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Summary: Proper attitude can make or break you.

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It’s Hard to be a Believer.

01/01/06

One of the most interesting things about being a Christian is how easy it is to become one yet how hard it is to be a believer. When you make the decision to follow Christ, you soon find out that being a believer is tough. God shows you all the sin in your life that He begins to pull you away from. Then you start losing friends because you are no longer like them. Your family may even become distant because you are now a Jesus freak, who is no longer welcome home.

That is just a few examples of the changes brought on with your decision to follow Jesus. There are many challenges you may have to face as a believer.

Today the discussion will focus on probably the biggest challenge that has ever faced the church, especially today. Attitude.

Matt 25:14-30

Exegesis

The parable of the talents; this is a story shared by Jesus Christ to teach a spiritual truth. There are several different applications that can be made from this particular parable, and today’s discussion will be how this teaching relates to the investment of grace that God has made in you, the believer.

Have you ever pondered that before? God has made an investment in you, the redeemed, and He expects that investment He has made in you to pay some dividends!

Illustration

Katie Fisher, 17, entered the Madison County Ohio Junior Livestock Sale hoping the lamb she had for sale would get a good price. For months Katie had been battling cancer. She had endured hospital stays and been through chemotherapy a number of times. Before the lamb went on the block, the auctioneer told the audience about Katie’s condition, hoping his introduction would push the price-per-pound above the average of two dollars. It did-and then some. The lamb sold for $11.50 per pound. Then the buyer gave it back, and suggested the auctioneer sell it again. That started a chain reaction. Families bought it and gave it back; businesses bought it and gave it back. Katie’s mother said, "The first sale is the only one I remember. After that, I was crying too hard." They ended up selling the lamb thirty-six times that day, raising more than $16,000 in the process.

Now, if that little lamb had never been put on the auction block, how much money would have been raised for that little girl? You guessed it…not a penny!

God has made an investment of grace in you.

I. God has entrusted His property to you. Vs14-15

Exposition

The symbolism here is that God is the man who is going on a journey, and the servants are the people who have received Jesus as their savior. The man has entrusted his property, (talents, a form of money used at this time), to his servants, each according to his ability to do something positive with it, and according to his ability to handle the pressures that come with having the master’s possessions.

Application

When you receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior, He imparts to you His Holy Spirit, who is with you for the rest of your earthly life. The Holy Spirit who is God in the spirit will act as your guide, your conscience, your friend, and He is also the person within you who can draw other lost souls to the cross of Jesus Christ.

John 14: 15-17, 26 John 16:7-9

He is the talent the master has given you to invest for Him, and God has given each and every one who believes in Jesus as Savior just what they can manage of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and presence.

In a manner of speaking, you have the power and wisdom of God with you 24/7 when you become a Christian!

That’s, pretty good news!!

Yet in light of God’s promises of guidance in the power of His Holy Spirit, we don’t always recognize what the Holy Spirit is doing and how He is working in our lives until He’s done His work and we’ve potentially missed the opportunity.

Illustration

An old man lived alone in Idaho. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was backbreaking work, and his son, Bubba, who used to help him, was in prison.

The old man mentioned it in a letter he sent to his son by saying, “I’m not sure exactly what to do. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. It looks like I won’t be able to plant that garden this year after all.”

A few days later, he received a short letter from his son, “Dad, for heaven’s sake, don’t dig up that garden that’s where I buried the bodies!”

At 4 a.m. the next morning, a crew of police officers, and the FBI arrived to find the bodies. After digging for hours, they gave up and apologized to the old man and left.

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