"N0" success, no problem:
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things'" (Matt 25:21)
Wheelchair runners in marathons usually finish last but biggest cheers are reserved for them. Why? Is it an acclamation of their running skills? NO!!! The appreciation is for making a statement of their character of perseverance. Ditto the same in the Heavenly realm.
Parable of talents blasts another myth that God rewards only the successful. His rewards are for the perseverant lot who toil faithfully with the talents, they have got. Note the words of appreciation of the Master, at the time of rewarding, He doesn't say "Well done, my successful servant" rather "Well done my FAITHFUL SERVANT".
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos? What is it they have in common? They were all OT, pre-exilic prophets. Did they succeed in their ministry of making the idolatrous Israelites of their generation repent? NO! But they went about their tasks faithfully, guaranteeing for themselves rewards from the One who duly rewards "all who FINISH the race faithfully, fighting the good fight, as it were" (2 Tim 4:7).
"…the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of MANY THINGS. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (Matt 25:19-21)
"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' 'Well done, my good servant!' His master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of TEN CITIES.'" (Luke 19:16-17).
At this stage, if I were to coin a phrase and say that our God
is a "God of Imbalance"- would it not be revolting, seemingly at
direct odds with the tone and tenor of the essay, so far? BUT GIVE
HIM A LOUD HALLELUJAH, FOR HE DOES INDEED BECOME "IMBALANCED", ONLY
AND ONLY WHEN OUR PERSONAL BENEFIT IS AT STAKE. Take for instance
"our wages" for sinning
"He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities." (Psalm 103:10 NKJV)
At a time, when our sins require a severe punishment, He chastises us just enough to bring us back to the track, as any loving Father would (Heb 12:5-11).
Then what about the "rewards being not in proportion to known sources of efforts for Him" (thanks IT Department)? Now coming to our "rewards scene" in the parable of talents . . . Pray tell me is there any co-relation (however remote) between minas and cities? For earning merely "10 minas", we are who are FAITHFUL are being guaranteed a reward of oh boy, oh boy TEN CITIES!!! This scene is the very definition of tilted scales of justice of the positive kind.
Even on this side of eternity, the Lord provides wondrously for
us and in the other side of eternity, boy, the blessings and rewards
He has in store for us are simply mind-boggling. No wonder the
Prophet Isaiah declares and Apostle Paul reaffirms bringing to light
the true meaning of the OT Prophet's declaration "Eye has not
seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man. The
things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (Isaiah
Dear Child of God, even as you take inventory of your life, so far, is not your experience similar to mine? Is it not both comforting and reassuring to know that we been punished far less for our sins of commission or omission and that our meagre efforts (relatively speaking) for His Kingdom, have fetched us rewards far beyond our expectations? The Good News to top it all is that the THE BEST (far more precious than any Nobel Prize) IS YET TO COME ...
Prayer: Father, we are indeed awed by your virtue of giving us blessings which are greater in proportion as compared to our efforts for Thee. We praise Thee in Jesus' Name. Amen.