Summary: Sitting on God’s gift reveals a lack of faith in the Master
Title: Use it or Lose It
Text: Matthew 25:14-30
In the eternal scheme of things, we turn out not to be very good at assess the value of things. Fortunately, God doesn’t call us to be appraisers – he just wants us to be faithful with whatever he, who appraises us, has given us.
- Twilight Zone Episode
- Don’t believe this could happen in the real world? At the top of the Washington Monument…
- We tend to do the reverse. We’re a small church, so we think we don’t have anything to offer. This is the situation of the servant in this parable.
- Guy w/5 & Guy w2 show the Master doesn’t really care about what was made – it was just the faithfulness
- Guy w/1 reveals his lack of faith in the Master (You knew…) And yet, the Master believed that the servant had been given something
- Don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have
- Long Branch has
o Resources – probably too many (Potomac Falls)
o Giving Heart
o Unity of Purpose
o Love for the Bible
- We’ve done 7 Loaves, Benefit Concerts, etc… Before I go, the Kazakh glasses
- We also have an amazing history: Before Wm. Broaddus came, there were just 5 men and 27 women. Within 5 years, there had been over 200 baptisms, before he went on to found Southern Seminary…
- It reqd some change of attitudes: Sunday School and Missions focus – external not internal.
- May also mean that we give up the Temple mentality. Use the resources, don’t hoard. Society teaches us to be frugal, and Jesus teaches us to be prudent. But he also reminds us that the resources aren’t ultimately ours to keep!
- Discovery of oil in the PA creeks. Nothing but an environmental catastrophe until someone realized the stuff was useful – but only if you burned it.
In the eternal scheme of things, it turns out that as a species we’re not very adept at determining the value of things. But that’s okay, because in the end, the One who made us doesn’t care what we think about the things he’s given us, just what we’ve done with them.
Many years back, there was an episode of the Twilight Zone called The Rip Van Winkle Caper that makes the point pretty well. Four thieves hatch what they think will be the ultimate getaway plan. They steal a bunch of gold from a bank, and hide it in cave way out in the desert.
But also in the cave, one of the men has developed a cryogenic chamber – basically a box where they can sleep for a hundred years and not age a day. It’s one of those staples of science fiction that your body is basically just slowed down so much that it doesn’t age.
Well, this chamber works, and so now, here they are 100 years in the future, having made a clean getaway with all their loot, the case long since forgotten. While they were sleeping, a cave-in broke one of the chambers, and so there were only three. Shortly after waking, the three remaining men begin arguing, and the muscle man takes the getaway truck and runs over one of his compatriots for his share. But, in the process, he loses control of their truck in the process and wrecks it.
Now, with just two of them – the professor and the murderer they set off to walk out of the desert, laden down with their gold. And gold, as you know, is very, very heavy. The murderer just loads up as much as he can carry. The professor wisely takes water. As they walk through the desert, the murderer now dying of thirst has to buy sips of water, first at 1 gold bar a sip, then 2, then 4. Finally, when the murderer is weak, the professor simply kills him.
Now laden down with all the gold, he makes it to the road. His water gone, he struggles on until he can go now more. Just as he is overcome with heatstroke, a futuristic car comes along with a man and his wife. Seeing the man, they stop. He begs them to help. “Gold! I’ll pay you in gold if you’ll just save me!” he cries. But before they can, he dies from the heat.
As the man gets back into his car to report Farwell’s death to the police, he quizzically remarks to his wife, "Funny. He offered me this like it was really worth something." The wife vaguely recalls that it had, indeed been valuable sometime in the distant past. The husband replies, "Sure, until they found a way to manufacture it," and tosses the gold bar away.