Summary: My gift is simple, without reward, and to Christ. Giving made understandable.

My Gift

(Matt. 25:31-40)


A. During World War II, England needed to increase its production of coal if it was going to have any hope of winning the war.

Winston Churchill called together labor leaders to enlist their support. And at the end of his presentation he asked them to stand with him and picture in their minds a grand parade, which he knew would be held in Piccadilly Circus after the war.

B. First, he said, would come the sailors. Then would come the soldiers. Then would come the pilots. Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in miner’s caps. Someone would cry from the crowd, ’And where were you during the critical days of our struggle?’

C. And from ten thousand throats would come the answer, ’We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.”

D. I want to be coal worker. I want to know that even if my part seems small to all others, there is someone who knows my worth. I may not the person who is seen doing the great things in the kingdom, but I can serve a meal to someone who is sick, I can visit a shut-in, I can sent a note to someone who is lonely. I can be a coal worker in the kingdom.

E. Jesus tells us that he looking for people who believe in "service" not "serve-us." It is judgment day and everyone is standing before Him. All the nations are gathered before Him and the Son of Man begins to separate the people like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. To the sheep he says, "Come, you who are blessed by father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world."

F. I want to be one of those sheep on the right. So I listen to what Jesus tells the sheep. He tells them that they fed him, gave him something to drink, invited him into their home, clothed him, looked after him when he was sick, and visited him when he was in prison. They were the coal workers, and didn’t know. When they asked about the times of doing these special things, Jesus simply stated that when they were doing these things for others, they were doing them for him.

G. What about my gift. What is my gift? What is my motive? Who am I giving to anyway? Let’s think about those questions.

I. Give Simple Things

A. Michael Jordan is considered by some to be the greatest basketball star of all time. For most of us, we the scenes we remember are the slam-dunks taking off from the free-throw line, the fame, the popularity, the commercials, and championships. I’d like to share with you a story you might not have heard.

B. It involved a young boy by the name of Cornelius. He was a thin, extremely quiet boy. His mother and her boyfriend had tortured, abused and starved Cornelius and his four year old brother. The police discovered the abuse in time to save Cornelius’ life, but it had been too late to save his 4-year old brother.

C. Cornelius loved basketball and the Chicago Bulls. And now he was in the stadium, about to see his first Bulls game. Walking down the stairway his eyes are filled with awe and disbelief – Cornelius is introduced to Michael Jordan.

D. Jordan knelt down and spoke quietly with Cornelius. He didn’t rush. You have to understand—for a long time the only adults Cornelius had any contact with were adults who wanted to hurt and humiliate him.

E. Then, as the game was about to begin, he was led to Jordan’s seat on the Bulls’ bench. That’s where he was going to sit—right next to Jordan’s seat. During the minutes of the game when Jordan was out and resting, Cornelius would be sitting with him; when Jordan was on the court, Cornelius would be saving his seat for him.

F. As we applauded the incredible basket…the act of kindness that Jordan showed Cornelius was receiving the applause of heaven. You see, “Greatness in the kingdom of heaven is measured by small acts of kindness.”

G. The first lesson I learn from Jesus is that he doesn’t care if I am 5 talent, 2 talent or 1 talent person. He doesn’t care if I am influential within society or if no one knows my name. What he cares about is how I treat other people. It is no different than when Jesus praised the widow who put in her only two small coins and not the rich who gave much to the treasury of the temple. The reason, the heart of what you do is greater than the act. Jesus twice said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

H. I have had more people comment to me about a card, call, visit, kind word or other simply acts of kindness, than I have those who were given larger sums of money to pay bills.

II. Give Without Reward

A. In this story that Jesus tells, the sheep were people who saw a need and met it. They did so, not to gain some power over the other person, or to be hailed by the public as someone great – but because it was the right thing to do. My motive is being questioned in this thought. Why do I do the things I do?

B. Matt. 6:1-4. Motive drives many people. They desire to gain something; therefore they work hard to meet that goal. There is good in that at times, but there is also a danger. The danger lies in that if you are not personally receiving some type of reward for your actions, you might not do them.

C. In the story that Jesus tells these people gave without expecting something in return. There is a woman in the Bible whose name was Tabitha, or in Greek, Dorcas. Does anyone know why this woman was so loved? The Bible tells us that she was "always doing good and helping the poor." While Dorcas was living she made robes and clothing and gave them to the widows. Her motive was not to be some Bible heroine, but to help without any reward expected.

D. Take a look at your motive. Judge it, for God will most certainly judge it. Is the good that you do, done so that people will think highly of you, or is it done because it is the right thing to do?

III. Give To Christ

A. When Jesus told these people on his right that when he was in need that they met his need, the people were confused. They did not remember ever doing seeing Jesus in those needs. It was then that Jesus told them, "When you did it to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."

B. In 2 Cor. 9 Paul writes about how people get more than they sow. Those who sow generously will reap generously. Those who sow sparingly will reap sparingly. Then Paul tells them these words in verse 12.

C. When I put money in that collection plate, it is not just to meet needs, but it one of many ways to express my thanks back to God. When I share my home, my car, my food, my life with someone who needs it, it is not just meeting their need, but it is a way of saying thanks to God for all he has done for me.

D. If you want to thank God this giving season, do so in acts of kindness to people who need it the most. Look around and share.


A. Picture in your mind a grand parade. It is a spiritual one. There might be preachers, elders, deacons, teachers walking down the golden street. There might be missionaries who have given their lives so that others might know the power of the resurrection of Jesus. These people are not leading the parade. The ones the master has chosen to lead are the one who gave a cup of cold water to someone who was thirsty. The ones that are first are the ones who in life seemed to be the last. They are the ones who did for Jesus the little things and never expected a reward for their actions.

B. This thanksgiving season stop and remember all that God has done in your life. Realize the abundance of food set upon your table. Think of the joy that comes from a family that loves you. Now, for a moment, stop and think about those who have so little, especially those of the household of faith. The Christians who have no family to celebrate with, Christians who have little food to feast upon, Christians who hurt from emotional scars and see what you can offer in the name of the Lord.

C. God has offered to you the greatest gift – eternal life through the blood of Jesus. You and I don’t deserve it, but yet he freely gives it to us. We are the poor, the hurting, the needy and Jesus came and did for us what no one else could – or would – do. Take hold of that gift and then begin your life anew.