Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah, and more specifically, is found in the twenty-second chapter of the book. While today’s passage deals specifically with the twenty-second chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, I have to pause and take a step away from what is contained therein. While driving home from church this morning, a thought entered into my spirit—a thought that I have never thought about, nor has ever entered into my mind before. Why I thought about this while driving home I don’t know, but I began thinking about how my taxes are going to, have changed since moving to the state of Massachusetts. I began thinking about next year when the time comes to give an account for all of our earnings this year. Around the month of February my employer will release into my possession a government form called a W-2, which is the form provided from an employer that reveals your total earnings for the previous year, as well as the various expenses that were taken out of your gross annual income. This form—this W-2—presents a picture of your gross income, but it also provides a picture of your net income, for your net income is directly determined by subtracting the various taxes and expenditures which came out of each of your paychecks. For me personally, there was a portion of my paycheck that came out for health insurance, a portion that came out for Federal taxes, a portion that came out for state taxes, and a portion that will come out from other venues such as my 401K, and others such as Social Security and Medicare. What is so incredibly interesting about this W-2 form is that it not only reveals how much was taken out of my paychecks for the taxes I paid to the Federal government, but also how much was taken out of my paycheck to pay state taxes. Where this thought actually began taking on an entirely different thought process in my mind is when I began thinking of how I worked the same job this year, but there came a point when even though I worked that same job, I worked it in two different states. I started working for Santander in the city of Philadelphia, yet at the end of February I started working for Santander in the city of Boston. This is unique, for although I worked the same job, I paid taxes in two different states based on where I was living. In other words, residency determines where I pay my taxes, and to whom I paid my taxes. When I moved to the state of Massachusetts, all of a sudden there was a shift in the taxes I was required to pay, for I was no longer required to pay taxes in the state of New Jersey, but I was now required to pay taxes in the state of Massachusetts. When I was driving home, and as I continued to meditate and ponder this particular thought, I couldn’t help but be gripped and consumed with the thought that there is a difference between residence and citizenship. When it comes to me as an individual, I have my citizenship in the United States, and am considered a United States citizen, but when it comes to my residency, I am considered a resident of Massachusetts. In other words, my residency is completely determined by the state in which I live, while my citizenship is determined by the country in which I live. Perhaps one of the most intriguing realities I couldn’t help but be struck with as I drove home from church was that residency and citizenship are completely different. I can be a citizen of the United States of America, yet that citizenship will more than likely mean that I live within one of the fifty states that make up the country itself. The United States of America is comprised of fifty different states, which means that there are essentially fifty different residencies present within the nation. What’s more, is that we don’t have to go around the United States declaring and proclaiming that we are a citizen of the United States, for it is automatically assumed and understood that we are citizens. There are several men, women and children whom most do not wonder if they are indeed and in fact citizens of the United States. Where it becomes all the more intriguing is when you consider the fact that while we don’t go around proclaiming and declaring that we are citizens of the United States, we do associate ourselves with the state in which we live. Lest you think that this isn’t true, consider an identification card you carry in your wallet or purse everywhere you go. It is that identification card—either a state issued identification card, or a state issued driver’s license—that reveals and points others to the state in which you live. Furthermore, if you are living within any one of the fifty states, you are required to register your vehicles within that state, for both your identification, as well as your mode of transportation identifies and reveals where you are in fact a resident. When I moved to the state of Massachusetts, one of the first things I had to do was transfer my driver’s license, for while I still understood how to drive, I had to obtain a license to drive within the state in which I was living. It is that piece of identification that grants me license to drive in the state of Massachusetts—as well as each of the other forty-nine states.
One of the most interesting factors is that there is a piece of documentation and identification that men and women can and will obtain when they seek to leave the country. Consider how many times you have set out to go on a vacation out of the country to another country. If you are attempting to leave the United States and enter into another country, what is the one document you are required to have before you leave? That one piece of documentation and identification you are required to obtain prior to leaving the country and entering into another is a passport, for it is that passport that not proves your citizenship within the United States, but it also authorizes you to travel within other countries. As a side note, it’s interesting that while a United States passport authorizes you to travel into each and every country in the world, there are countries that look down upon citizens of the United States. There are countries where although you have a passport that authorizes you to travel from the United States of America and enter into another country, you are looked down upon. In other words, the passport itself authorizes you to travel within and out of other countries, yet there are citizens and authorities of other countries that despise men and women from America. There are other countries where you are actually regarded with disdain and disgust because of the country of your citizenship. There is a tremendous spiritual principle and application that is found within this reality, for the Word of God emphatically declares that our citizenship is not of the earth, but our citizenship is in heaven. In other words, when we committed our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ and made the decision to follow Him, our citizenship was transferred to heaven. With that being said, it is that citizenship the adversary and his entire horde of evil powers, principalities, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places absolutely disdains and disgusts. Every evil and foul spirit in hell, every unclean and demonic spirit absolutely hates and abhors the fact that you have your citizenship—not here of the earth, but and from heaven above. In other words, when you committed yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, you were granted citizenship in heaven, and you were no longer a citizen of the earth. With this being said, it’s also worth noting that there are other countries where it is not only our passport revealing our citizenship as being in the United States which they abhor, but they also take great offense to those who associate themselves with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, there are nations and countries where Christians are ridiculed, oppressed, persecuted, beaten, whipped, crucified, beheaded, and so much more.
There are two distinct pieces of identification and documentation men and women of the United States can carry with them—each piece of documentation revealing and stating a completely different reality. One of these pieces of identification proves and reveals where you have your citizenship, while the other proves and reveals where you have your residency. One piece of identification we carry with us virtually everywhere we go within the individual states we have our residency, while the other piece of identification we carry with us only when we are attempting to leave the country and enter into another. This is important for us to understand, for although we are all citizens of the United States, we are not all residents of the same state within that country. Your place of residence might not be the same place as another’s place of residence because you live in a specific state, while others live in a specific state. How interesting is it that although there is a great number of us who share the same citizenship, we don’t all share the same residence. One of the main things each and every American can say is that they are citizens of the United States, yet not every American can says that they are a resident of the same state within the country. What’s more, is that there are some who choose to have their residence in a specific state, while there are others whose residency hasn’t been by their own choosing, but rather because they have accepted a position within their company. There are others whose residency wasn’t even chosen by them, but rather based on the specific branch of the military they are enlisted. I can’t help but think of how many men and women are moved all around the country because of their enlistment as soldiers, or marines, or members of the Air Force, or members of the coast guard, or the like. There are some of us who choose where we have our residency, while there are others who have not had the ability to choose where they have their residency because it has been chosen by them. There are some whose residency is determined by those above them, and they are required to go wherever they are sent. Pause for a moment and consider the reality that for some it is possible that their residency is based on where they are placed, and solely because they have chosen to serve the country of their citizenship. [WHEN CHOOSING TO SERVE THE COUNTRY OF YOUR CITIZENSHIP DETERMINES THE PLACE OF YOUR RESIDENCY].
This is actually quite an interesting thought, and one that I am convinced has a tremendous spiritual application. There are men and women who have chosen to enlist in the United States Army, and as a result of that decision, they are required to have their residency wherever the United States Army decides and determines. There are men and women who have chosen to enlist in the United States Coast Guard, and because of that decision, they have been required to live in a very specific location. Pause for a moment and consider the reality that one’s decision to serve has actually become the catalyst that has determined their residency. Moreover, think for a moment that the reality of one’s decision to train, and perhaps even fight for this nation has determined the place of their residency. How absolutely incredible it is to think that our decision to serve can actually determine our place of residency—even in the spiritual realm? Our decision to enlist in the army of heaven and to fight the good fight of faith determines where we have our residency, for the Lord of hosts will directly determine where we are to set down and fight on behalf of heaven. When it comes to those who are citizens of heaven, one thing that must be recognized and understood is that none of us have any say over where we have our residency. The minute we chose to become citizens of heaven, we relinquished all rights to pick, choose and decide where we have our residence. In essence, it is our citizenship in heaven that determines our residence, for it is the very Spirit of the Lord that dictates and determines where we are to have our residence. While each and every man, woman and child who has placed themselves under the lordship of Jesus Christ has become a citizen of heaven, not all of them have the same residency. While you and I may both be a citizen of heaven, we may not be called to be residents in the same location. The Lord of hosts directly determines where you have your residence, and where I have my residence, and we must willingly and voluntarily choose to obey His will and command. Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of this reality is found in the life of Abram when the Lord called him from Ur of the Chaldea’s—“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
In the third chapter of the apostle Paul’s epistle to the Philippian congregation, he made a statement and declaration that is absolutely and incredibly powerful. When writing to the Philippians, the apostle Paul declared that our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. This particular statement is found in the twentieth verse of the third chapter, and reveals the absolutely incredible reality that our citizenship is not of the earth, but is actually of heaven above. I am reminded of the words of Jesus Christ when delivering His famous Sermon on the Mount—“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,. And where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Concerning Abraham who would become the father of all nations, and the father of faith, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews makes an incredibly powerful statement concerning him. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10). In the very same chapter we read these words concerning those of whom the writer just mentioned—Abraham, Noah, Enoch, etc. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, and heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16). In the second chapter of his first epistle, the apostle Peter writes these words—“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Peter 2:11-17).
It is at this point where I must bring this home and where I must bring this entire thought to a head—to the place where I believe the Lord showed me earlier today. In order to do that, I must present for your consideration a specific event that occurred within the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In the twenty-second chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, we read a small and seemingly insignificant passage of Scripture concerning the life and ministry of Jesus. “Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardless not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar; and unto God the things that are God’s” Matthew 22:15-21). Earlier on in this same New Testament book we read of a different event which occurred in the life and ministry of Jesus—“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (Matthew 17:24-27). In the first passage I presented unto you, we find Jesus being questioned concerning whether or not it was lawful to pay taxes unto Caesar or not. When presented with this question, Jesus stunned and silenced His tempters by declaring unto them that they ought to render unto Caesar that which belonged unto Caesar, and unto God the things that belong unto Him. In the second passage, we find Peter being questioned whether or not his Master paid tribute unto Caesar. When Peter entered the presence of Jesus, Jesus prevented him, asked him a question, gave him a command, and then revealed how tribute was going to be paid unto Caesar on behalf of them both. In the one passage we find Jesus describing that there are those things which belong unto Caesar, for Jesus recognized and understood that it is the Lord who raises up and who appoints all authorities, and it is the Lord who requires submission to any such authorities. In the second passage we find Jesus paying tribute unto Caesar—actively and actually practicing what He would later declare unto the Pharisees who would attempt to temp and trap Him.
It’s necessary that we understand these two passages, for it has often been said that there are two things in life which are certain—death and taxes. In all reality, you can guarantee that as long as you live within this country, you will be required to pay taxes—both taxes to the Federal government, and taxes to the individual state in which you live. It is inescapable and unavoidable that one cannot pay taxes, and should men and women attempt to evade paying taxes, there are severe penalties and fines that may be levied against them. I have often said that one of the entities I never want to owe money to is the Federal government, and consider how many men and women cringe when tax season comes around because they know that once that season roles around, they undoubtedly are going to be required to pay taxes. If we were all being honest and truthful with ourselves and with the Lord, we have to admit that we absolutely hate paying taxes. Those who work in sales hate paying taxes, because when the time comes for them to receive the bonus from their sales, they find the government has taken an exorbitant amount out in taxes. There are countless men and women who absolutely dread tax season because they know that they haven’t paid enough in taxes, and as a result of this reality, they are going to owe the government. There is no feeling like the feeling you get when you finish your taxes and you find out you owe the government. There are certain individuals who prepare and plan on paying taxes to the government, simply because they understand the nature of their job and employment. Such individuals may set up a separate account with their financial institution where they will place funds, so when the time comes to pay the government their taxes, they will be prepared. There are others who will set up monthly or even quarterly payments to the government through the year because they anticipate having to pay taxes to the government when tax season comes. There are others who agree to have extra money taken out of their paycheck to cover what they most likely would have owed the government when tax season comes around. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are a great number of men and women who absolutely hate paying taxes—both to the Federal government, as well as to the individual states in which they live. When they review their paycheck each pay period, they cringe when they see what the government has taken out of their paycheck, and what the state has taken out.
All of this is interesting and comes to a head, for while it is true we pay taxes to the federal government, we are required to pay taxes based on where we have our residence. In other words, there is a price for our residency, for where we choose to have our residency, we are required to pay taxes. If you live in the state of Massachusetts, you will be required to pay state taxes to the state of Massachusetts. If you are a resident of Florida, you will be required to pay taxes to the state of Florida. What’s unique about this concept is that there are states where the tax bracket is much higher, and therefore those individual states require more from you in taxes. There are specific states men and women refuse to live in simply because they know that state requires a greater amount in taxes. Men and women would rather live in a state where taxes are low so they won’t have to pay as much as they would elsewhere. With that being said, I can’t escape the fact that there is a price for residency. I live in the state of Massachusetts right now, yet there is a price of residency within this state. Each and every paycheck I receive has a specific dollar amount deducted from it in order to pay taxes to the state of Massachusetts. It’s worth noting that through Federal taxes we pay a general price based on our citizenship, yet when it comes to state taxes, we pay a specific price based on our residency. What’s more, is that the rate which we pay to the government is always much higher, for the price of our citizenship is always higher. There is an incredibly powerful spiritual principle that is found within this reality, for there is a general price we pay based on our citizenship. We are strangers and pilgrims in a foreign land, and our citizenship is not of the earth but of heaven. It is true that salvation is free, that our lives are not our own, and that we were bought with a price. With that being said, there is a price we pay based on our citizenship in heaven. Lest you think this is something that is utterly and completely absurd, I would remind you of the words of the apostle Paul when writing to the Roman congregation—“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, w high is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:1-3). This particular passage emphatically declares and reveals the price that we are required to pay for our citizenship, for although Jesus paid the ultimate price with and by the shedding of His blood, we pay our own price through the presenting of our bodies as living sacrifices.
With all of this being said, I felt the Spirit of the Lord speak very strongly within my spirit earlier this specific word—“The Price of Right Where You Are.” I felt the Spirit of the Lord speak to my own spirit that there is a price of residency, and that the price we pay for our residency changes depending on and based where we have our residence. When I lived in the state of New Jersey, I was required to pay taxes to the state of New Jersey, but when I moved to the state of Massachusetts, I was required to pay taxes to the state of Massachusetts. IN other words, there was a specific price that was associated with the location in which I found myself. If you are a home-owner you know this reality on an even more personal level, for one of the dollar amounts you pay annually, quarterly, or even monthly in your mortgage payment is property taxes. Not only do you pay taxes to the government, not only do you pay taxes to the state in which you live, but you also pay taxes based on the home in which you live. What’s more, is that the size of your home, the location of your home, and various other factors can and will determine how much you pay in property taxes. Oh, I can’t escape the thought that there is a price of residency, and that we pay based on our residency. This is absolutely true in the Spirit, for wherever the Lord has us at this particular moment in time comes with a price. Did you know there is a price connected to your place of residence in the spiritual realm. As surely as there are taxes and a price you pay for your residence within this nation, there is a price you pay for your residence in the spiritual realm. Take a moment right now and consider where the Lord has you right now. Think about it geographically, but also think about it in the spiritual and unseen realm. Where ever the Lord has you right now—both geographically, as well as spiritually—there is a price you are required to pay. I believe very strongly within my spirit the Lord is calling on us to discover what that price is. Think about where the Lord has you right now, and think about the price the Lord has called you to pay based on where you are. Do not think for one moment that where you are living right now you are living for free, for there is a price for residence within the state, and there is a price that is paid for an actual address. What is your address in the spiritual realm right now? Where has the Lord chosen to place you right now at this moment in time? What is your place of residence in the spiritual realm? There is a price you must pay in that place of residence—a reality that must be recognized and understood.
It’s worth noting that the price you pay where you are now, wasn’t the price you were required to pay where you were before. There are times in our lives when the price we pay for our residence is greater in the place we have been transitioned than it was in the place we transitioned from. When writing to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and strewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). I’m reminded of the words the apostle Paul wrote later on in that same chapter—We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are spied. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buttered, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (1 Corinthians 4:-10-12). IN the final verse of the fifteenth chapter of the same epistle, the apostle Paul writes these words—“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unloveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). When writing to the Galatians, the apostle Paul wrote these words—“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicative unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:4-10).
Let us turn our attention back to the epistle to the Romans, and specially the twelfth chapter—shortly after the apostle Paul just finished speaking of presenting our bodies unto the Lord as living sacrifices. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophet, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that given, let him do it with simplicity; he that rule the, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.A bore that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instand in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:3-18).
DISCERNING THE PRICE FOR YOUR RESIDENCY! DISCERNING THE PRICE OF RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. I believe with everything inside me that there is a price we have been called to pay—a price which is determined not by ourselves, or even by man, but by the Lord Himself. I believe with everything inside me that the price of right where we are is the price of serving before the Lord—serving others rather than ourselves. Each and every one of us has been given a measure, a talent—something the Lord has specifically given unto us to use and invest for His kingdom and His purposes. The question that I have to ask of myself as I now live in a new location is what is the price that is required of me. I know that I will be required to pay taxes in the physical sense to the state of Massachusetts, but what am I being called to pay in the spiritual sense. What is the Lord calling on me to pay in this new season of my life—a price I either was not required to pay where I was previously, or what I was required to pay, yet never chose to pay. I feel the strong need to close this out with the parable Jesus spoke concerning the talents which were given unto three servants. The question I must ask you, the question I must ask of me at this very hour is this—What are you doing with that which you have been entrusted with? What is the price the Lord has called you to pay—in your home, in your community, in your church, among the brethren, in ministry, before your enemies? There is a price you pay to the brethren, but I would also declare unto you that there is a price you are asked to pay even unto your enemies. We have been called by Jesus to not only love our enemies, but to also pray for our enemies. Are you willing to do such a thing? Are you willing to live in such a way? What is the price the Lord has called you to pay at this very hour and where you are right now? Do you know the price the Lord has called you to pay, yet you have been ignoring, and perhaps even running from it?
With that said, I leave you with the words of the parable which Jesus spoke concerning the three servants and the talents. “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and his his lord’s money? After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliverdest unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou 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 l ord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliverdest unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord saiid 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. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I. Knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gathered where I have not strawed: thou oughest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:14-30>