For a while now, we have been covering Jesus’ kingdom parables that He taught throughout His ministry, and what we have been learning as a result is how the kingdom of God works.
So, even though these parables were called “mysteries” by the Lord Jesus, what they are intended to do is take the mystery out of how things operate in God’s kingdom. But as I made the point of last week, it is possible for a born again, Spirit-filled Christian to go their entire life without understanding how God does things and, thereby, not experience all of the benefits of living in the kingdom. Therefore, the key to us not being in that company is for us to read, study, and meditate upon these mysteries of the kingdom of God, let these words of Jesus impact our hearts, and then be doers of the Word.
As it was with the children of Israel in the wilderness, if we would just receive the Words of our Deliverer and follow the path He has clearly laid out for us, we will enter into the Promised Land of the kingdom and partake of all of its fruit!
Church, it is time we move into all that God has for us in Canaan Land where His kingdom principle of sowing & reaping brings us into the fullness of His blessing. And this comes as we receive His Words and be doers of them.
So, we’ve covered some powerful truths from the importance of love & forgiveness in the kingdom to the role God’s grace plays in it all. And last week, we looked at a parable Jesus taught us about our marriage relationship to the Lord—the Parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins found in Matthew chapter 25. And our big takeaways from this parable is that the Lord sees all of us as His virgins who possess the capability for light. So, we saw that even though five were wise and five were foolish, they had all received the same grace from the Lord that made them pure light. Therefore, who we have been made in Christ Jesus is different than our actions. So, while we certainly need to have our behavior line up with who He has made us, what we do does not change the fact that we are spotless in His sight. Amen!
But we learned that the fact is, some were wise while the others were foolish. And what made the five wise was the fact that they thought ahead and brought “extra oil” with them. Therefore, we learned that a prime characteristic of wisdom is that it looks into the future and prepares for it. Likewise, we need to be like these five wise virgins by looking into eternity and living our lives now for our eternal home.
But perhaps the point that was emphasized the most last week was what this oil was that they used to light their lamps: We learned that oil is almost exclusively used to typify the anointing of the Holy Spirit. So, we learned that without the indwelling Holy Spirit in our vessels, there would be no light in our lives. Yes, He is the oil who keeps our light shining bright for the kingdom of God.
But the fact is, all ten of these virgins had enough oil for their lamps to burn, but there was extra oil to be had—and that is what the wise ones received. Therefore, it’s evidently wisdom to receive what is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not just receive what we did at salvation. Yes, the Lord doesn’t just want us to be sprinkled with a little oil of the Holy Spirit to light our lamps; He wants to pour out an abundance of oil in these here vessels! He wants us baptized in the oil of the Holy Ghost!
No, we don’t have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to get to heaven. We can receive an anointing from the Holy One by being born again and have our ticket reserved for those pearly gates. But without the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we might just get there a little quicker, that’s all.
So, let’s not be a part of the foolish brides trying to live this life without being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Be filled with Him and stay full of Him so that you can always be ready to meet the Lord Jesus. Amen.
GETTING OUR HEADS OUT OF THE CLOUDS
Now let’s move on to the final kingdom parable that Jesus gave us, His disciples—the Parable of the Talents (See Matthew 25:14-30). I believe that this particular parable rather fittingly summarizes all of Jesus’ kingdom parables because in it, He teaches us how to be watchful and ready for His Soon Return.
You see, immediately after giving His disciples the Parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins, Jesus moves into this parable by saying, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them” (Verse 14).
Now when I see the word “For” I like to read it as the writer is saying, “Because …” So, why is Jesus telling His disciples this Parable of the Talents? It is because of what He just told them at the end of the Parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins.
You see, after telling them this parable which emphasized wisely being prepared for the return of the Bridegroom, Jesus said in verse 13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” So, beginning in verse 14, what I see the Lord Jesus doing is explaining to them how they are to watch and be prepared for His Second Coming.
You know, one could be confused into thinking that this “watching” that He encouraged them to do in verse 13 is merely us gazing into the heavens, looking for His soon return. And some have certainly taken these words of Jesus this literally by ceasing to be productive members of society and literally sitting somewhere waiting for Him to come back. This is where others in the church have come up with statements like— “We can be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.” But I don’t believe that statement is entirely true.
Now if one has indeed become entirely unproductive here on the earth because they are only thinking of the next life, then yes, this statement can be true. But if one understands that what we do here on the earth for the advancement of the kingdom of God is laying up treasures in heaven and, therefore, how we are to effectively “watch” for His coming, then we will most certainly be of “earthly good” when it comes to the advancement of the kingdom here on the earth. In other words, it is only those who have a misunderstanding of what it means to be ready to the meet the Lord and enter those pearly gates that this statement is true for. But when we know the truth—that by being productive for the kingdom of God here on the earth is the way to truly “watch” for His return because, when He returns, we want Him to find us so doing—then we can be ultra-productive for His glory. Amen?
So, that is what I believe Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is teaching us—how He wants us to watch and be ready for His coming. Therefore, with that in mind, let’s see what Jesus was teaching us in this parable …
WHAT ARE HIS GOODS?
Again, Jesus said in verse 14 that the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country. Now this man is obviously referring to the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, right? And Him traveling to a far country symbolizes Jesus’ ascension to heaven where He is currently seated at the right hand of God in that “far country.”
So, in this parable, what we see is Jesus calling His own servants to Him just before His departure and giving them something. And this verse says that He delivered His “goods” to them. Now the word “goods” describes this man’s possessions, his wealth and/or property. And we don’t have to speculate as to what His goods were because the proceeding verses describe them as “talents.” So, specifically what the man left with each of them was his money.
So, what does this represent? I believe it is clearly describing what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:7-8 when he said, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore, He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
So, at the time of His ascension, Jesus delved out His gifts of grace upon the body of Christ. These are His “goods” that He has entrusted to His church—gifts and callings given to us such as the callings of an apostle, prophet, teacher, and other gifts such as the gifts of healings, administrations, ministry of helps, word of knowledge, etc.
But the amazing part is, we have these “goods” delivered to us! They are not of us, and are certainly not put in us because we are “good.” No, these gifts and callings are given “without repentance”—meaning, they are irrevocable. Therefore, they were not given because we’ve been good, but because He is good and He desires to minister to others through us.
So, in the next verse, we see how this man delivered his goods to his servants. They didn’t all get the same amount but were each given different amounts based on their own abilities. Let’s look at it: Verse 15 says, “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”
TALENTS VERSUS MINAS
Now this has led to some confusion as to why the Lord gives some more than others, but the first thing we need to understand is that this is not talking salvation, but to those gifts and callings that each is given. And the fact is, when it comes to the specific part of the Body that we are assigned to and the giftings that are associated with that calling, not everyone is going to be given the same measure of grace. That doesn’t mean that the Lord loves one more than another. It just simply means that we all have different callings and because of this, there are certain gifts that we need to perform what we are called to do.
You see, just as it is with our physical bodies, just because certain parts of our body seem to fill multiple roles and have more functions than others, doesn’t mean they are more important than the other parts of the body. The fact is, every part of our body is important whether it has multiple functions or not. Likewise, in the body of Christ, we all are important, just with different parts to play. But this is talking about our calling and gifts in the Body, not our position as a child of God. In that respect, we are equally blessed, anointed, and loved by the Lord. So, in regard to our salvation, we all have been given an equal amount.
There is a similar parable that Jesus gave us in Luke 19:11-27 called The Parable Of The Minas which deals more with salvation.
You see, while both of these parables are very similar to where it might be supposed that they are the same, there are a couple of differences: One main difference in them is that in the Parable of the Talents the man delivered his goods to his servants in different increments—to one five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent. However, in the Parable of the Minas, the nobleman gave one mina to ten different servants thus giving the same amount to each one. So, just as the type of currency is different in both parables, the type of spiritual gifting is different.
Now both of these parables are similar in that they are meant to teach us to be faithful in our stewardship as servants of God, but I believe that they are referring to the stewardship of two different things:
It is funny that the Lord uses the word “talents” to describe one of the things we are to be good stewards of because this refers to the different measures of gifts and talents given to us by the Lord. Now some “talents” that we possess were given to us at birth and others were given to us at “new birth.” There are certain individuals that we see in the world today who do not know the Lord and never have, yet they are certainly gifted in certain ways such as singing or athletics. Therefore, the giftings they were given at birth, they may never use for His kingdom’s glory but only for their own glory. But there are other “talents” that are given to us when we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior and others that are given to us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.
So, my point is, the Parable of the Talents is meant to teach us to be good and faithful stewards of the variety of gifts & callings that we have each been given where one may have been given five, another two, and another one. The Parable of the Minas, on the other hand, is meant to teach us the importance of being good and faithful stewards of the gift of grace that we have all been equally given when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. More specifically, this describes the “like, precious faith” that we all have received as believers and the same salvation that we’ve all received. Therefore, we have an awesome responsibility to not only be good and faithful stewards of that incorruptible seed that we have all equally received from being born again, but we also are called to be good and faithful stewards of the specific gifts and callings that we have received individually.
But the point is, how we steward our salvation will determine how we will rule & reign with Him. But how we multiply the varying amount of talents that we’ve been entrusted with also play a role in how much of the joy of our Lord that we enter into. Therefore, being good stewards of both the measure of faith we’ve all received and the varying gifts & callings we’ve each received will determine the quality of reward.
GIFTS, NOT WAGES
But what I want you to see today is that the gifts & talents given to you by the Lord are just that—they are gifts. They are His goods which He, in His great grace, has delivered unto us.
Take the gifts of the Spirit for instance: How many people believe you have to work for those gifts in their lives? You see, far too many believers do not see the gifts this way, but rather see them as a “wage.” What do I mean by that? I mean that most Spirit-filled believers think that you and I have to “work” for the gifts of the Spirit; that we have to do something to see them manifest in our lives. But that is simply not true. The gifts of the Spirit are free gifts! They do not have to be earned, worked or paid for! They are gifts, not wages! Amen?
But all of God’s gifts are to be viewed like this: In fact, the word most commonly translated “gift” is the word charisma and is defined as “a favour which one receives without any merit of his own; the gift of divine grace; a free gift.” This sounds an awful lot like the grace we receive at salvation, doesn’t it? Now we know that this grace is not obtained by any good works of our own. Rather, it is a gift given to us by God. Well, if these are “gifts” of the Holy Spirit, then they should be understood to be the same way—gifts of His divine grace, freely given without any merit of our own. Amen.
I looked up the various times that this Greek word charisma is used in the New Testament and guess what the common usage is? That we’ve already got it! Let me give you some examples:
First of all, if you back up to the beginning of this very letter, you’ll see the heart of God concerning the matter: First Corinthians 1:4-7 says, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, Paul starts off this letter thanking God for the grace of God that was given to them by Christ Jesus. Now the grace he is referring to here is obviously the gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit. And notice that he doesn’t say, “I pray to God always concerning you that God would someday give you grace by Christ Jesus.” No, he is saying they’ve already got said grace! Amen?
Paul continues that they were enriched in everything by Him—not hoped to be enriched in everything someday, but they already had been given everything and were enriched in this! In what? In all utterance and all knowledge! What does this mean? Well, “utterance” describes “speech,” which is an obvious reference to the vocal gifts of tongues, prophecy, etc. (gifts that he would have to correct them on regarding their usage later in this letter). The term “knowledge” is a likely reference to the revelation gifts of the word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits. But my point is that this church was already enriched in all of these spiritual gifts.
Now was this just true for the Church of Corinth or is this a reality for all of God’s Church today? It is for all of us today just like it was for them 2,000 years ago because God does not include these things just for the benefit of one select group! No, He is no respecter of persons! Amen?
Let’s look at a couple of other New Testament verses:
First Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Notice that each one of us have received a gift—not just some of us, not just the select elect! Everyone has received “charisma” from God. Therefore, our responsibility is to minister those gifts to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. And notice the parallel yet again of the gifts God gives us to the grace of God.
We understand well that we cannot earn the grace of God, right? So, why would we think we can earn the gifts of the Spirit, which are considered manifestations of His grace? We can’t! They are God’s grace to us, and we are simply stewarding that grace! They are in our possession, and we are responsible for handling them in the correct fashion.
So, if we don’t earn them—not receiving them by our actions—then can we lose them through our works? Nope! For Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts (Greek charisma) and the calling of God are irrevocable.” This means that any “charisma” of God (including the gifts of the Spirit) is unable to be changed or reversed. Another way of saying this is to say—God’s not an Indian giver! Once He gives it, He doesn’t take it away.
This is something the Lord has certainly established me in. Like many of our tendencies, I believed in the past that God used me based on my performance. So, while I knew I had a gift, I still understood that the gift was not completely free.
I remember a time early in my walk with the Lord, when I was busy teaching Bible studies at my local church, and I had made some mistakes at this particular stage. In the midst of having to teach these people, I felt as condemned as a man could be. If I had been given the opportunity, I would have handed that Bible study over to someone else! But I didn’t. I had to go teach it.
How could God use me that evening? I felt so unworthy! But here is a good point to interject here. Was I ever worthy (when it comes to things of the flesh)? Was I ever qualified in the natural? Heavens, no! I might have been holier at other times than at this time, but again, God does not grade on a curve. So, what if I was even the best sinner at other times. The fact is, I was still a sinner. I was still making other mistakes, whether or not they were the more glaring and obvious ones. And, saints, this is all of us. None of us, even in our best state, are qualified. As my father-in-the-faith likes to say, “God has never had anyone working for Him yet that was qualified!”
So, the whole time I was preparing and heading to this Bible study, I was crying out to God to please use me! I said, “Oh God, don’t let these people suffer for my failures! Please use me! Please use me!”
Well, that evening I can tell you, was the most I had ever experienced the anointing of God up to that point in my life! Glory to God! He certainly used me—in a grand and glorious way! Thank you, Jesus!
The next morning, I was praying and thanking God profusely! I was telling God, “Lord, thank you for using me! Thank you for using me!” And really what I was saying was, “Thank you Lord for using me for me!” In other words, “Thank you Lord for not letting me have egg on my face and for showing up in spite of myself.” I heard the Lord speak in my heart very distinctly as I kept repeating, “Thank you Lord for using me.” The Lord spoke the following words to my heart: “Trey, I don’t use you for you; I use you for My people.”
Then after I heard that, He began downloading certain Scriptures into my heart showing me how He uses His people in spite of their own weaknesses, failures and carnality. One of those primary examples He showed me is what we have been looking at: the Church of Corinth, the church that was enriched in the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Amen!
Saints, this is the church who had so many of the gifts of the Spirit going on at the same time so that Paul had to actually tell them to do things decently and in order (First Corinthians 14:40)!
Was this because they were so holy and had no sin? Heavens, no! In one place, Paul called them babies! And why? Because there were factions among them—strife, envy and divisions (First Corinthians 3:1-3). This church was even abusing the Lord’s Supper—using it as an opportunity for the flesh to just pig out and disdain the poor around them. In fact, there was even a man in the church who was having an affair with his mother-in-law, and this church was tolerating it! Wow!
So, no, this church was far from perfect and had all kinds of problems. Yet God was still using them in a mighty way! And why? Because they received the manifestation of God’s Spirit by grace through faith.
So, yes, there is hope for you and I! God has given each of us gifts, and there’s nothing we can do about it!
Finally, let’s look at one more instance where this Greek word charisma is used, and in so doing, learn how to release the gifts within us:
In Second Timothy 1:6, the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy with— “Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
Again, the gift of God is already in there; put in us by the anointing of the Holy Ghost. However, as good stewards of these gifts, we are called to “stir up” the gift! One might describe this as “unwrapping” the gift that we’ve been given!
Therefore, I believe we can see a principle here: When it comes to any of God’s gifts that are in us, specifically in this case, the gifts of the Spirit, you and I “stir up” those gifts through the faith that is in us! We can do this by praying in the Spirit and simply pressing into what we have within us!
THE KEY TO MULTIPLYING YOUR GIFTS
Now in this Parable of the Talents, we see how the Lord described these servants “stirring up” these talents that were given to them: We see that the one who had been entrusted with five talents “went and traded with them and made another five” (See verse 16). Likewise, the one who had received two talents “gained” two more (Verse 17). But the one who had been given one, dug in the ground and hid it (Verse 18). So here, Jesus is using the illustration of trading and investing to describe how one grows in and develops their spiritual giftings.
Now any of you who have ever dabbled in these ways of growing wealth know that in order to make money, you have to be willing to invest it. In other words, money will not usually multiply too well while it is still in your possession. So, we have to be willing to put our money into something else to gain interest on it. And this is how our gifts and callings are multiplied as well—by investing them in others. Yes, the more you and I exercise our gifts in the lives of others, the more those gifts can grow and multiply. But if we hide those gifts like the one who was entrusted with one, Jesus’ principle of “even what we have can be taken away from us” can become a reality.
Have you ever noticed that the two in this Parable of the Talents that were entrusted with multiple talents were the ones who ended up multiplying their talents? Yes, it was the one who was entrusted with one talent that never multiplied his, but rather buried it in fear of his master.
Now do you suppose that the Master might have had a little intuition as to who would be the good stewards of what they were entrusted with and who would not? I guarantee you that He did. He saw their hearts. He knew who was wise and who was foolish. He knew who was most likely to produce more with what they had. So, he gave to each according to their own ability (see Matthew 25:15). What does this mean— “according to their own ability”? It means that the master saw and understood what they were all three capable of. So, he distributed to each one very intentionally and specifically. This means that when God sees our faithfulness and He counts us worthy to be a carrier of the keys of the kingdom, He will entrust you and I with more.
You see, God is not stupid. He is the wisest investor in history! And when He finds someone whom He knows will be good stewards with His gospel and His power, He will show Himself strong through them. He counted Paul worthy! He took this man who was giving 110% for the work of satan and said, “I can use this man! All He needs is a little change in perspective and philosophy and that 110% he is giving to satan, He will give it to Me.”
Now, again, don’t misunderstand this: The fact that the Lord delved out different amounts of “talents” is not indicating that our salvation and His love for us is given out in different measures. Those things are the same towards us all and has zero to do with our works. What this parable is referring to is our hearts and how we are used by Him. We must be faithful with our gifts and then we will begin to see an increase in those gifts. Holy Spirit gives us the tools, but we have to open up the toolbox and use them. The more we lean on Him, recognizing that it's only by His grace that something good will come of this, the more we receive.
But as I have personally experienced myself and witnessed in others, the main reason that we do not feel confident to step out in faith and let God flow through us with those “talents” is because we fear missing God—which goes back to the condemnation thing. In other words, the primary reason we do not go out on a limb is because we are scared that it might not be God’s will, plan, or timing. In other words, we want to be sure its God. But this is not how it works! You have to step out in faith first and then you will come to that place of seeing and understanding. But what so many Christians want is they want to know, see, and understand everything before they step out. Just as it is in the natural, in the kingdom of God you are going to have to go out on a limb in order to get the best fruit!
But why do we fear missing God like this? It is partly because we fear failure. We are scared of falling flat on our face. But, thank God, Peter did not think like this. He stepped out of the boat, not fearing that He would sink. And that is the mentality that we need to adopt—not being afraid of falling flat on our face! Sure, we might fail. Sure, we might miss it sometimes if we live our lives like this. But what do you suppose God would rather you miss it in? Do you think He would rather you miss it in not praying for people or do you think He would rather you miss it in praying for people? I guarantee you He would rather you try to walk and fall down than never attempting to walk at all. This is simply a fact of life for any young child: They fall down several times before they truly learn to walk. Do we frown upon them when they fall? No, we understand that in order for them to learn to walk, they might have to fall a few times. Likewise, in order for us to learn to walk with God and walk in the miraculous, we might have to fall on our face a few times! And that is ok because this is how we learn to soar!
You know, it has been said that the way a mother eagle teaches her young to fly is by pushing her chicks out of the nest. It is during their fall that they learn to fly. Now this is a frightening thing, but what does it require? Faith! It requires faith on behalf of their mother to push them out of their comfort zone and risk them never learning to fly during their quick plummet to the earth. But we need to understand that God is a God of faith too, and He believes in us! He believes that we can mount up with wings as the eagle and learn to soar with Him!
Now the awesome thing about our God is that He does not want to push us out of our nests. He lets us choose to make that leap ourselves, just as He did not push Peter out of the boat, but let him make that leap of faith of his own initiative. God, likewise, will wait for us to jump out of that comfort zone—our proverbial “nest”—and learn to operate in the gifts and talents that He has given us stewardship over.
But there is another reason why so many of God’s children fear stepping out in faith to maybe pray for someone, speak into their life, or do something else for Him: It is because not only do they fear failure, but because they fear God! And no, I am not talking about that healthy, reverential fear of God, but the being afraid of displeasing Him.
Do you remember in the Parable of the Talents why the one who had only been entrusted with one talent buried his talent? It was because he “feared” his master (see verse 25). In other words, he had an incorrect view of him. In verse 24, he said that he “knew he was a hard man, reaping where he had not sown, and gathering where he had not scattered seed.” Friends, this is exactly why so many fail to grow in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit and in the gifts pertaining to their calling. It is because they have an incorrect view of God. They think He will be “hard” on them if they fail or do something wrong. This incorrect view of God keeps His children from growing.
For example, many people fear speaking out by faith the utterance given to them by the Holy Spirit. And this is why they don’t speak in tongues when baptized in the Holy Spirit. One thing I have told those who maybe only received one syllable from the Holy Spirit is— “Be faithful with that one word! Speak it out and let the Holy Spirit see your willingness to be faithful in little and He will make you rule over more syllables.” One might say, “Yeah, but what if it’s not the Holy Spirit and it’s just me?” God is not going to be angry with you if you are trying and fail. It is like a parent whose child has not learned to speak yet. When the child is trying to tell daddy & mommy that he loves them, but can’t say it perfectly, doesn’t that still bless the parents? Sure, it does! I believe our Heavenly Father is no different! He is blessed when His children are trying to obey Him! Amen?
But, no, God is not hard on us, and looking to come down on us if we make a poor investment with the talents He has entrusted us with. No, God is not sitting up in heaven with a scowl on his face waiting for us to mess up so that He can pour out his wrath and fury on us! No! Just like with any of us who know how to give good gifts to our children, our Heavenly Father is blessed with our good intentions! He is pleased when we, as His children, make the effort to multiply the gifts He has given to us! What actually displeases Him is when we do not try—making the effort to walk in the gifts He has given to us. That is what God does not want to see.
So, I encourage you, begin to put into practice this truth by taking your “talents” and investing them into others. For as you are faithful in your stewardship of the gifts He has put on the inside of you, you will be made ruler over much! It is simply a principle of the kingdom that as you are faithful to put yourself in position for God to flow through you that He will multiply those talents! Amen!
So, the way that you and I stay ready and watch for the Lord’s coming is not by sitting by idly; it is by actively investing the spiritual giftings God has put in us. Blessed are those servants that when the Master returns finds His servants so doing (Luke 12:43). Found doing what? Being about the Father’s kingdom business, of course. So, what Jesus is hoping to find when He returns is a bride who is prepared, doing the work of His kingdom. Everyone doing their share and their part. He certainly expects to make a profit when He returns, saints.
So, let’s be all about our Father’s business, seeking first the kingdom of God! He is not an unreasonable, hard Lord who expects more out of us than we feel capable of. No, He has given us the giftings, the calling, and the abilities to do all that He has called us to do. Let’s do it, as His huper “nikes” (i.e., more than conquerors). Amen.