Matthew 25:23 (KJV)
His Lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

In the text above, the story is told of three men (servants), who were each given 5, 2, and 1 talent respectively. A talent was either made of silver or gold and measured by weight. Its value was determined based on that weight, which in today’s economy would be worth around $21,800, if it were made of silver, or $1,092,000, if it were made of gold. In either case, it was a sizable amount of money.

The Bible says that the gifts were given according to each individual’s ability. The giver left no instruction on what to do with the talent. He simply gave the gift then left on a journey. When he returned, he went to the three men to get an accounting of what they had done with their talent.

The men who were given the 5 and 2 talents reported that they had invested and doubled the amount originally given to them. The third man reported that he buried his talent in the ground and handed it back to the man. The first two were rewarded and granted greater opportunities, while the last one lost any future opportunities and the talent he gave back was given to the man who had the 10 talents.

The giver of the gift is representative of God who gives each of us talents and abilities. To some He gives more, and to others He gives less, but we are all expected to use those talents productively. We are expected to prove ourselves to be both good and faithful. Not all will be found good or faithful, as is illustrated in the third man who buried his talent.

I attended a home going service where a celebration took place for someone who lived 104 years, 11 months and 20 days, just 10 days’ shy of reaching her 105th birthday. Not surprisingly, at that age, she outlived all of her siblings, three of her five children, and all of her peers.

However, she left a heritage of six generations who came out en mass to celebrate her great legacy. But it wasn’t just her longevity or her progeny that distinguished her, it was her kindness, her encouraging words, her infectious sense of humor, and her expertise as a seamstress for preachers, teachers, and anyone who liked to look good. It was her decades of committed service to the Lord through ministry to her family and her community that was so overwhelmingly spoken of by everyone who made eulogistic remarks. She left an indelible impression on everyone who knew her.

I saw a good and faithful servant being laid to rest that day, and I saw the return on her investment by the comments made by her children, her children’s children, their children’s children, their children’s children, and their children’s children.

Hiltha “Miss Piggy” Riddick was good and faithful all the way, worthy to hear her master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Will you also be good and faithful all the way?

Be Blessed +++

20161113_JLRussellRev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting; and host of “Matters of Faith: The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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