Summary: Gleaned from John Ortberg’s Book - "If you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat". This teaches us that we must understand exactly "who" the Lord is.
HE is the Lord
> Dr. Tim Lahaye tells the story (which I have repeated many times, but which perfectly illustrates a point); it’s about a husband who was receiving marital counseling. The obvious truth was that He and His wife were at odds with each other and were in the mode of fault-finding. After giving a laundry list of her faults, the husband was asked if there was “anything” he could find to appreciate about his wife. Without hesitation he replied, “She treats my mother good.” From that one statement, Dr. LaHaye led the husband to compile a list of 10 things which he could truly appreciate about his wife.” With this list in hand, here was Dr. Lahaye’s instruction, “take this list to work with you everyday and on the way home from work, pray through this list thanking God for these qualities.” After a couple of weeks the relationship began the process of healing. Why? Because the microscope of inspection had been taken off the negative and placed on the positive. Thus, a new “perspective” was gained.
> I have taken the time to re-tell this story to apply it to our study of scripture. Candidly, when we open our Bibles to study, our perspective either limits or expands our ability to discern all God’s wants us to see. It is a mystery to me as to why God has chosen to work like this, but the Bible repeatedly tells us that He does. So here is our lesson for the day, “In the same way we open our Bible, we should open our minds to hear & see what God has for us.”
> Case in point; Last week, we studied the same text we at which we are looking again tonight. Last week, we viewed this from the perspective of “Pleasing the Father (or Master).” We walked through this text in “outlined-story” form. Our outline was “The Master Entrusts, Exits, Emerges, Examines, Exacts, and Expects.” For me personally, this was a challenging outline.
> Tonight, let’s read and study the same text while placing our microscope of inspection at a slightly different angle. Let read it.
> It has been said, it you trust in man, you get what He can do, if you trust in the church, you get what she can do.
> But if you trust in God, you get what no one can do. I submit this is also trust about our focus. For the next few minutes I want us to focus on the Lord, who He is and what He does. Consider 3 simple thoughts with me;
1) He is the Lord of the Gift. We begin by reiterating what we said last time. The Lord (Master) called His servant and gave them gifts.
> First – these servants were not particularly deserving of these gifts.
> Next – they were all good gifts. (James 1:17)
> Next - they were given gifts which were in keeping with their talents and abilities.
> Finally – every gift given by the Lord carries with it both responsibility and expectation.
> Jesus said, “if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Father in heaven.”
> God gives us these gifts and allows us to make some decisions about these gifts. What will we do with them? Will we use them? Will be bury them? Consider this, HE is the LORD of the gift, you and I are only the stewards, overseer, or the manager of the gift.
> The day is coming (fast) when we will be called to “face the music.” This phrase may come from the British Army tradition of the 19th century in which a soldier, being court-marshaled was forced to stand facing the military band with the drums tapping as the charges were read.
> Literally, this means that they were held accountable for their actions and had to “face up to it”. Candidly, the same is true for us. Why? Because also,
2) He is the Lord of Settled Accounts – Again as we said last week, the same Lord who is the Lord of the Gifts is also returning to settle the accounts. The text tells us that after a while, He returns, calls in His trusted servants, and asks for an accounting of these gracious gifts. This is a checkup, an examination, or an audit.
> Several years ago, I purchased an envelope to send to a friend. The return address on the envelope said this; “Hugs and Kisses: The I.R.S”
> I am have never had to endure an IRS audit but the people who I have spoken with have said to me; “we sat down believing we had done everything right and the questions they had were easily answered, but this was a horrible experience.” Why is this? (Outside of the possibility that the IRS Agent was having a bad day) It is always painful to be held accountable. Yet, the Lord Himself will return to settle accounts and it is not so important how YOU think you’ve done as it is important how HE thinks you’ve done.