Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

01/14/2018 A.M.

 

Entrusted To Give

Matthew 25.14-30

 

Go with me to Matthew chapter twenty-five.

 

As Jesus ends His ministry... His teaching seems to become more and more serious... Intense.  His focus begins to point to His Second Coming... And what we can expect in that event.

 

The Parable of the Talents is just one of many that point in this direction.

 

We’re reminded of other well-known narratives...

• The wise and foolish virgins...

• The sheep and goat judgment...

• The parable of the talents...

Familiar narratives in which we must not miss the point of the context...That being that God has certain expectations of us as we await Jesus’ Coming.

 

Let’s read our text together... Matthew twenty-five... Beginning with the verse numbered fourteen... I’m reading from New English Version... For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him,‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Well... What can we learn from this interesting Narrative...

How do we apply narrative to the challenge our Eldership

has given us in this budget presentation?

 

First... We learn that it all belongs to the Master.

This Master called His servants and GAVE each... A Gift... A Talent... A Blessing.

 

Listen church... Our attitude toward life... Especially our attitude toward our money and things will change drastically when we realize we own nothing...

• We are only stewards of God’s possessions and wealth.

• God has entrusted His property to us...

• We’re God’s caretakers for a few years.

 

Church... Any sense of ownership is an illusion... Funeral Cars don’t pull U-Halls... There are no pockets in funeral shrouds... We will leave it all behind...

• Because we are stewards... Not Owners.

• We’re servants... Not Masters.

 

The cattle on a thousand hills are His... He created everything and everything belongs to Him. When we understand this...

• Life will change...

• Our Christianity will change...

• Our Stewardship will change...

• Our Giving will be appropriate... Amen?

 

Secondly... Our trust is according to our ability.

To one five talents...another two... another one... to each according to his ability.

 

Did you notice... There is nothing about fairness or equality in this narrative?  The fact is... All mankind receives different...Gifts... Talents... Blessings.

 

The demand for Equality is a product of our culture and is not taught in Scripture... We have different talents... Different abilities... Different opportunities...Different ministries.

 

No doubt about it... We’ve been gifted differently…Entrusted diferently!

 

Listen to Romans chapter twelve... Just as each of us has one body with many members... And these members do not all have the same function... We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging,let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

 

Isn’t it time in the Kingdom that we stop... Worrying... Fretting... Over what someone else has or how they are using their gift... And settle our attention on our Blessings... And how we’re using them in His Kingdom work?

 

Let’s not be guilty of mixing 21st Century Americanism with God’s economy.

 

Scripture tells us... We are gifted differently.

 

Number three... Realizing that God has entrusted us... We gotta ask ourselves... What am I doing with my talent?

He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.

 

I think we must ask ourselves four questions here...

 

First... Do we have a sense of urgency...

At once...Immediately... The faithful servants went to work.

Procrastination is easy!

 

Peter says the reason we procrastinate is that we forget that the Lord is coming again...Then he reminds us of the fact that in the day of Noah... Some didn’t think the flood was coming either.

 

In Ephesians... Paul tells us that we are to redeem the time... make the most of every moment... The most of every opportunity... For the days are evil.

 

Church...When God places a… good work… deed… Ministry… Before us... We need to walk through that door.... With an urgency... Because that opportunity may not be available tomorrow... Or in the next moment.

 

Are we working His work?... applying His Gift?

Jesus said... I am doing the work of Him who sent Me... Are we working?... Or have we decided that we can retire or resign?

 

Jesus taught that... The Kingdom of Heaven is about work. Jesus saw the Kingdom as... A Field... A Vineyard... A Business opportunity... Like a Treasure to be bought... A Work to be done.

 

We’re wrong in thinking that the Kingdom of Heaven is a Spectator Sport of just coming here once twice three times a week listening to a lesson.  If this Parable teaches anything... It teaches that those entrusted with God’s blessings are to labor... Do His Kingdom Work….Minister… Give themselves.

 

We must remember that growth is the objective.

Five gained five more... Two gained two more.

God entrusts us and God expects growth... Spiritually... Numerically.

 

He expects us to be more and more involved in His Kingdom... To become more and more like Jesus... Add to your Faith Virtue...To Virtue Knowledge... To Knowledge Temperance... To Temperance Patience... To Patience Godliness... To Godliness Brotherly Kindness… To Brotherly Kindness… Love. These things must abound in you... Grow in you... Make you effective in His Kingdom Work... And will make your calling and election sure.

 

Wow...That’s what we want isn’t it to make our salvation sure?... We do that by growing spiritually.

 

Number four... Fear inhibits our giving.

I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground.

The questions is... Who or what is our faith in... God or money?

If our faith is in money... Then we will hoard it instead of giving it.

Again…If this text teaches anything it’s that we are gifted to give... Not to fearfully hoard.

 

It was Jesus who said... Do not worry about your life... God provides for the birds and grass and He will provide for you.

 

Then finally... We are to work till the Master comes.

Our text says... After a long time the Master of those servants returned.

 

Here it is church... Money is a bad master... But is a good servant!

Remembering this will help us determine...

• Whether we are a good servant...

• A proper steward of what God has given...

• Whether we have the attitude of a servant or owner.

 

You see... Giving is an important part of our Worship to God... It’s not the amount as much as the attitude.

 

Giving is not a tax... We don’t have to give anything!...

I think Paul gives us the proper attitude...

• Give as we’ve been blessed...

• Give as we’ve promised in our heart...

• Give cheerfully... Not grudgingly...

• Give generously.

• Give sacrificially.

 

Somebody asked... Why Give... Why Give At All??...

Well...First of all... My answer would be... Because we’re commanded... But more than that...

 

• It makes us more like God... God so loved that He gave…

 

• Giving draws US closer to God... For where your treasure is... There will be your heart also.

 

• Giving strengthens our faith... Trust in the Lord with all your heart... Do not depend on your own understanding... Honor the Lord with our wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.

 

• Giving reveals our spiritual maturity... Just as you excel in everything... In faith... In speech... In knowledge... In complete earnestness... See that you also excel in this grace of giving.

 

Giving brings blessings... It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

• Giving is an investment in the hereafter... By doing this... You will be storing up real treasure for yourselves in Heaven.

 

You see… The bottom line this morning is that God has given His Son Jesus to save us.

 

God has entrusted us with forgiveness and salvation.

 

And the way we accept His grace gift is to give ourselves to Him... By faith... A changed life...And being born again in New Testament baptism.

 

For those of us who are His children... Our challenge is to understand that before we can be people stewards of what God has entrusted us with... We must give ourselves to God.

 

Again we hear Jesus say… It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

So... Let’s Receive His blessing by becoming givers… As we stand and sing.