Summary: Living with eternity in mind helps us establish priorities in our daily living so that God’s purposes and plans are always more important than ours.
Living with Eternity in Mind
1. We are deciding now what our eternity will be.
2. Only what we invest in eternity will endure forever.
3. How much of what we are doing with our lives is eternal?
4. How much of what we are doing reflects our belief in an eternal existence with Christ?
Use Your Resources for God
1. Parable of talents.
1. Matthew 25:29-30 – “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who does not have even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
2. Reminded of sharecroppers.
3. Sharecroppers – allowed a bit of land for the needs of their family in return for laboring for a big landowner.
4. Similarities between sharecroppers and servants in parable.
5. First of all, sharecroppers had to realize where resources originated.
6. Resources did not originate in them, but in the grace of landowner.
7. As Christians, we must recognize where our resources originate.
8. God is in control of the world, and his grace allows us to have the things we have.
9. Servants in parable realized where their talents came from.
10. Even the third servant realized where his talent came from, but he just did not use it like the Master wanted him to.
11. Second, sharecroppers could not neglect land of owner.
12. Sharecropper could not continue to share in abundance of landowner if he failed to labor for landowner.
13. Sharecropper could not neglect to pay attention to his owner’s estate.
14. Neither should we as Christians neglect the estate of our Master.
15. So often, we do neglect it.
16. We get consumed in our little worlds and do not attend to the world around us.
17. God doesn’t just want us to labor in our own little places of existence, but go beyond the boundaries of our safe little habitats.
18. It is so easy for us to be engrossed with our personal lives.
19. But God sees things differently than we do.
20. He doesn’t just see our little world, he sees the entire world full of suffering and heartache and sickness.
21. He wants his people to work and minister to that world, not neglect it or pretend it does not exist.
22. Two servants in the parable increased their talents.
23. The talents increased because the servants were willing to use them.
24. The third servant buried his talent in a hole.
25. If not careful, we can bury our talents.
26. We can bury them in our little worlds.
27. We use our talents and resources to gain wealth or obtain desires.
28. Selfishness does not further the kingdom of God.
29. God does not just bless us so that we can be blessed.
30. He blesses us so that we can bless others.
31. Don’t bury your talent or resources, use them for God and you will be blessed richly.
32. Think again about the sharecroppers and how much time they spent on the landowner’s estate and how much time they spent on their land.
33. Time spent on owner’s land was considerably more.
34. Churches will decline and grow stale, and communities will not be enriched when Christians spend too much time on their own worlds and not enough time on God’s world.
35. Recognizing where resources originate, and using those resources for God is a mark of a wise servant.
Serve Christ by Serving Others
3. Two reactions in this teaching.
4. First servant is rewarded for serving others, second servant is not.
5. What is so interesting about this judgment is that these judgments were not based on impressive feats.
6. The things the faithful were being rewarded for were not great feats.
7. They did not save thousands or heal millions, all they did was simple things that any man could do in a lifetime.
8. The reason judgment was rendered was not for some tragic collapse, but for failing to do simple things that they had the opportunity to do during their life.
9. Of course, we can look at this as judgment of lost, but how does it apply to Christians?
10. We can fail God in the little things.
11. But these people did not face judgment for not keeping the Sabbath or neglecting tithes or prayer, but for failing to do simple things each of us could do.
12. We can do the big things right, but fail in little things.
13. We can go to church, have Bible study, have a consistent prayer life, but fail to minister in small things.
14. But God is not only concerned with our growth, he is concerned with our ministries.