Summary: While we wait, be sure to answer these 4 questions: 1. Do I have any gifts from God (vs. 14-15)? 2. Am I gaining all I can for God’s Kingdom (vs. 16-18)? 3. What is my ultimate goal (vs. 19-23)? 4. Do I really know God (vs. 24-30)?
The Second Coming of Christ
Part 7: While We Wait for the Lord's Return
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 29, 2015
*In vs. 13, Jesus tells us to "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Jesus is coming again, and it could be tonight! But what if it's not tonight? -- While we wait for the Lord’s return, be sure to answer these four questions:
1. First: What gifts do I have from God?
*This question comes from the Lord's words in vs. 14-15. Here Jesus said:
14. . . "The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
15. 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."
*Notice here that God gave some of His goods, (His possessions, His property) to all of His servants. They didn't all get the same amount, but all of them got something. And God wants us to understand that He has given some valuable gifts to us. He wants us to understand our worth. He wants us to explore our gifts and abilities.
*God wants us to discover our potential, and when we do, we will learn we are worth more than we dreamed. One servant here received 5 talents, one received 2 talents, and another received one talent, "to each according to his own ability." This reminds us that God is not going to give us more than we can handle, and praise the Lord for that!
*But how much is a talent? -- Turns out, it's a lot. A.T. Robertson tells us that just one talent was equal to 6,000 days pay for an average worker. By that measure, one talent was about 20 years of work! Two talents was 40 years of wages, and 5 talents was worth a hundred years of labor. (1)
*We need to find out what good things the Lord has put in our hands, and we will see we are worth more than we imagined. Chuck Swindoll explained that common items can rise to the level of almost priceless, when they are "connected with someone powerful or famous. . ."
*And Dr. Swindoll asked, "Would you pay $21,000 for an old, plaque encrusted toothbrush? -- Someone did, because it was Napoleon's toothbrush. Hitler's personal car sold for over $150,000. Winston Churchill's desk, a pipe owned by C. S. Lewis, sheets of music handwritten by Beethoven, and many other items sold for many times their original value.
*Years ago, Sotheby's auctioned the belongings of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Jackie's fake pearls, not real ones, sold for $211,500. JFK's set of old golf clubs went for $772,500. Extraordinary value placed upon ordinary things, because they belonged to someone important. And I would like to remind you," Swindoll said. "You may be common, or you may feel common. But you, my Christian friend, belong to someone famous and powerful -- Jesus! Jesus, who is God, owns you.
*And because you belong to Jesus, you are infinitely more valuable than you ever would be without him. You are precious and priceless." (2)
*And you have been given valuable gifts from God above. May God help us to learn that we are worth much more than we can imagine, and we can be more valuable to His Kingdom than we know. While we wait for the Lord's return, ask yourself this question: What gifts do I have from God?
2. But also ask yourself this: Am I gaining all I can for God's Kingdom?
*This question rises from vs. 16-18, where Jesus said:
16. "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
17. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.
18. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money."
*Am I gaining all I can for God's Kingdom? God has surely given each of us gifts and abilities, but are we using them for the glory of God?
*Please don't bury your talents! Use them for God's Kingdom! We must get busy, and put our talents to work for God. Verse 16 says the man with 5 talents "went and traded with them." The idea behind this word "traded" is somebody working, somebody carrying out a task.
*Jesus told a similar parable in Luke 19, and said:
12. . . A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.