Summary: Using What God has Given (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: chapter 25 verses 14-30.
“The word ‘Faith’ in the Bible is spelt ‘R.I.S.K.’”
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing, your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing
They may avoid suffering & sorrow but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live
Charmed by their attitudes they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom
Only a person who risks is free
In the parable before us:
• Two servants were willing to ‘R.I.S.K.’ that is to demonstrate faith;
• While sadly the third servant was not.
This third servant reminds me of the African impala:
• This creature can jump to a height of over 10 feet;
• And cover a distance of greater than 30 feet.
• Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall.
• The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
• They imprison themselves because they will not exercise faith.
• And like this third servant, they take safety as the option but it only imprisons them,
This parable starts in verse 14 with a small but important word:
• Verse 14: “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey…”
• The word “again” indicates that it is linked to the first parables in chapter 25.
• In the first parable the theme is ‘keep watch’.
• In this parable Jesus teaches us how this is to be done.
• In the first parable the servants are represented as waiting for the Lord.
• In this parable the servants are pictured as working for the Lord
It is a simple story to understand:
• The man going on a “journey” is Jesus.
• Even a child could work that one out!
• The three servants who all receive a ‘talent(s)’ are his true followers;
• As we apply this parable this would be symbolic of all Christians (you & me).
Seven Principles to Note.
(1). What we have is not ours (Verse 14):
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted HIS property to them”.
In Biblical times it was common for wealthy men to take long journeys:
• Before they would leave,
• They obviously had to put their affairs in order;
• They would arrange for someone to look after domestic matters;
• E.g. Take care of the mail & to feed their pets etc.
• But more than that, they would have to put their business affairs in order;
• So that when they returned they not only still had a business but a prosperous one!
So often the owner would delegate:
• Control and responsibility of their wealth to trustworthy employees.
• These employees were expected to bring a return on what had been handed over to them.
• Now given the uncertainties of transportation in those days:
• The time of the masters return for even a well-planned trip was often open-ended.
• The master would return back at an unexpected time.
• So they needed to be diligent, so as to please him when he showed up!
Now here is the point to note:
• There was no doubt in the minds of these servants;
• That the property and money still belonged to the master.
• They were the possessors, but not the owners.
• Their job was to manage on the masters behalf, what they were given.
Application for us today is the same:
• We must remember that everything we have has been given to us;
• And is not really ours anyway.
Pearl of great price drama sketch.
• Remember it’s mine but you can wear it for me,
• You can spend it for me etc, etc.
In the normal Christian life, we need to remember that:
• Jesus is the Master and I am the manager.
• Jesus is the benefactor, I am the recipient.
• We must never forget this important truth,
• That everything we have belongs to the Lord;
• Our days are in His hands.
• Our gifts and abilities are on loan from Him.
• Our money is an “advance” from the Almighty.