The man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man . . .” (Matthew 25:24)
How do you see God? Do you see Him like the servant who had received one talent in the Parable of the Talents? Know this: how you see God will determine, to an altogether unsuspecting extent, how you serve Him.
The man who received one talent from his master buried it in the ground because he believed his master was a hard man, harvesting where he had not sown and gathering where he had not scattered seed (Matthew 25:24). Make no mistake, if we see God as “hard,” rather than holy, it will affect everything about the way we serve Him . . .
- Our work will be unrewarding.
- Our service will be slavery.
- Our labor will be lukewarm.
- Our giving will be without gladness.
- Our toil as trying as it is tiresome.
If we see God as “hard,” we will serve Him out of fear rather than joy, just like the servant in the parable, who was sternly rebuked by his master. Fearful service is faithless service, which brings no glory to God. So we must make the distinction between hardness and holiness. God is not a hard taskmaster; He is holy, and in His holiness God demands that we do the best we can with what He has given us to do it with.
We are to serve by faith, not in fear. When we do, we will experience the freedom and joy that comes from knowing that God is holy, not hard. God expects our best and deserves our best. When we give Him our best—whatever that ends up looking like—we can be assured that He receives it and smiles down upon it.
How is it with you these days? Have you confused holiness with hardness regarding your personal relationship with God? You can know immediately if you have by checking your attitude in your service to the Almighty. If God seems hard to you, you will see your service as a joyless and heavy burden. But if God is holy to you, you will see your service as a huge blessing that will return multiple rewards to you now and which will echo in eternity as well.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!