Read Matthew 25:14-30
This Jesus scares me. I, a Lutheran, cling tightly to the grace of God and the Gospel that says there is nothing I may do to merit the favor of God. What's going on in this parable then? I'm pretty sure Jesus just told a story where successful people were rewarded and less successful people where rewarded, but not at much. How is that grace?
Well, for starters the man with the smallest amount entrusted to him was given what amounted to twenty years wages. Twenty years wages he didn't merit by his work, twenty years wages he did not deserve or earn. Which starts to sound like grace.
So the master returns and asks what the servant has done with his trust, and he's done nothing. He buried it. He literally didn't even receive the gift. He hid it, and refused to let it change how he lived or worked. He couldn't choose whether or not his master gave him anything, but he could refuse to let the gift change him. Now it starts to sound like the gospel we know.
Just like each servant received a gift, we've each received God's grace, forgiveness, and a portion of his Spirit for good measure. Some have receive more and some have receive less (since whoever is forgiven much loves much (Luke 7:47), but Christ has in fact died for the sins of the world and given all people his love. He's given you a great gift. What will you do with it?
The Challenge: Have you let God's deposit of love change you or have you hid it away and resisted being changed by God's gift to you? If you have resisted, take a load off; rest and repent. There is always forgiveness for us, though we are free to refuse it. Accept God's staggeringly generous gift of grace. Revel in it, celebrate it, and treasure it. It will produce growth in you.