Summary: An outlined story of the Parable of the Talents. Let’s not become "hole-diggers".

Pleasing the Father.

Matthew 25:14-30

> Tonight I want to do something that is a little uncharacteristic of me, I want to tell a story. Actually, this will be the “retelling” of a Bible story. I’ll attempt to tell it with an outline which will make it easier for me to tell, easier for your to hear, and easier to remember.

> This story finds its birth in the words of our Lord. Let’s turn to Matthew 25 and read verses 14-30. This is a very familiar story and it holds much meaning for all of us.

> (READ) Video has done much for our generation, both good and bad. It is good that we not can see and hear truths of God because to see and to hear enhances and literally upgrades our memory. I recall a time in TV (not that I am that old, but just read about it) when “setup” cards were used. The huge card might say, “Back at the station”, or “Back at headquarters” or “Meanwhile back at the ranch.” Tonight we’ll see some of that on our screen as we walk through this story and glean just some of the truths contained within.

> We begin with the simple thought that “THE MASTER ENTRUSTS.” Quite obviously the master is a very wealthy person. He gives out, by my count, 8 talents. When we consider that tradition tells us a talent was worth about 15 years of wages. Also we should consider that most people lived “day-to-day” which is why emphasis is given to a day’s work for a day’s pay. For perspective we should consider that to save up money equal to one year’s wage was considered GREAT. Now here is the Master handing out over 100 years worth of wages. It is safe to assume that he was not worried about provision for his next meal. It is also safe to assume that the master had more than 3 employees, servants, or slaves. Quite likely the reason there are NO slaves mentioned who receive nothing was to illustrate to us that the Kingdom of Heaven is headed by the Lord of the gifts and that no one is left out. That means every member of the Kingdom has at least one gift. A gift entrusted to them by the Lord, the Master.

> Candidly, every one of the gifts (talents) entrusted by the Master is quite valuable to him. He places it in our hands. At this point of the story there are several things of which we should take note. First, the servants had no say in what gifts they would receive that master gave them what HE wanted to have. Why? Because He knew what they were capable of handling. Next, not all the servants received the same amount. Next as a reminder, no one received nothing. The master is the Lord of the gifts. James 1:17 says, ‘every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.’

> God has entrusted each one of us as individuals and collectively as a church, with a gift or several gifts. The word entrusted literally means to put into the care or protection of someone and this is what the God has done.

> We then see that “THE MASTER EXITS”. He gives the gifts and leave on a journey. It takes no imagination to see the parallel between this story and the life of Jesus. Through the divine nature of Jesus, he left before giving the Holy Spirit and the giftedness which that brings. The honest truth is this; We have been given these gift, entrusted with them, and the Master has bodily left us and given us the ability to make decisions about our gifts. What will we do with them? Watch, when the first and second guy received their talents and they were taken aback. Never did they dream they would have this kind of time, resources, and freedom. In fact, he saw this as the Opportunity of a lifetime!! And an opportunity they did not intent to waste. The word “immediately” is used and it means exactly what it says. These two men would not allow this opportunity to pass. May I submit today that this sense of urgency is needed once again? Today there seems to be an attitude of procrastination and even apathy about the gifts from the Father. The thought is, “oh, we’ll get to it”, or “I’ll get around to it”, or many more. There is an old, old hymn, last appeared in the 1956 hymnal which asks the question, “Must I Empty handed Go?” This is exactly what these two men were worried about.

> Please listen, it was more important to them to lose it all making an attempt to serve the master than to play it safe and return with no more than they began with. They laid it all on the line; they faced their giants, held nothing back, and they gave it their very best.

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