No Holding Back: Pt 1 The Background

No Holding Back: Pt 1 The Background

It’s been a while since I last blogged. In fact, it’s the longest break I’ve had since I started nearly 4 years ago.

Why? Well, honestly, I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up. 

Starting the blog was a challenge. Keeping it going has not been easy. I’ve made lots of mistakes. I wish my blogging skills were better.

However, despite my discouragement, I’ve continually felt a quiet voice telling me to persevere.

Over the last few weeks, a number of examples, have come to mind. People who have followed a difficult calling. People who have risked embarrassment and rejection. People who have refused to hold back.

I’m going to start a new series looking at some of these examples. My hope is that it will encourage others (and myself) to courageously serve God in the face of potential failure.

However, for my first blog, I must start with a warning. Why is it so important to use our gifts (as limited as they may be) and not shy away from our calling?

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a master who hands out talents* to his servants before going away on a journey.

One servant is given five talents and puts them to use immediately, doubling them. Another is given two talents and doubles these as well.

However, the third servant, who is given only one talent, decides to bury it under ground. He intends to keep it “safe”.

The master returns. The first two servants are rewarded and given greater responsibilities in the master’s house.

However the last servant had his talent taken away from him. Worse still, he was cast into outer darkness (Matthew 25:30). A place of sorrow and regret.

In his commentary on the parable, Leon Morris says this:

“We should bear in mind that this is not here pronounced over someone who has done some particularly heinous crime. It is the final result for the man who had only one talent and who steadfastly refused to use it.”

Fear, weakness, doubt, and insecurity, may all cripple us and lead us to conclude that inaction is the sensible choice. However, being afraid to fail was not a valid excuse for the servant.

It is also worth noting that, even though the last servant started with less than the others, this did not excuse him either.

The parable warns us to make the best use of the gifts and the resources God has given us – whatever they might be. Hiding away might feel safer now. In the long run, it is not.

So, what gifts do you have, and how can you start, or keep, putting them to good use?

Let me know in the comments below.

*At the time Jesus told the story, a talent was a measurement. This could have referred to a talent of gold, or silver, but the parable doesn’t specify.
*Pg 632, The Pillare New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to Matthew, Leon Morris.

Recipe

I’m often put off making a classic lasagne because of the time and effort involved. However I’ve found this lasagne to be rich, delicious, and, best of all, easy – now I have no excuses!

Sausage Lasagne

Ingredients

  • Glug of oil
  • 12 pork sausages
  • 3 TSP ground garlic
  • 500 g sliced mushrooms frozen for ease
  • 2 TSP dried thyme
  • 125 g finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 325 g punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pack lasagne sheets
  • 300 ml sour cream
  • 150 g grated cheddar
  • 1 TSP mustard

Instructions

  1. Fry sausage in oil (use the oil from the pack of sundried tomatoes for extra flavour) until it is golden brown and a little crispy

  2. Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme and fry for 5 more minutes

  3. Meanwhile cook lasagne sheets according to pack instructions.
  4. Add sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and 100ml water and simmer for 6 mins
  5. While simmering mix the sour cream, cheddar and mustard in a separate bowl.
  6. Crush tomatoes
  7. Build your lasagne, starting with a layer of pasta, then sausage sauce, pasta, sauce, until it is all used up.
  8. Put the sour cream mix on top and place lasagne under a hot grill until the top is bubbling and golden brown.
  9. Serve with salad if you like.

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