In the parable of the talents the third man attempted to accomplish the master's task by his own strength, while the other two relied on the power of the Spirit for the increase.
Works done in our flesh, not relying on God's wisdom, direction and power, are unacceptable to Him. They have the stench of death. For we are dead to God and his purpose when we accomplish them without his direction. Any glory or reward we receive here on earth is fleeting and quickly forgotten. At the judgement of our works they will be burned up like straw in a furnace. But works done while relying on Him will be as precious gold, silver and gems which we will present to him as the increase of our labor. At that time he will praise us as a good and faithful servant, because the talents and abilities he gave us have brought increase to the kingdom.
But the one that does not walk in the Spirit will see all his life's work burned up, vaporized in a brilliant flash of light when he stands before Jesus and present them to him as a offering. This man is double minded. He has tried to win the approval of both God and man. He compromised his obedience to God to win the approval of man. Some of his actions may seem religious, but they aren't done in faith and are worthless. It is as if the bag of gold coins he was given to bring increase to the kingdom has been turned into worthless straw that is burned up in an instant.
Jan. 17, 2000:lmv