Summary: This message was preached as part of a series dealing with thankfulness, and looks at our being thankful for the privilege of serving.
BEING THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE
MATT 25: 14-16,35;28:19-20
Matthew 25:14-16 "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
Matthew 25:13 (NIV)
13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
1. THE ROOT OF SERVICE – MATTHEW 25: 1-13
a. The foundation for service is the assured fact of the return of Christ.
i. The return of Christ ushers into reality a new facet of God’s plan for mankind.
ii. The reality is that you and I will no longer be here to share the message of salvation with others
iii. The reality is that we will no longer have an opportunity to serve the Lord.
1. There are no more crowns
2. What we have done will then be both tried and judged
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
b. The time of His coming is not known, but the fact of His coming is assured!
i. One thing we forget is that the coming of the Lord is not far off.
ii. Just because we do not know the time does not mean that the time is far off.
iii. We need to be prepared because we do not know the time of His coming!
c. Being ready for His coming is important to our spiritual future.
i. The question is how we want to enter into eternity
ii. Weeping and gnashing are reserved for those who do not know Christ
1. Weeping -- sorrow and grief -- emotional agony of the lost in hell.
2. Gnashing -- speaks of pain -- physical agony in hell.
d. There is no alternative to being prepared for the coming of Christ
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT BEING THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE, THE FIRST AREA TO BE THANKFUL FOR IS THAT GOD HAS COMMUNICATED TO US IN ADVANCE THE NEED TO BE READY FOR THE RETURN OF THE LORD!
2. THE REQUIREMENT OF SERVICE – MATTHEW 25:14-21
a. The main thing being communicated in this parable is to serve the Lord while He is away!
b. God has given us “talents”
i. The Scripture describes them as precious.
ii. A talent was a weight of silver between 58 and 80 pounds
1. Today that amount of silver would be worth between $16,000 and $22,000 dollars.
2. Adjusted for inflation from 1800, that same amount would now be worth between $203,000 and $280,000
3. So then the servant given one talent was given ¼ of a million dollars (give or take), the servant given two talents received ½ a million dollars, and the servant given 5 talents, received a cool 1.25 million dollars.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, NO MATTER WHAT THE GIFT GOD GIVES TO US, HE CONSIDERS IT VALUABLE!
c. Today a talent from God is not necessarily a lump of Silver, but ANYTHING we may use to glorify God!
d. We are to be diligent in our use of what God has given us
i. God has given us what we have based on His perfect knowledge of us as servants
ii. We have each received all we need and can use for His glory.
iii. We all have an equal opportunity to be faithful with what God has given us!