Summary: “What does it take to be a good and faithful servant of God?” I believe every true believer wants God to find and commend them the same way the Master in this parable found and commended the first two servants who were doing the task given to them.
Good & Faithful Servant of the Lord
Matthew 25: 14-30
nOTE: Some materials of this sermon are taken from sermoncentral. com
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector which we have examined last Sunday teaches us how to approach God in a way that is acceptable to Him. The Pharisee approached God on the basis of his own merits. He forced upon God the truth of his own righteousness. He thought his righteousness –his good deeds, would force God to respond. His prayer was not accepted because of his distorted sense about himself and about God. The tax-collector, on the other hand, drew to God on the basis of God’s grace and mercy. He was accepted, not because of the bad things he did, but because of his humility and honesty.
This week our study will fall on the parable of the talent. This parable is so rich with spiritual insights that I have to stick on this passage for 2 or 3 Sundays. When taken by context, this parable is a warning to all believers to prepare for the second coming of the Lord. It also talks about what it takes to be a good and faithful servant of God. This parable also gives a clear picture of a person who lost everything by doing nothing. The third servant is a person who could teach you how to become a failure.
First of all, I’d like to start our study on this parable with the question that I’d like to ask this morning: “What does it take to be a good and faithful servant of God?” I believe every true believer wants God to find and commend them the same way the Master in this parable found and commended the first two servants who were doing the task given to them. We want God to find us doing good and faithful, right? This parable teaches us how. This parable teaches us amazing principles to live by if we would want to be found good and faithful servants of God. We need to realize that:
A. What We Have Is Not Our Own (v.14)
Verse 14 says, “"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.” The master in the parable called his 3 servants and gave each “his goods.” But the purpose of giving is not for the servants to have possession of the property but to manage it. It means that what these servants were given was not for them to own, it still belonged to the master. They were managers, not owners, of their master’s property. The master here is God. He owns everything. The biblical word for our position over everything we have is steward.
In Psalm 24, the Word of God reminds us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” And in Haggai 2:8 we find, “’The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.” These verses clearly tell us that everything belongs to God. It’s not my time; it’s not my money; it’s not my abilities; it’s not my life –it’s all God’s. Everything I have is on loan from God. Now, until we recognize this truth, we will not be good managers of what has been entrusted to us.
The servants understood their true status over the “goods” given to them –that they were managers not owners of their master’s property. And so they went off immediately to put the money to profitable investments. However, the servant who received the one talent failed to recognize the implication of his position being a steward. While he was aware that the wealth entrusted to him was not his, he failed to realize the intention of the master for giving his goods to his care and management. And being a steward, he was expected to exercise proper management of what was entrusted to him. His action actually reveals his indifference and antagonism towards the truth that he was a steward, embittered that what had been entrusted to him was not his.
Faithfulness to God with our abundance always starts, first, in understanding and in recognizing that God owns everything we have, and second, in understanding the intention of God for giving us His resources. The author of Proverbs tells us to faithfully honor God with our abundance, and it always starts in understanding and recognizing our true position over the things God has given us. Apart from that humble recognition we are likely to misuse and mismanage the resources we have in our hand. We will likely to use them for our selfish desires instead of for God’s glory and honor. And like the third servant, we would likely be doing nothing to God’s resources for something profitable to His sight.