Guard the Deposit
Growing up in the 1990’s, my generation was introduced to several brand-new cartoon series that captivated our attention. Cartoons such as Hey Arnold. The boy with the football-shaped head. Rugrats was also a huge hit. For those who don’t know, Rugrats was a show that focused on a bunch of toddlers running around, taking part in various adventures, while only talking to each other when their parents were away. Then there was Spongebob, Arthur, Doug, and even the Powerpuff Girls. During the 1990’s we still watched Winnie the Pooh, Scooby Doo, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Many of these cartoons have been remade over and over again, with some originating 30+ years ago but still having newer versions made in the 21st century.
One of my all-time favorite cartoons that fits this category, that I grew up watching, is called Duck Tales. Launching in 1987, Duck Tales centers around Uncle Scrooge McDuck. Uncle Scrooge is portrayed as a wealthy businessman who is called to look after his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. He is given this responsibility because the boys more well-known uncle Donald Duck enlists in the US Navy. If you’ve ever watched an old or new episode of Duck Tales, you’ll remember that Uncle Scrooge has this large vault full of gold. The nephews along with their uncle have been known to take some swims in the large piles of gold. Having that huge vault of gold to swim in is all fun and games, until from time to time the writers of Duck Tales feature an episode where someone or something is trying to steal Uncle Scrooge’s wealth by breaking into the vault. As you’ll see in watching any episode where this happens, Uncle Scrooge will do anything to protect his wealth.
When you possess something that is extremely valuable, you go to great measures to protect what is in your possession. Many years ago, my father, a former hospital CFO, came home to show me what a million-dollar check looked like. We thought that check was going into the family piggy bank, only to find out it was going to be used to pay off a bill at the hospital. As you can imagine, he protected that million-dollar check. On his way home from work, he didn’t broadcast to the world what was in his possession. Think about when you go to deposit cash into a bank. Do you share your location with strangers? Do you go live on Instagram or Facebook saying, “What’s up everyone, I am depositing $500 into Chase Bank over on Fifth Street in five minutes!” I would hope not, yet I’ve seen stranger things on social media.
Nobody in their right mind rolls a car window down while driving to an ATM and waves $1,000 worth of cash out the window. When my father showed me that million-dollar check, he had it stored in a briefcase that required a number combination to unlock. That briefcase looked like it belonged in an action movie when he opened it up. Businesses go to great lengths to protect their finances that are to be deposited into banks. Many of them employ a company called Brinks to transfer their money to banks in armored vehicles. Why? Simply said, when what is in your possession matters most to you, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect it.
This was the Apostle Paul’s underlying message to his son in the gospel of Timothy, in each of the letters he wrote to the younger minister. In 1 Timothy 4, Paul speaking to Timothy warns him about how in latter times people will depart from the faith, they will fall into deception, and begin believing doctrines created by demonic forces. Lies will be spoken by hypocrites and people will as Paul says, “have their conscience seared with a hot iron.” A conscience seared with a hot iron meant what sins used to bring about conviction, due to a failed conscience, will no longer bring about guilt. It is with this background in view that the Apostle Paul says unto Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you…” (1 Timothy 4:14, NKJV). He was telling Timothy that the world was going to get chaotic, but even in the chaos, God had given him a gift that could be used for good.
Later on, in 1 Timothy 6:20 (ESV), the Apostle Paul would say, “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you…” Guard what? Guard the specific giftings that God had given to go alongside Timothy’s calling. If the commandment from Paul was to “guard the deposit,” it could only mean that somebody was coming after those giftings. Truth be told, the enemy of our souls is after all of our giftings. He longs to lead us to misuse our giftings, and he does so by convincing us to question or undervalue the truth of God’s word. If the enemy can get us to question the word of God, it won’t be long until he’ll convince us to misuse giftings. For proof of this, refer to the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus overcame Satan’s request to misuse His giftings because He had a proper understanding of what was already written in His word.
What we need to remember is this, our greatest giftings were given by God for us to use in His kingdom. Whatever the Lord has deposited into our earthen vessels was deposited so that we might use it to partner with Him in reconciling mankind unto Himself. If at any time we forget this, it’s a tell-tale sign we are undervaluing the word of God. When this happens, the even greater danger is we will stray away from our God-given calling. Perhaps there is no greater example of this than the tragic story of how Judas’ life ended in him hanging from a tree. John 13:29 makes it clear that Judas was the carrier of the money box for Jesus and his disciples. From what we read Judas was chosen to be the treasurer for this small band of men because of his gifting to manage finances. Why else would he have been the carrier of the money bag over individuals like Matthew who had been a tax collector before following after Jesus? It was this gifting that the enemy would use to lead Judas away from his calling to follow after Jesus, as through his greed and desire for more, he would betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Ask yourself these questions in response to what you’ve read so far:
What giftings has God deposited into my life?
What am I doing to guard these deposits?
Am I using my greatest gifts for the kingdom?
Am I misusing my greatest gifts by using them outside of the kingdom?
Allow me to end by saying this, any gifting that causes us to miss opportunities to use other giftings in the kingdom, is being used to serve an idol. That is because whatever distracts us from being used in the kingdom, is an idol. Being good at doing something does not mean that is what we are called to devote our lives to. Sometimes we are given giftings by God that aren’t used in our calling, but he has given them to us to test our ability to place Him first in our lives! If you are reading this right now and suddenly realize you’re misusing the gifts God has given to you, starting today, begin to redirect those giftings towards the kingdom. It could be you’re reading this and you haven’t been attacked yet by the enemy. Allow this to serve as a warning that you must guard the deposit because a day will come where the enemy will be after your giftings. Guard the deposit by walking with the Lord on a daily basis. Guard the deposit by listening to his voice, as he will tell you how to use your giftings. Guard the deposit by using your giftings for the kingdom of God.
Andrew is the proud husband to Chelsea and father to Carson. Currently, he serves as youth pastor at the First Apostolic Church of Aurora, Illinois. He has been involved in youth ministry in some capacity for the last 13 years. Additionally, He serves as the Section 12 Youth Director and Media Coordinator for Illinois Youth Ministries. On the side, he owns a creative design company called Spark Innovative Solutions. His educational background includes a BA in Psychology, (minor in Communication) from Oakland University and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University.