Matt. 25:14-23. Listen as Pastor Dale carefully develops an understanding of what the Parable of the Talents is really teaching us. Much of our understanding comes from the way our culture “interprets” its meaning. What is the meaning of a steward? It’s not what a steward does; a steward is entrusted with something (ex.: a calling, purpose, responsibility) and given power, authority, and blessing. Bible examples are: Abraham’s servant who found a wife for Isaac; Joseph and Daniel. The kingdom of God has a unique culture, and if we look at this parable in terms of our culture, all we will see is what we think is unfair. Accept your place- it’s for a purpose and reason. Rejoice in who you are and DO NOT BE PREOCCUPIED IN DISSATISFACTION, and DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS. In the Greek a talent was a measure of gold, whereas in American thinking we take it to mean ability. But look!- the talents were given to the servants BASED ON EACH ONE’S OWN ABILITY. God’s love is unconditional, but HIS BLESSINGS ARE CONDITIONAL! God wants you to increase your ability, so He can increase your blessing. Develop yourself. Do what you can with what you have where you are. If money becomes #1 in your life, you will go backward. Character comes first. Note in 25:19 it says, “After a long time…”. Do not be hasty to be rich. Grow up in the Lord. Learn how to handle finances. Any treasure we have is small in God’s eyes. WE MUST DEVELOP TO BE BIGGER THAN OUR PROBLEMS. Matt. 25:21 After the man in the parable blessed the servants who increased their talents, he told them to enter into the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is the goal and reward. It is NOT achievements and results, but OBEDIENCE to God. When you are obedient, you will walk in the joy of the Lord.