Friends, I have chosen to share the following with you. It is a presentation I made on the “Word Made Flesh” radio program presented by the Diocese of Roseau on DBS Radio in Dominica a few years ago. Today, this message is still very pertinent, and serves as a call to Christians. I appreciate your taking the time to read it.
Today we focus on” The Fruits of Time, Talent & Treasure. We call them the 3 t’s. We are called upon to use these our Time, our Talent and our Treasures, for the building of the Church – The Body of Christ, God’s very People.
When speaking, – we often say we don’t have time for many things. But where is time and who has it? Time is always there – it’s constant. But we must learn to manage it in order to properly use if for the building of the Kingdom of God. Our every breath comes out in time and so what ever we do daily, should be done to the Glory to God.
Yet speaking of Time as a fruit means that there is something more required of us. We ought to share it with others, especially those who desire and need it most. This requires a certain discipline and decision on our part. We must set that time apart – to serve others especially those less fortunate than us.
Talent is a gift and a fruit given to us all. Having been given these talents whatever they may be, we must first discover them. Some people may spot our talents and tell us, while we may discover them for ourselves. One important fact however is that, we can’t quite see the talents and their capacities without getting involved. In order words we must be action oriented people in order to identify and then utilize our talents. The church needs our talents;-Those of our children, youth and adults. Everyone has something they can contribute. Everyone is called by God to give off self.
Treasures when referred to, many of us say we have none. Treasures are the various things we own that we can share with others. Yet they are more than that. Treasures are the things we hold extremely dear to us. Money, other material and tangible things and of course Faith, are just a few examples. We can’t lose sight of the fact that, in Christ Jesus we have a treasure beyond all treasures. His love for us, and we are being called to share that treasure with all we encounter. The world today more than ever is yearning for such treasure. As Christians we must – consider our responsibilities.
Brothers and sisters, As Christians we are challenged today especially as a nation celebrating 25 years of independence to give. – To give to our Country in order to preserve and enhance our cultural heritage, to give to our church and each other in order to make alive the reality of Christ Jesus for indeed we are His hands, eyes, feet in the world.
To give means to sacrifice and true giving is painful. But we are being called to do just that. In the Holy Scriptures we read “Give and it will come back to you, Full measure, pressed down shaken together and running over.” This requires faith and trust in the Word of God to sometimes give off self, not knowing what will the return be. While we may not know, we must trust He who knows.
He asks us to seek first His Kingdom and all the rest (including our needs) will fall in line. That means we ought not compromise faith for our own human understanding for indeed faith is not black and white – it is beyond our own knowing and understanding.
When we give, we must not expect anything in return, instead we should do it freely trusting Our Faithful Savior, Christ Jesus Himself, – who is a man of His words and who knows not how to lie. He will give back to us abundantly – but we must believe and trust His promises.
James Chapter 2: verse 14 says: “My Brothers, what good is it for someone to say that he has faith if his actions do not prove it? Verse 17 goes on further to say: “Faith if alone and includes no action is dead.”
Friends, using our Time, Talent and Treasures, know no boundary. In doing so, we will become a people of true faith in Christ.
Abraham was put right with God, through his actions when he was asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac, that was painful but he was prepared to do so for the will of God and as true obedience to Him. Thus his faith and actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions. And the scripture became true that said “Abraham believed God and because of His faith God accepted him as righteous. And so Abraham was called God’s friend.
James chapter 2 Verse 23 says; “You see then, that is by his actions that a person is put right with God, and not by his faith alone.”
There are many other examples in the Scriptures where the importance of action is expressed.
So it is not the church we attend, nor the faith that we cherish that makes us friends of God. One critical and most important reflection of our faith is our Action. And often I refer this as “how we live daily when we are around people who know us, in comparison to our lifestyles and behaviors when we are away from them.
Sisters and Brothers, in order for us to give off our time, talents and treasures we must be in genuine relationships with Christ. We must be in regular contact with him – meaning our prayer lives should be healthy thereby giving us the necessary direction for the journey of service. For giving off self means to serve and a true servant is one who is selfless. We can only be selfless when we surrender ourselves to Christ Jesus. And surrendering to Christ Jesus is not a one-shot event – but a journey – a continuous road.
We should surrender to Him constantly, thereby working out our salvation in fear and trembling before Him. And working out our salvation involves avoiding occasions of sin and avoiding robbing God of that which belongs to him. We must give our tithes wholeheartedly, we must give off our time and we need to use our talents more for the enhancement of our liturgies, communities, country and each other. Let us stop short – changing God. Much is given to us thus much is expected of us.
For indeed we are not our own; and so the time, talents and treasures that we claim and hold on to so tightly, belong not to us but to God himself. We were bought with a price, we are purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Halleluiah to Jesus.
So friends, let us give back, that which we were borrowed. Let us use them for the betterment of the church and others, through service by using our Times, Talents and Treasures for the building of the Body of Christ – the church – the People of God.
May He richly bless us today.