Summary: A sermon that highlights 5 Pitfalls of Life and Ministry
Luke 19:11-26 is a very instructive Bible passage. In this passage, a king who represents our Lord and King of Glory gave ten minas to three servants. While two of the servants went and put the money they received to use, one of the servants did nothing with the money he received from the king. This Bible passage isn’t just about investing money wisely or utilizing one’s talents. The passage addresses our general attitude to life, our perception of God, and how we receive and treat the things of God.
If we take a close look at the servant that did nothing with the money he received, we can observe certain mistakes he made that are common to man. These mistakes or pitfalls are as follows:
1. Not valuing what God has given you
When the king came to settle accounts with his servants, he instructed that the money he gave the servant who did nothing with it, be taken away from him and given to the servant who had put the money he received to use and gained ten more. This astonished those standing by. They wondered why the king would order that the money of this servant be given to someone who already had ten. The king answered them in this way “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away” (Luke 19:26).
If someone has nothing, you can’t take anything from him because there’s nothing to take away. So why did the king talk about taking from a person with nothing? It wasn’t that the servant had nothing; it was that the servant saw what he had as nothing. The servant saw his ten minas as money that didn’t have much economic value, money that had no prospect of progressing or increasing. So he treated it as nothing. He didn’t value what was given him.
Without even realising it, a lot of us behave like this servant. We treat the things God has given us as nothing; we don’t value the blessings and mercies of God. Often times, we treat good health and divine protection as nothing. Going out and coming back safely home is seen as nothing important. We treat sleeping and waking up the next as day as one of those routine things. The breath on the inside of us that keeps us active and bubbly with life is seen as no big deal. To most of us, there’s nothing unusual or extraordinary about the fact that we are not lying helpless on a hospital bed. But if we read Psalm 91, we will understand that heaven fights so many unseen battles on our behalf to keep us alive and healthy. We see from Psalm 91:5-6 that there’s really no safe hour. Every moment of the day is filled with danger. At daytime evil arrows are flying all over the place, at midday there’s a plague that destroys, as it starts to get dark there’s a deadly pestilence, at night we have the terror of night; terrible things taking place in the covens and meetings of darkness that we are not even aware of. All day long, we are surrounded by evil, yet it doesn’t come near our dwelling place because God has averted and destroyed so many evil plans in order to preserve our lives. This, my brother and sister is something. It’s a big deal, it’s a super-duper blessing from God, it’s something substantial and meaningful heaven has taken time to give us. It is something to be appreciated and valued. It is something worth celebrating and giving thanks to the One who has done all these and much more for us.
The widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 who was going through a serious financial crisis was asked a simple yet deep and interesting question by Elisha. Elisha asked her, “What do you have in your house?” what was her response? “Your servant has nothing there at all, except a little oil” (2 Kings 4:2). As far as she was concerned, the oil was really nothing, the quantity of oil she had was too small to make a significant difference. Yet, this was the oil God used to bring her out of debt and sustain her family.
Occupying till Christ comes starts with appreciating every little thing God has given you. What is that thing, person, skill, gift and ability God has blessed you with that you see as nothing important, nothing consequential? Start valuing it as it may be the key to your breakthrough. Start valuing what you have before it is taken away from you, and you discover it’s worth and potential when it’s too late.
2. Busy with the wrong things