Text: Nehemiah 6:1ffl and Matthew 25:14ffl.
One of the ways of becoming successful in life is setting target, a target of what one wishes to achieve and at one point of one’s life. Having a target in any endeavour helps one to clarify what one desires and also helps one in working towards making that desire happen.
Every Christian is expected to set for himself a godly target ranging from personal spiritual development to achieving something for God in areas of evangelism and edification of the body of Christ. The ultimate target of every Christian should be paradise (Mark 8: 36-37).
Nehemiah in our old testament Passage (Nehemiah 6:1-16) had his target in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in order to fortify the Holy City. This target was not without antagonism and challenges. These challenges are seen in the ploy of the enemy to distract Him by inviting him to a meeting in order to do him mischief. Nehemiah refused their invitation and boldly declared his mission, focus or target which was to build the walls of Jerusalem. Even when he and the Jews were falsely accused and was treacherously dealt with, he did not bulge; rather he was committed to his target. Nehemiah achieved his godly target as a result of the followings:
He made a great Commitment to his target
He did not allow fear to becloud him of his target
He prayed for God’s favour towards the accomplishment of his target
He continuously moved ahead despite all odds, he never looked back.
Our gospel reading, Matthew 25:14-30 is about the parable of the talents. Though the story is about stewardship yet it speaks of commitment to a goal or a target. The target of the master was for them to trade with the talents and make gains. The two servants who received five and two talents respectively focused on the target of their master, worked towards its realisation and realised it by gaining five and two more talents respectively. The third servant failed to key into the target set by their master, hid his talent and made no profit. He paid for his foolish act by losing the talent to the one who had had ten already and as well was cast to eternal damnation. The first two servants were able to actualise their target as a result of the following reasons:
They understood the target set by their master.
They were committed to making profit for their master
They exerted the resources given them towards making profit for their master.
They were not afraid of losing the talents like the third servant
Beloved, St. Peter enjoins us in his first general epistle Chapter 4:7-11 that the end of things is at hand we should therefore be more serious and watchful in prayers. We should not lose our focus on the target set for us as Christians. We should be committed to it and not allow fear to debar us from achieving that godly target. All resources needed for its actualization had already been deposited in us. We have no excuse not to be born again, not to be hospitable, not to work for God and not to make heaven.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi