Scripture tells us that God does not give everyone the same amount of talents as described by Jesus in the ‘Parable of the Talents’ in Matthew 25:14–30. He gave to one, five talents. To another He gave two talents and the third He gave one. Each was given according to their ability. The message I received from this Parable, God was very unhappy with the person, with one talent, who took no action. I often wonder, did God give the one man just one talent because He knew prior to birth he would do little with it? We also learn that we are not all created equally.

Having been a high school coach, there are some players with little talent who will outplay those will more talents. Therefore, effort, practice and preparation will overcome one who spends little time taking advantage of their talents. You have probably heard it said: If you work hard enough you can become successful. This may not always be true. However, we know a person, receiving the Holy Spirit, is given gifts of the Spirit and fruits of the Spirit. At Pentecost, the 120 who received the Holy Spirit changed their lives.

The Christian who depends upon the Holy Spirit is sensitive to His leading and is like the athlete who listens to an experienced coach. The coach can’t guarantee an athlete’s induction into the Hall of Fame, nor can he guarantee a gold medal for the athlete, but he can train him and teach him everything he knows, giving him every advantage, allowing him to consistently do his best. The advantage of having the Holy Spirit does not guarantee presidencies, chairmanships, wealth, achievement awards, fame or recognition, but it will lead the Christian into the direction that fulfills his God-given purpose.

Romans 8:14–17 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

As we receive the Holy Spirit, God then adopts us. We are given a new identity being sons and daughters of God. In Roman culture, we would have been given full rights of our new family and became a full heir to our father’s estate. As God’s children, we gain all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in god’s family. To verify our adoption, the Holy Spirit is our witness to these privileges. We are no longer classified as slaves by the Master’s children. As children we are asked to live as Christ lived. We are to serve others, resist pressure to act as the world acts and be willing to give up some rights.

If a person has the faith and trusts what Scripture teaches, being an adopted child of God has to give you confidence that you can do all things through Christ Who gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13) Having supervised thousands of people, many fear failure. Some turned down promotions because they did not want the responsibility. Was it that they lacked the talent to succeed or a lack of confidence? Were they like the one talent man in the Parable?

Hebrews 13:6 “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

To improve our chances of being successful we are told to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice; we are not to conform to the patterns of this world and we are to transform and develop a new mindset. This means we are to become totally commitment to God’s ways and surrender our self-centeredness to being Christ-minded.

We are to allow the Holy Spirit to renew, re-educate and redirect our minds from the world’s ways to being a child of God. Keep in mind this is a gradual process and does not always happen overnight. We are not to become impatient and frustrated because it doesn’t happen instantaneously.

There are many ways to determine success. You can be successful parents by giving your children quality time and encouraging them to dream and strive to fulfill those dreams. Success can be a very personal thing. It does not have to be measured by wealth, fame or power. A teacher can be very successful explaining how goals can be met. Then seeing them meet those goals. Success knows that you are doing God’s will and you are thoroughly enjoying it. You can feel successful anytime having maximized your potential by using your entire God given talents and abilities.

Success is often times, the byproduct of service. Putting others first, meeting their needs can produce wealth or at least financial security.

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