Summary: A sermon about trusting and being used by God based on the call of Moses and the Parable of the Talents.
Exodus 3:1-12; 4:1-5, 10-13
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor Of East Ridge UMC, Chattanooga, TN www.eastridgeumc.com
“O Lord, Please Send Someone Else to Do It”
I’m sure many of us have heard people excuse themselves from upholding the church by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service and their witness by appealing to what they do not have…
… “I’m too old.”…
… “I’m too young.”…
… “I’m not educated.”…
… “I’m too busy.” …
… “I’m not good enough.”…
… “I could never do that.”
When God asked Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, Moses used a number of phrases to complain about what he did not have:
“Who am I that I should go…?…
… “Suppose they do not believe me….”
… “I have never been eloquent…”
… “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
After listening to Moses’ complaints, God said to him:
“What is that in your hand?”
In essence, God was saying: “Moses, I am not interested in what you do not have; I am only interested in what you do have….reach out your hand…and certainly I will be with you.”
And that is the key, is it not?
“I will be with you.”
“I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
For years an army recruitment advertisement has been challenging young men and women to “Be all that you can be.”
As a Christian the challenge is: “Be all that God meant you to be!”
The call of Moses and the parable of the talents tells us that God creates and that God calls us to be co-workers for the unfolding of history.
And we are not alone in this endeavor.
But this does not mean that God does not invest in us and expect a return on that investment.
God provides us with all we need in order to fulfill God’s work.
“What about the fact that I am no speaker?” Moses asks.
And God points out that this is irrelevant.
Moses is called to be God’s servant.
Moses doesn’t have to come up with the message nor does Moses have to come up with the plans.
Moses only needs to repeat what God says, and lead by following and trusting in God and God alone!!!
Moses is not called by God on the basis of his experience, his past initiative or his leadership credentials.
What counts is God’s “I will be with you.”
And that is what God is saying to you and to me tonight!
In the parable of the talents, a man set out on a journey, entrusting his property to his servants.
He has put a lot in their hands.
It is important that we recognize from the outset that this man represents God.
It is God who owns the world.
We are His servants.
The word “talent” has come into our language from this parable.
Rather than money, however, it has come to mean abilities and special gifts.
Now, we must be careful not to interpret the parable of the talents simply on the meaning of the word “talent” that has evolved over the years.
Rather, the question that each of us must ask is: “What did Jesus mean by the talent?”
I would submit that everything we have and everything we are comprise the talents entrusted to us by God.
This includes our abilities…
…each precious moment of every day, every week, every month, and every year given to us…
…our material and financial resources…
…our relationships with loved ones and friends…
….the gift of God’s salvation and redemption in Jesus Christ…
…in short—our very lives!!!
All of this is entrusted to us by God, and we are called to be God’s stewards!
Now, the work of the Kingdom is so great that many people may wonder why God left it to us….
…but God has…
…and we must keep that in mind….
…because people’s souls are at stake!
But just think of how exciting this makes the Christian life!!!
Yet how often are we like the one-talent man?
Our faith, instead of being an adventure, becomes a heavy chain of obligations.
We cling to the status quo…hoping we can get by without too many crises or challenges.
We are content with the usual routine.
The one-talent Christian fails to see how much he or she is needed….
…and the result is deadly.
In actuality, no Christian is one-talented.
We are all many-talented!
We can pray…
… we can be present at church and invite others to come with us…
….we can share our faith…
….we can share our gifts…
…we can help with the Block Party…
….and we can serve.
God calls all of us to realize the potential of our lives…
…to maximize the years of our lives!