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Morning Reads - (2 Corinthians 1:21-24; 2:1-4) - (Matthew 25:14-30) "Use the Gifts God Gives" …

Good morning … Great is His faithfulness …

Psalm 18.4,1

Their voice has gone out into all the earth. Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 1:21-24; 2:1-4

21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth. 24 Not that we [a]have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

(2Corinthians 1:21-24)

(vv.21-24): ORTHODOX SACRAMENTAL LIFE: We are first established IN CHRIST (v. 21) through baptism and are ANIONTED AND SEALED – (v. 22) in THE SPIRIT through chrismation … St. Paul’s change of itinerary as we see in (vv. 23-24) is because of his graciousness, avoiding and to SPARE them a confrontation … St. Paul is also teaching us that the purpose of Church discipline is never meant for a leader to exercise DOMINION or harsh authority; rather called to repentance, reconciliation with the Church, and renewal in the JOY – (v. 24) of the Spirit …

Paul Urges Forgiveness

2 But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. 2 For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

Forgive the Offender

3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. 4 For out of much [a]affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

(2 Corinthians 2:1-4)

From the Orthodox Study Bible: TRUE PASTORAL CORRECTION brings both agony for the overseer – AFFLICTION, ANGUISH OF HEART, MANY TEARS- and abundant LOVE to one being disciplined – (see Hebrews 12:5, 6, 11) …

The Gospel According St. Matthew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

THE PARABLE is illustrating the use of gifts given by God … ONE TALENT was considered a great sum of money; here it is representing the goodness God has bestowed – given on each person … The amount received is based on that person’s abilities – (Romans 12:4-7) … God does not show partiality in receiving the ultimate reward, because we are all invited to partake and share the same JOY – (vv. 21, 23) …

Romans 12:4-7

4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching.

“A faithful relationship with God changes our outlook and relationship to the world”

THE WICKED AND LAZY SERVANT – (v. 26) was unable to evade responsibility for ignoring his talent, idleness is as much as a rejection to God as outright wickedness … Burying the talent IN THE GROUND – (v. 18) is an illustration of using one’s God-given gifts for earthly pursuits … THE BANKERS – (v. 27) represent other faithful people to whom the man could have turned to help him use his talents wisely … Help was available to him in the Church, the man has no excuse …

Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord [a]lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

In Christ love Jared W Campbell

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