WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 25, 2022
TOPIC: HOLD FAST TO WHAT YOU HAVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11 New King James Version).
Some people are often more concerned about what they lack than what they have. They value what they want more than what they already possess. This mindset does not make them utilize what they have. They don’t make the best use of them because they don’t appreciate them. Until some people lose what they have, they don’t value them.
Marriages have been destroyed because of this. The husband or wife does not value his/her partner because he/she is not as good as some husbands or wives he/she knows. Some have lost their jobs because they did not appreciate their jobs and consequently became careless or lazy. They believed some people’s jobs were better than theirs. Yet they didn’t quit. But they were fired because of their declining productivity.
It is also possible to develop the same attitude in one’s Christian journey. One could become nonchalant or careless and fail to make the most of the grace of God or the gifts that God has given one. One could begin to engage in comparison with others and look down on one’s grace, gift, assignment, or position. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (New King James Version).
It is not wise to compare yourself with other Christians or even non-Christians. Acknowledge God’s grace upon your life, the gifts He has given you, and your assignment. Don’t compare yourself with anyone. Otherwise, you will look down on yourself, what God has given you, and your assignment and become unfaithful to God. James 1:17 says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. How dare anyone despise what God has given him!
God is a God of diversity. He didn’t make everyone the same. Neither did He give us the same natural abilities, spiritual gifts, or assignments. Therefore, everyone must accept what God has given Him and where He has positioned Him and be faithful. Everyone must profit from what God has given Him. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 New King James Version).
In the Parable of the talents in Matthew 25, the three servants were not given the same amount of talent (money). One was given five, another two, and the third was given one talent. Each person was given according to his ability (verse 15). The real issue was not the number of talents each person was given but whether or not they invested their talents.
One of the three servants, rather than investing his one talent as they were all instructed, dug in the ground and hid his talent. It was eventually collected from him and given to the first servant who had earned five talents from the five talents that he had invested. The master of these servants said, “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 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” (verses 28-29 New King James Version).
This may appear unfair but it’s not. When someone doesn’t appreciate what he has, it’s better to collect it from him and give it to someone who appreciates it and will make the best use of it. The servant with the one talent did not hold fast to what he had so he lost it. Jesus said in Matthew 13:12, “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (New King James Version). Mark 4:25, Luke 8:18, and Luke 19:26 say a similar thing. You must hold fast to what you have so that you don’t lose it. Make the most of what God has given you; don’t covet what others have and neglect yours.
In the letter to the church in Philadelphia, the church with a little strength, Jesus said in Revelation 3:11, “Look, I am coming soon! Hold tightly to the little strength you have—so that no one will take away your crown” (The Living Bible). God knew about the little strength of the church in Philadelphia and that it had kept His word and had not denied His name. God also knows the amount of talent or gifts He has given you. He knows your abilities and the assignment He has given you. He doesn’t compare you with anyone. He only requires faithfulness from you. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
The New King James Version renders Revelation 3:11 thus: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (New King James Version). Jesus is coming soon but, before then, hold fast to what you have so that you won’t lose your crown, which God will give as a reward to deserving saints.
The New International Version puts this scripture this way: “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” The New Century Version renders the verse thus: “hold fast to what you have” as “continue strong in your faith.” In other words, don’t be complacent or become weary. Occupy till He comes – engage in business till He comes. The Contemporary English Version says, “I am coming soon. So hold firmly to what you have, and no one will take away the crown that you will be given as your reward.” And the Good News Translation presents the verse this way: “I am coming soon. Keep safe what you have, so that no one will rob you of your victory prize.”
Keep safe what you have. Don’t be careless with it. Don’t bury or hide your talent like the servant who was given one talent or like the servant in Luke 19:20 who kept his mina away in a handkerchief. What was given to these two servants was collected back from them and they didn’t receive any reward.
Don’t despise or ignore what you have. Hold fast to what God has given you. Make the most of it. The Lord is coming soon (Revelation 22:12, 20). Remain steadfast. Continue in the faith. Be a profitable servant. There are crowns in heaven for the saints (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Peter 5:4). Don’t let anyone or anything take away the crown that you will be given as your reward in heaven.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall not despise, be careless with, or be lazy in using what You have given me. Holy Spirit, help me to hold firmly to what I have. No one shall take away my crown in heaven in Jesus’ name. I shall not lose my reward. I pray that all the children of God will be faithful to what God has given them. They will not lose their reward in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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