Gaining by Trading

“…he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” Luke 19:15

Christians must use all God has given us for His glory. Every faculty we possess is to be employed in the service of our Master in some way. We are to be, as it were, entrepreneurs of all the Lord has entrusted us with. Gifts, like children, are meant to be multiplied. Our talents are to be taken into the marketplace of life and put to good use with the goal of seeing them grow in their influence and blessing to others. What have I “gained by trading?”

“Trading” is business language, and thus we are reminded that it is the business of the believer to do good with whatever the Lord has given you. Are we trading and gaining? Or rather are we hoarding and hiding? There is a risk in business. Some ventures yield no profit and disappoint the investor. But the faithful servant of the Lord will find his inventory of resources not diminished if he goes about his trading for God’s glory and the good of souls. Like the widow’s oil, he will have more to give.

The work itself must be carried out entirely dependent on the Lord’s blessing. He must build the house. But we must do the work. God supplies the tools, but we must put them to use. We depend upon the Lord entirely for His supply of grace. Without Christ we can do nothing. But shame on us who, with Christ, are content to do nothing anyway. The Lord is coming, beloved, to see what we “have gained by trading.”

The work must be done patiently too. Gains rarely happen over night. Jesus told this parable to those who “thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” Do not expect fruit the morning after you planted the seed. Foundations must be laid long before a roof can be constructed. Despise not the day of small things. Keep trading. Bring your holy wares into this needy world of both saints and sinners. Set about doing good to mankind. Plant and water and wait for God to give the increase.

But let not our patience become laziness. Do not be sinfully satisfied with a field that bears no fruit. Our text calls upon us to seek an increase. Expect to see some results. The true Christian longs to see gains, wants to see growth, desires to see the Lord’s blessing falling upon his trading activities in this life. Pray for it. Ask Him to prosper your labors in His name. “O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.” (Psalm 118:25).

Hear these words from Spurgeon as to our duty, “If you have talents keep not back from using them. Hoard not your wealth, waste not your time; let not your abilities rust or your influence be unused.” Thus you will be a good tradesman in the Lord’s kingdom, and neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. Dear friend, ask yourself today, what have I “gained by trading” for the Lord?

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