Prelude: What does God expect us to do with what Heaven has given us? Why hasn’t God given to us all equally?
Purpose: Let’s see what God expects us to do with Heaven’s investment.
Plan: Let’s look at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
Matthew 25:14-15 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
Who is this given to? This investment is not given to everyone in the world, but to “his own servants.” Are these talents natural abilities? No, they are an investment given “according to” ability. Why does God not give to everyone equally? God gives heavenly investment capital according to ability.
What is a talent? It was a weight of gold or silver. The Athenian or Attic talent was once about 26 kilogram (57 pounds) weight of silver, or about fifteen year’s of their wages. Even the one talent guy was entrusted with great responsibility.
Matthew 25:16-17 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.
What does God require? This is a loan from God, for good or evil. Heaven’s investment brings great responsibility. How much return on investment are we giving God? To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:41-48). Spiritual and material investments given by heaven, have a godly purpose.
Matthew 25:18-19 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
There are bad gambles with terrible odds, like lotteries, most Casino games and jumping into anything without preparation. There are good gambles, like preparing for a business, savings accounts or planting crops. Jesus took a calculated gamble in us. One man was afraid and buried the money entrusted to him.
Matthew 25:20-23 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Is equal pay for lazy and diligent employees, productive and unproductive workers fair? God invests in us differently. Yet those who do well are all told, “Well done...” In any church some have less and some have more, whether in spiritual or material assets. How are we investing it for God?
Matthew 25:24-25 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Jesus does not want us to take the safe route. It is a risk to share the Gospel. People may hate us, abandon us or believe and be saved. Jesus is not meant to be buried but shared. He wants us to take risks and grow Heaven’s investment in us.
Matthew 25:26-30 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘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. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We are not saved BY good works (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5), but FOR good works (Ephesians 2:10). Spiritual laziness is not okay. It is wickedness. Rather than to waste time and allow an evil, slothful heart to enter us, let us be about our Lord’s business.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all
Postlude: God has entrusted us with a heavenly investment. Let’s not bury it, but work diligently to increase its kingdom value.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.