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Put your God-given gifts to work

April 8, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 19:11-28

Daily Scripture

During Lent, we are using short videos to share a daily idea (linked to the gospel of Luke) on how to grow spiritually. Watch today’s video. Click here or on the image below:


Note: We are reading the entire gospel of Luke in the GPS. Some day’s readings are longer than usual. We hope you’ll have an extra cup of coffee, or use your lunch break, and read Luke’s entire story of Jesus.

11 As they listened to this, Jesus told them another parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought God’s kingdom would appear right away. 12 He said, “A certain man who was born into royalty went to a distant land to receive his kingdom and then return. 13 He called together ten servants and gave each of them money worth four months’ wages [Or he divided ten minas among them]. He said, ‘Do business with this until I return.’ 14 His citizens hated him, so they sent a representative after him who said, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 After receiving his kingdom, he returned and called the servants to whom he had given the money to find out how much they had earned. 16 The first servant came forward and said, ‘Your money has earned a return of one thousand percent.’ 17 The king replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good servant. Because you have been faithful in a small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’

18 “The second servant came and said, ‘Master, your money has made a return of five hundred percent.’ 19 To this one, the king said, ‘You will have authority over five cities.’

20 “Another servant came and said, ‘Master, here is your money. I wrapped it up in a scarf for safekeeping. 21 I was afraid of you because you are a stern man. You withdraw what you haven’t deposited and you harvest what you haven’t planted.’ 22 The king replied, ‘I will judge you by the words of your own mouth, you worthless servant! You knew, did you, that I’m a stern man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit, and harvesting what I didn’t plant? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money in the bank? Then when I arrived, at least I could have gotten it back with interest.’

24 “He said to his attendants, ‘Take his money and give it to the one who has ten times as much.’ 25 ‘But Master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten times as much!’ 26 He replied, ‘I say to you that everyone who has will be given more, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 As for my enemies who don’t want me as their king, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

28 After Jesus said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus’ bold story of a king and his servants taught a lesson about faithful service. This story (Matthew 25 told it a bit differently) showed the master praising and rewarding servants who went all out to serve him. But it warned against playing it too safe—the king chided the “worthless servant” who was too fearful to risk anything. (NOTE: The story’s violent end matched real events. “Archelaus’s [son of Herod the Great] subjects (cf. 19:12) in fact sent a delegation after him asking that he not be allowed to rule….Herod, Archelaus, and other rulers often dealt harshly with their political opponents.” *)

  • Jesus’ hearers would have seen God as the king in Jesus’ story and Israel as the servants. God gave Israel a task—to show God’s glory and love to all nations (Genesis 12:1-3). How has God gifted you? In what ways do those gifts imply the task(s) God calls you to? Do you ever feel like keeping your gifts safely in a “scarf,” rather than actively using them for God’s work in the world?
  • Jesus’ story wouldn’t have made sense if the servants had all instantly believed they “owned” the large sum of money they received. How easy or hard do you find it to shift from thinking “I OWN all this” to “I’m a steward to whom God has entrusted these things (material possessions or gifts and talents) to use for God’s purposes”?

Click here to incorporate music and worship from the COR Worship Collective into your daily practice and devotion.


King Jesus, I want to serve you faithfully. Help me to see in what ways you have gifted me and help me use those gifts to serve you boldly and faithfully. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller is Director of Student Ministries at Resurrection Overland Park. A Kansas native, she has been a professional actress for the past 15 years, and she loves to see the vastness of God’s creation through theatre and the arts. Leah is pursuing an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology. Leah, Brian, and their two children love to play tennis, golf, soccer, and board games.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine…”

I love this children’s song from Sunday school. I’m not sure I fully grasped what it was saying until rethinking this parable from Jesus in Luke 19. At first, when I read this story, it feels harsh, but when I think about how Jesus means it for our gifts to be used it becomes clearer.

For 20 years I’ve enjoyed living out my dreams and talents in theatre. But for the past 20 years, I’ve also wanted to go to seminary and pursue ministry. I didn’t know how or if I could merge the gifts God had given me. I felt unsure, a bit scared, and thought it better to ‘safely keep it away in a scarf” or “hide it under a bushel.” That is, until I couldn’t any longer. My little light begged to flourish in seminary and be set ablaze in youth ministry. I said phooey to fear. And what I discovered is these gifts God has given me to serve God’s kingdom can be used in a variety of ways, not bound to either stage or a pulpit. I think of the times I’ve recently used pastoral care backstage in theatre or my musical gifts to glorify God in worship. God has meant for me not to keep them hidden away when I go from place to place or circumstance to circumstance, but to let them shine, all the time.

What about you? Are you gifted with children or youth? What would your world be like if you volunteered to help in the children’s or youth ministry in your church or here at Church of the Resurrection? Go to to find out. Maybe you’re gifted with numbers or casting a vision. How could you let your light shine by being involved in a building plan committee or raising funds for missions locally and abroad? Maybe God has given you the gift of teaching and encouraging others. Have you looked into leading a small group or bible study? has so many opportunities to take those gifts out of the safely wrapped scarf, trust in the beautiful life-giving gifts and talents God has given you and let your light shine!

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 234126-234128, 234142). Kindle Edition.