Summary: Sermon 2 in a 4-part series on Stewardship. Believers unveil God’s Grace through their TEMPLES, TIME, TALENTS, and TREASURE.
UNVEILING GOD’S GRACE
Matthew 25: 14-30
1. I can remember the moment as if it was yesterday. I was six, going on seven years old, dressed the part, as one of a group of shepherds on the hillside around Bethlehem, keeping watch over our master’s sheep.
• We had rehearsed for weeks to familiarize ourselves with our words and actions
• We were the opening scene in our Sunday School Christmas play and the church was packed with moms and dads and siblings, uncles and aunts, grandparents and friends.
• We could hear the growing excitement on the other side of the curtain and feel the flurry of butterflies in the pits of our stomachs as the Sunday School Superintendent did the customary welcome and opening prayer.
• Then the sanctuary lights dimmed, the curtains opened and the stage lights came on to highlight our watchful pose.
• We had been revealed! All eyes were fixed on our every move and ears attentive to every word.
• Oh the pressure to not foul up and forget things! Thank goodness for Mrs. Prince sitting off in the wings ready to prompt us as needed.
2. I imagine that each one of us has been there before ourselves or have gone through those moments of anticipation with our own children and grandchildren.
3. Whether or not you have ever thought of yourself as an actor or performer, I would remind us all today that each one of us who call ourselves “believers” are part of the cast in the Great Lifelong Drama of Salvation.
• The lights have gone out in the auditorium, the stage curtain has been torn from top to bottom and the light of heaven is focused on the Main Actor and His supporting cast.
• This drama is being presented not for the purpose of entertainment but for the purpose of proclamation, for witness, and urgent loving appeal that those in the darkness of the auditorium will come into the light of the stage.
• Just as in the kids plays, sometimes we forget what to do or say, but we too have a Divine Prompt, known as the Holy Spirit, who’s not off somewhere in the wings, but has come to take up residence within us from where He lovingly, gently, and sometimes very firmly reminds us of our role and responses.
4. Every moment of our days, every thought, word, and action of ours, our times of work and our times of rest are all essential parts of this drama and part of the unveiling of God’s Grace in His Son, Jesus Christ
• Some out there in the audience will never see or know about the drama for they are either blind, deaf, or asleep.
• Some out there will never learn of God’s loving offer of salvation because they persist in being preoccupied with other lesser things.
• Some out there will see and hear the message and reject it, preferring to stay in the darkness.
• But some will see what you do and hear what you say and it will touch a responsive chord in their life and will reach out their hand to you to be lifted into the light of the stage. And the joy of all will overflow.
5. There are at least four broad avenues through which each of us is constantly unveiling the grace of God. We will reflect briefly on each of these:
A. Unveiling God’s Grace through our TEMPLE (our bodies)
1. Scripture refers to our bodies as “the temple of the Holy Spirit” – the place God has created for His own dwelling in us and among us. The Lord’s temple is not a structure made of timber, bricks and cement. The vessel He created for His dwelling place on earth is your body and mine.
2. John writes in the opening chapter of his gospel about how “the Word became a human being and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld his glory…” God unveiled the glory of His being and character and nature in and through the body of Jesus Christ and He chooses to continue doing so through you and me.
3. We referred last Sunday to Psalm 24:1 where David proclaims “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and those who dwell therein.”
• So we reminded ourselves that our bodies are not our own to do with as we please or see fit. They are to be used for the purpose of unveiling God – of giving others another opportunity to catch a glimpse of God
• So we are to take great care what we put into them in terms of food and drink and how we look after them in terms of exercise and rest.