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Playing it Safe is NOT Safe!
The last time I preached on this parable was 2001. Around the same time I was in a men’s study group working through the workbook that went with Wild At Heart. I don’t remember exactly where it came from but Bill Wooley and I began a saying that I’d like to resurrect. When parting company, instead of saying, “Be safe!” we began exhorting each other: “BE BOLD!”
That is the message of the Parable of the Bags of Money (formerly Talents). Instead of forming our primary image of God around obscure characters such Uzzah and Nadab & Abihu, why not use a primary character like Joshua, son of Nun? Think of what Joshua and the Israelites had been given: freedom from Egypt, the law of God, a covenant relationship with God, guidance with a cloud by day and fire at night, manna from heaven, and water from a rock. We’re told that even their clothing did not wear out during their 40 years in the wilderness. When they came to the edge of Canaan God did NOT say, “Be careful!” Rather, listen to the word of God, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) (Ok, actually they were told to “be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you…,” but even care-taking was in the context of being strong and very courageous (see 1:6, 7, 9, 18).)
God longs to prosper his people. He yearns to have them use what he has entrusted to their care so that he can multiply it many fold. Where are the men and women of courage and faith who are unafraid and unashamed to live the eternal life that they have been freely given? May it be me Lord! Amen!