Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
Look at that first word. “Immediately.”
The first two servants immediately do something with the master’s money that benefits the master. They invest the money, doubling it. Knowing that it’s not their money and that they are stewards, they make it a priority to use it for the master’s benefit. As the story unfolds, we know a third acted like the money was his and buried it, which was of no benefit to him or his master.
This story is about giving to God first.
If you don’t give to God first, you will give to God last. If you give to God last, then you’ll give him your leftovers. And God does not want to be last in your life. The reason God wants you to give to him first is not because he needs your money. It is already his anyway. God wants you to give because he wants what it represents – your heart. Your heart follows your money.
At Nativity, we say that giving should be a priority in your budget. And, giving to God should be your first priority, it should have an immediate relationship to it being received. Why?
Whatever you want God to bless, put him first in it. If you want God to bless your family, your business or your time, then put God first in those places. Likewise, if you want God to bless your finances make giving to him in your place of worship, as an act of worship your number one priority. It’s key to peace of mind, getting out of debt, sticking to a budget. Just praying doesn’t invite God’s blessing into your finances, priority giving does.
And the best way to make giving a priority is to give electronically through our Automatic Worship Offering Program. This is the way I give to the parish and about half of our giving households give in this way. It is the most helpful way to give too.
This weekend is Stewardship Sunday at Nativity, the single weekend of the year when we reflect on giving to our parish and invite your commitment for the coming year. It is one of our favorite weekends of the year because there is always a great spirit to it, as parishioners step up to the plate and plan their giving for the coming year. This year we are offering a special challenge, we’re calling it the “1% Step.” You can read all about it at churchnativity.com/give.