Summary: Today's sermon looks at our stewardship of what the Lord so graciously gives as we look at the Parable of the Talents.
Stewardship: Taking Care of God’s Possessions
The Bible makes it clear saying that everything in heaven and on earth belongs to God.
“Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14 NKJV)
“The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.” (Psalm 89:11)
“The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)
In fact, the Apostle Paul quotes this very passage in his first letter to the Corinthian Church (1 Corinthians 10:26).
And so, here is the proposition that we are faced with when it comes to this topic of stewardship. “If God owns it all, then how are we handling what clearly belongs to Him?”
Now, while many Christians know this to be true, the problem is that they’ve never really embraced it for their lives. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
In Palm Springs a T.V. crew went up to a house, knocked on the front door, and asked the people who were living there if they could film a television scene on their front yard. The residents agreed and the scene was shot.
The only problem is that the people living in the house didn’t own the house, they were only renting it, and when the owner of the house came by and saw the front yard trashed, he was furious. Why? It’s because the renters had no right to grant them permission. You see, the renters assumed the rights of the owner. Let me repeat that again.
“They assumed the rights of the owner.”
And that is what many of us are doing when it comes to all that the Lord has so graciously given to us. We assume the rights of ownership, when in reality we’re only the renters. We are merely managers, or stewards, of what God owns, and what God has given.
Unfortunately whenever we talk about stewardship, our minds naturally turn to the giving of the tithe and the offerings. And while these are important aspects of stewardship, in reality it isn’t the most important. Stewardship is all about the way we handle the things God has given to us. It is the management of the resources He has placed at our disposal for His glory and for the good of others.
Maybe I can say it like this: Stewardship is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Is Jesus truly our Lord? Now, we can easily say He is our Savior, but is He our Lord.
Today I’d like to talk with you about this subject of stewardship from Jesus’s Parable of the Talents
Read Matthew 25:14-30
There are several principles brought out in our text that I would like to explore and delve into to help explain this whole idea of stewardship. But before I begin we have to make sure we understand the characters. Jesus is representing Himself as the man that is traveling to a far country, and the servants those who are His disciples.
1. God Owns It All
“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.” (Matthew 25:14 NKJV)
Note, they were his goods, the servants didn’t own them, and He delivered His goods to his servants so that they could look after them for Him. That is, they were to handle these possessions in the same way or manner that he would, if he were there.
From this there are two basic implications.
a. God has the right to do whatever He wants with His possessions
Job understood this very well when after he had literally lost everything he said,
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 2:21 NKJV)
What Job was saying is that since everything is the Lord’s then He has every right to do whatever He wants with it. He can give it to whomever He wants, and He also has every right to take it all away.
This is the heart of Jesus’s parable. Look at it with me again.
The man gave to each servant differing amounts. He didn’t owe it to any of them to give them all equally. It was His to do with as He saw fit. And when He returned, He gave to the first two everything back along with the increase, but He also took away what He had given to the third servant, and giving it to the one who had the most.
Further, while God has the right to do whatever He wanted with what was his, the servants, that is, you and I, have the responsibility to handle faithfully what He had given.