Adobe Stock
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Comments

September 2, 2023 at 08:55 PM

Help me not to run when life is painful Father in Heaven, you gave me Jesus Your only Son to walk beside me. Thank You Father for the gift of Jesus Amen Amen Amen

September 2, 2023 at 07:17 PM

How do you sort out the conflict between God's anger and God's love for His people in Scripture? *** This helps me in Slow to Anger - Character of God Series by BibleProject https://youtu.be/TeQ1nq_YJD0?si=E8kVxqm7ADDGM_Ye *** Every Scriptural passage points me to a character of God *** Every Scriptural passage points me to a human characteristic ******* Every Scriptural passage points me to the reason why I need the Savior, my Lord Jesus Christ!!! *** In every BSF student lesson, we learn GAME: Gospel Connection, Attribute of God, Main Truth and Engagement :-) *** I learn to get these four things out of every Scripture I study *** John 5:19-20, "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me (Jesus)! Yet you refuse to come to Me to receive this life."

September 2, 2023 at 04:13 PM

Thanks for the thought provoking reflection Karla! I am building on what Anne said here and reverting back to my favorite in Luke: “To whom much has been given, much is required.’ I believe God knows what our talents are and he expects us to use them to multiply his Kingdom - not bury them under laziness, avoidance, business, fear, etc..Love the dialog here. We are all made special by God and it is up to us to develop and share those gifts. Happy Labor Day weekend All.

September 2, 2023 at 04:05 PM

Continued prayers for the Ukraine and those suffering in Russia and the Sudan, and for the strength, courage and resilience of our brothers and sisters in Maui who are grieving. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in Ukraine, Sudan and Maui and all who are in need and at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

September 2, 2023 at 11:46 AM

Amen God bless you all ????????????

September 2, 2023 at 10:34 AM

How does one handle fears? *** Love over fears as Karla has mentioned! 1 John 4:18, "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love." *** Faith over fears in Deutoronomy 31:6, "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” *** Trust over fears in Proverbs 29:25, "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety." ******* Fear Is A Liar by Zach Willaims https://youtu.be/1srs1YoTVzs?si=gMXY5dRIv3eA31Z8

Salina
September 2, 2023 at 10:53 AM

Is God a ruthless exploiter of our talents in Matthew 25? November 9, 2020 by Ian Paul https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/is-god-a-ruthless-exploiter-of-our-talents-in-matthew-25/

September 2, 2023 at 10:29 AM

Good morning Friends. This Gospel is very unsettling to me. If I was the third servant, I probably would have reacted in a similar way. The Master was totally out of line, and that that matter, the servant called the Master out on his deceitful behavior which him even more. My hope is that “the third servant” will be rewarded in heaven for his totally truthful actions. Jesus would never have punished him or taken anything away from him. Love you Lord Jesus.

peggyR
September 2, 2023 at 10:34 AM

Couple grammatical errors. The servant’s behavior angered the Master. Have a lovely fearless and Love- filled weekend.

September 2, 2023 at 08:47 AM

After many years of reading and hearing this gospel passage the words that leaped out to me today were, “to each according to his ability.” God knows what we are capable of and he only asks that we at least do that much. If we allow others or our own fear of failure to keep us from living up to our God-given potential then we are stifling God’s will for our lives and will reap the results of our own lack of trust. In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that he came so that we “might have life and have it more abundantly.” The abundant life is not so much one of wealth and leisure but rather one in giving God our very best and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Praying for discernment in such matters will help us to discover what it is that God is calling us to in order to live the very best life for ourselves and others.

September 2, 2023 at 08:30 AM

I think Jesus is saying we need to put the gifts god gives us to good use. We will be judged on how well we have used these gifts

Anne
September 2, 2023 at 08:51 AM

Amen. That’s it, in a nutshell!

September 2, 2023 at 07:52 AM

Love has conquered and continues to conquer every form of fear. Thank you Jesus for this wonderful image of love that you are for us. Fear cannot match it! Have a fearless day Living Faith Family.

Bruce Korbesmeyer Respond to comment
September 2, 2023 at 07:37 AM

Thank you for acknowledging the behavior of the master. Let us not let the master “off the hook.” Indeed, the master was harsh, unduly harsh. And no prior instructions from the master! The master knew the ability of each (or not, as it turned out). Compassion and understanding could have gone a long way in positively influencing the servant’s future actions.

Bruce Korbesmeyer
September 2, 2023 at 08:59 PM

Salina, Doesn’t the Lord work through people? I think so. He is conveying a message to us through the actions of his people. God is also all loving and all merciful and I find it hard to believe he would resort to those words and actions because a fearful servant did not use his master’s treasure to garner the highest possible return.

Salina
September 2, 2023 at 03:03 PM

Bruce, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse :-) …But *** if you are right about, “And Jesus is providing an example how both parties could behave differently to help each other?” *** Where is the punishment of the harsh master as Jesus told about the punishment of the unfaithful servant? Why did Jesus left that punishment out? *** Plus the repeated phrase in Matthew 25:21, 23, “ “His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” is consistent with the wedding feast of the Lamb mentioned in Revelation 19:9, “Here is what the angel told me (John) to write. “Blessed are those invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” Then he added, “These are the true Words of God.””

Salina
September 2, 2023 at 02:41 PM

*** Hmmm, interesting concept/proposal…is there another parable Jesus taught that is like that?! That it doesn’t point me to God Himself…only human errors? That’s my honest question. *** I have learned that anything, anyone and any story that doesn’t point me to God Himself, it is not beneficial to me! To me, all Scripture points me to God Himself even in the book of Esther when His Name was never mentioned. *** 1 Corinthians 10:23, “You say, “I have the right to do anything.” But not everything is helpful. Again you say, “I have the right to do anything.” But not everything builds us up.”

Bruce Korbesmeyer
September 2, 2023 at 11:39 AM

Isn’t it possible that in this parable the Master is not God? Another human being interacting with another human being? And Jesus is providing an example how both parties could behave differently to help each other? Take care.

Salina
September 2, 2023 at 10:13 AM

Bruce, I see it differently...why did the other two servants know what to do returning 5 and 2 more talents? Here is my take/obsevation (not the truth because Scripture did not say): *** The other two servants knew the master much better than the third servant! *** The third servant's fear prevented him from wanting to know the master better like the other two servants. *** As a matter of fact, the master said if the servant knew he was demanding he should have put the money in the bank to earn interest! ******* The parable is showing me the principle of "faithfulness!" It doesn't matter what or how much we are given, we need to be a good steward...whether I am poor or rich, sick or healthy, strong or weak, famous or unknown, God can multiply what He has given me if I dont bury it!!! *** But then again, the Holy Spirit may be showing you how you should be treating your employees giving them good instructions, etc? I don't know? May be you want to hold the master responsible because you are being treated without instructions by your master? Just my speculation and I do not want to assume anything...that would make me an axx :-(ass u me)

Salina
September 2, 2023 at 09:54 AM

Good morning Pam! You're funny :-) I do not know it all, but I do have an observation...I am very dependent on the Holy Spirit to answer my questions daily :-) *** I really think if you got the idea of evangelism, then that is what the Holy Spirit has spoken to you! In this season, the talents God has given you may be evangelism? Have a conversation with Him and ask Him! *** Do I think God is the harsh master? No, I do not thimk that because I have personal relationship and experiences with Him and He is nothing like a harsh master as this servant said this master is! *** Read the text again, it was the servant's opinion that the master was harsh in Matthew 25:24-25, "Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' ******* There are many of us in the world especially the young freshmen in college at one time or another think God is a "joy" killer! *** Today's reading and lesson point me to the topic of "faithfulness!" FAITH over FEARs This particular servant has no faith! *** Romans 8:14-17, "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. The Spirit you received doesn’t make you slaves. Otherwise you would live in fear again. Instead, the Holy Spirit you received made you God’s adopted child. By the Spirit’s power we call God Abba. Abba means Father. The Spirit Himself joins with our spirits. Together they tell us that we are God’s children. As His children, we will receive all that He has for us. We will share what Christ receives. But we must share in His sufferings if we want to share in His glory!" *** I hope this helps? Share your revelations from the Holy Spirit, Pam...

Pam
September 2, 2023 at 08:20 AM

Bruce, I kinda had the same thought. But remembering how Jesus speaks in parables, was the talent actually symbolic of “souls”? Truly, I’m struggling here, because I don’t know. I thought the servants who doubled their talents might have evangelized and converted the extras. But I didn’t want to think of God as the harsh Master. I’m lost on this one…Salina, are you up yet? Need your help here!❣️

Gardeners hands planting flowers in the garden. Photo by Maksim Kostenko | Adobe Stock
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