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Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.”
—Matthew 25:29

Bread can be  a thing of beauty.  But no matter how nice it is to look at a loaf of bread, I never put a fresh loaf of bread into a bag and set it on the counter just to admire.  The purpose of bread is not to look pretty.  Bread fulfills its purpose when I take it out of the bag, cut it up, and use it to feed myself and my family.

All of that cutting and consuming doesn’t do much for the bread’s looks, of course.  Pretty soon all that is left is a dry heel.  But in the end, staying in the bag won’t do anything for the bread’s looks.  Over a period of days, it will change and decay.  Mold will cover it, and it will have to be thrown out, having nourished no one.  What a waste.

God didn’t call me to sit in church looking pretty, either.  I’ve got to get out of the bag and exercise my spiritual muscles, or I’m not fulfilling my purpose as a Chrisitian.  This means self-sacrifice.  This means being consumed.  But I can be consumed in the process of serving and nurturing others, or I can be consumed by the mold of spiritual decay.

Jesus, the Bread of Life, did not shrink from giving of Himself.  He went without eating to spend time teaching the crowds that flocked to him. (Mark 3:20)  He paid the ultimate price, His life, to forgive our sins.

Giving ourselves will probably not take the form of physical martyrdom.  More likely, it will consist of the accumulation of daily choices to seek God first and put others before ourselves.  There’s no glory, and little appreciation at times.  In the end, the reward will be to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23), and know that we have accomplished our purpose.

Scriptures quoted from Matthew 25 are part of the Parable of the Talents, found in verses 14-30.