I love this picture because it really speaks to my heart. The Holy Spirit has been convicting me, after studying Matthew 25 for my Bible Study, that there is a place in my life where I am not using the talents that God has placed before me. There may not be a place for me in “this church”…they seem to have no need for whatever reason (a.k.a. you have not been here long enough to which I said “huh?”). However, there is a neighborhood nearby and I should be impacting them in some way. I do pray for my neighbors but what am I doing practically speaking? Thus this brings us to this old saying that goes like this: If you fail to plan you really are planning to fail. That in a nutshell is what Paul is saying in vs 1 of Titus as he begins this letter. He notes that he is not only a servant (doulos…bondservant) of Christ but also an apostle (for us ambassador). He then explains his purpose in life which is to further the faith of God’s chosen ones. Hampton Keathley III gives us a way to see this phrase:
In the Greek the words “to further” is kata. “kata may be used of (1) the norm or standard by which something is done, “according to, in accordance with”; (2) of the goal or purpose, “for the purpose of, for, to”; or (3) of reference or respect, “with reference to, with respect to.”
The challenge before us is to determine what God’s purpose is for our lives and then implement that purpose in a radical way. For example, if God has given you the talent of teaching then you should be using it for His church. If He has given you the talent of hospitality you should be using it to reach others for Christ either in your church or in your neighborhood. If we fail to plan on using these talents then one day we might hear these words: “the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” When we take the risk and step out to use the talents God has given to us as Paul did then we are true disciples. Paul’s plan was to further the faith of the elect/God’s chosen ones. He was given a mission and as he told King Agrippa “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” He set out to not only evangelize but also to edify those whom God put in his path. Thus at the end of his life he could say “2Ti 4:7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!”
If we fail to plan then we have achieved nothing and in fact are being disobedient. Our timidity and lack of planning leads to a loss of joy, a loss of rewards in eternity, a loss of hearing “well done thou good and faithful servant.” We have failed to plan and thus have planned to fail. It is up to us.
Where will you and I leave our footprint in the lives of others this week? What plan will you and I implement this week as part of furthering the faith of those who are in the Body of Christ and to serve others outside the Body of Christ?