March 29, 2022
Enter Into The Joy Of The Lord – Matthew 25:14-30
Listen to last week’s sermon: Enter Into The Joy Of The Lord found in Matthew 25:14-30.
Pastor Eric reminded his congregation on March 27, 2022, that the Day of the Lord is rapidly approaching and we should prepare ourselves for the return of Christ. As believers, we need to be prepared for the rapture, when we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16
Last week, Pastor Peter Jamieson preached on the prophecies found in Joel 1-3 and Matthew 24, where Jesus explained that no one knows the day or the hour Jesus will return. However, we are called to recognize the signs of the times. In his sermon today, Pastor Eric focused on the passage found in Matthew 25:14-30, in which Jesus continues his Olivet Discourse.
Read Matthew 25:14
Jesus compared the Kingdom of heaven to this parable. Although a parable is not considered a true account, its principles are true. In this story, an individual embarked on a long journey and handed his money over to three of his servants. To one servant he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one. A talent, in the New Testament, is a measure of weight. The word ‘talent’ in the original Greek is ‘talanton’ a word meaning a weighing scale. A talent could be made of gold, silver, or copper. It was therefore worth a considerable amount of money.
By God’s grace, we have been entrusted with one of the most prized possessions of all: our soul.
Read Mark 8:36-37
The value of our soul is unrivaled in this world, given we are created in the image of God. Not only is it unique among all creation, it is also eternal. We must ask ourselves, “What are we doing with it?” What are we doing with the talents, resources, and gifts we have been given? Are they being utilized effectively? Are they being exploited for the glory of God? Does the Lord receive honour from our actions?
Read John 15:1-17
We read in John 15 that Christ is the vine and that we, the branches, remain connected to the vine as we cannot produce fruit on our own. As Christians, we should ask ourselves what we are doing with the gifts that God has bestowed upon us.
1 – Everyone starts with something.
Read Matthew 25:15
We have been entrusted with something that is uniquely ours and according to our own abilities. As we are blessed by the grace of God, we are able to handle the measure he has given us. Though we may be inspired by the talents of others, we should not harbour any desire for them, for there will come a day when each one of us will have to account to the Lord for what we have done. What matters is what we do with what we have received. Although it may not appear significant in our own eyes, Pastor Eric hopes that we are hearing God’s voice today to take action.
2 – Procrastination is never a good idea.
Read Matthew 25:16-17 ESV
The first two servants ‘went at once’, meaning they acted on the instructions immediately. However, the servant who received one talent buried it in the ground. He appeared to be already determined not to do anything with what he was entrusted with. He did not value his task as highly as the other two. Unlike them, who put their talents to good use immediately, he hid his for the simple reason that he was afraid. What hinders us from putting to good use the gifts we were given by God? Why are we hesitating?
In the words of C.S. Lewis:
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
The same holds true for us today. Either we hatch or we rot. Are we hearing the call for immediate action?
Read John 4:35
Jesus provides further encouragement. In this passage, he states that the harvest has begun. The Lord can use us today if we are willing and available to serve Him.
3 – The Master is coming for fruit.
The Master did not return for the talent he originally entrusted to the servants: He came to reap the benefits of their labour.
Read Matthew 25:20-27
In contrast to the first two servants, who were praised and rewarded for their good work, the third servant was reprimanded, as he gave the Master what he had originally received without interest. Despite being entrusted with a valuable asset, he did not make use of it.
Taking this lesson to heart is important. God will not return to collect the talents he has entrusted to us. Rather, we are being called by the Lord to convert our talents into Kingdom currency for God’s glory, the advancement of His Kingdom, and to live fruitful lives.
Read Matthew 16:27
How effectively are we utilizing the resources that God has given us? All believers should ask themselves this question. The Gospel is not a call to take, but to give. It is our duty to bless others. In John 15, Jesus referred to us as branches and Himself as the vine. Specifically, He refers to branches that are in Him but are not bearing fruit. These branches must be pruned, as they deprive the other branches of their fruitfulness. Therefore, we must avoid being an unproductive branch. Rather, we are to strive to give.
In this passage, we are challenged to use what God has given us in order to serve Him. When we choose to do nothing, we do no one any good, as our talent remains hidden and inactive. Without action, the fruit of the Spirit withers. It is a lonely and sorrowful existence when we fail to produce fruit. As Jesus declared, it is more joyful to give than to receive.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:10
We will all appear before the throne of Christ one day, where we will be rewarded for our actions and judged accordingly.
4 – Kingdom ways are not our ways.
God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. The Lord considered the first two servants to be both faithful and good. Due to their loyalty in small things, He would allow them to handle great things. The one who failed to act, however, was deemed evil and lazy. In this case, the individual did not live in faith: he was afraid, and he allowed his fear to rule him. Faith is the foundation of the Christian life.
There is a significant difference between the reward system of society and that of God. The Lord gives to those who possess resources what he takes from those who do not. Society, on the other hand, does not operate on this principle: it takes from those who have and gives it to those who have nothing. God rewards those who are faithful with the resources they have been given; however, God disdains those who are lazy. The lazy do not wish to work despite the fact that they should, could, and ought to be working. The third servant’s lack of initiative resulted in his possessions being given to someone who would act. The lazy people in society are rewarded for the hard work of the faithful, but God has an entirely different perspective.
What are you doing with the talents, resources and gifts God has given you?