(J.R. Miller, “Life’s Byways and Waysides”) LISTEN to audio! Download audio
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21
No higher praise can be given to any life, than to say it has been faithful. No one could ask for a nobler epitaph than the simple words, “He was faithful.” This will be the commendation given in the great account, to those who have made the most of their talents: “You have been faithful with a few things!” Faithfulness should therefore be the aim in all our living.
It is not great things that God expects or requires of us, unless He has given us great gifts and opportunities. All that He requires of us, is faithfulness. He gives us certain talents, puts us in certain relations, assigns to us certain duties, and then asks us to be faithful–nothing more. The man with the plain gifts and the small opportunities, is not expected to do the great things which are required of the man with the brilliant talents and the large opportunities. We should get this truth fixed deeply in our mind–that God asks of nothing more than simple faithfulness.
is not the same in any two people. In the man who has five talents, there must be a great deal more outcome to measure up to the standard of faithfulness, than in the man who has but two talents.
So Faithfulness is simply being true to God, and making the most of one’s life. Of those who have received little, only little is required. Where much has been received, much is required. Never does God expect anything impossible or unreasonable from anyone. If we are simply faithful, we shall please God.
Jesus said of Mary, after her act of love, when men murmured at her, “She has done what she could!” Mark 14:7. What had she done? Very little, we would say. She loved Jesus truly and deeply. Then she brought a flask of precious ointment and broke the flask, pouring the sacred nard upon her Lord’s tired feet–those feet which soon were to be nailed to the cross.
But what good did it do? We know it wonderfully comforted the Savior’s sorrowful heart. Amid almost universal hatred, and maddening enmity–here was one who sincerely loved Him. While other hands were weaving a crown of thorns for His brow, and others still were forging cruel nails to drive through His feet–Mary’s hands were pouring ointment on His head, and bathing His feet with the nard. Who will say that Mary’s act did no good? It seemed a little thing–but we cannot fathom how her sweet, pure, loyal love blessed our suffering Savior in His bitter anguish.
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