Summary: The Lord has given gifts to each of us and expects us to make the maximum use of them until He comes.
Making Use of the Messiah's Gifts
Text: Matt. 25:14-30
1. Illustration: "Getting involved in your church by using your gifts will accelerate your spiritual growth immensely. God designed us that way. Don't head for the grandstands when you enter the kingdom of God. Head for the playing field. That's where the excitement is. That's where the action is." (Wayne Cordeiro, Doing Church as a Team).
2. In the parable we are going to examine today we are going to take a look at an aspect of the last days we have not yet considered; making the most of our gifts until Jesus comes.
3. In this parable, Jesus illustrates three truths about our gifts...
a. He has given all of us gifts
b. He expects us to make use of our gifts
c. He will hold us accountable for our gifts
4. Let's stand this morning as we read Matt. 25:14-30
Proposition: The Lord has given gifts to each of us and expects us to make the maximum use of them until He comes.
Transition: First, we need to understand...
I. He Has Given All of Us Gifts (14-15).
A. In Proportion to Their Abilities
1. Jesus begins the parable by pointing out that it is an illustration of the how the Kingdom of Heaven works.
2. He says, “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone."
a. This was not an uncommon occurrence in Jesus' day.
b. Most of the clerks, doctors, business managers, and teachers in Rome were slaves.
c. Jesus was using a common situation where the master in the parable wanted to test the reliability of his servants by giving them an opportunity (Horton, 547).
d. We are all given opportunities in this life, and, as Christians, we have an opportunity to be used by God.
e. He has given us the privilege of being the instrument by which His Kingdom is furthered here on earth, and he will judge each us based on what we do with what He gives us.
3. The story gets more specific as Jesus says, "He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last..."
a. Although the NLT uses the term "silver," the currency described in the Greek text is the word "talent."
b. Now we need to be clear here, what Jesus is talking about is money.
c. The talent was the largest type of currency in Jesus' day.
d. One talent equaled about 6,000 denarii, and one denarius was as days wage for the average worker.
e. Wealthy landowners often entrusted their property and affairs to trustworthy servants when they went away on business or for personal dealings.
f. In terms of today’s value, the landowner disperses approximately $1,977,600 to the three servants (Wilkins).
g. So we are talking about big bucks here!
h. This tells us about the confidence that the master shows in his servants, and the great responsibility he gives them.
4. However, Jesus was talking about more than money. He was talking about abilities as well. Notice that He says, "...dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip."
a. The term for abilities, the Greek word dunamis, refers to power, or in this case, the ability to do something.
b. The term "in proportion to their abilities," shows the masters discernment.
c. He knew that they each had different abilities, and they are given the responsibility of using those abilities to take the some of money, the talent, and put it to good use.
d. He was not giving them something that they were not capable of doing.
e. Notice also that the parable distinguishes between what they were given, the money, and what they already had, the ability.
f. This shows us that everything we have comes from God whether it is money or abilities (Horton, 547).
B. Every Spiritual Gift
1. Illustration: John MacArthur: "Godly, Biblical church growth results from every member of the body fully using his spiritual gift, in submission to the Holy Spirit and in cooperation with other believers."
2. God gives all of us gifts to use.
a. Ephesians 1:3 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
b. When we become united with Christ he gives us gifts to use for the Kingdom.
c. He gives us abilities to be used to grow the church.
d. He gives us talents to reach out to and help people.
e. It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from, God has blessed you with things and He wants to use.