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Summary: The parable reminds us that every believer is given God’s Spirit and the message of eternal life. Our job is to seek to bring a good return from that message by our faithful proclamation. We are Christ’s ambassadors . . . we are charged to point the los

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Using What God Has Given

Luke 19:11-27; Matthew 25: 14-30

The parable we look at this morning is about wasted potential and neglected responsibility. In this parable and the sister parable in Matthew 25 the master leaves his servants with money to invest. When he returns some of the servants are proved to be faithful, others are proved lazy.

Notice why the parable was told, ‘”because some people thought the Kingdom of God was going to appear at once. The people were moving toward Jerusalem and the great Triumphal Entry. You could sense the excitement building. The people (surely even the disciples) believed that this was the “moment of truth” this was the time when Jesus was going to be proclaimed Messiah and the power of God would overthrown the Jews.

The parable is pretty simple. A certain man had as his inheritance the rights of kingship. He had to go to another country to claim his position. Some people did not want him to be king. They hated him and resisted him. Before the man left to claim his inheritance he entrusted his servants with funds to invest (a fairly common practice of the day. One day the King returned. He brought in his servants and asked what return they earned from his investment. After rewarding those who were faithful and rebuking those who were not, the King took care of those who hated him.

It is true that this story has strong analogies to an event in the life of Herod. But Jesus wasn’t making a point about Herod . . . He was making a point about Himself.

Let me point you to several lessons from this text,

I. GOD HAS GIVEN US A RESPONSIBILITY

When you compare the two parables we see that God called us to share the gospel. In Luke every one of the ten servants was given the same thing. It was equal and they were to invest that amount for the Lord’s purpose.

I think this parable reminds us that every believer is given God’s Spirit and the message of eternal life. Our job is to seek to bring a good return from that message by our faithful proclamation. We are Christ’s ambassadors . . . we are charged to point the lost to Christ.

Of course we can do this in many ways,

· By our personal explanation of the gospel to our friends and relatives

· By giving Christian literature (tracts, books, sermons etc.) to others

· By investing in evangelistic efforts (radio, television, prison ministry)

· We can do it through newspaper ads, letters of the editor and articles

· We can do it through the Internet (web pages, discussion groups, e-mail)

· We can do this through our acts of kindness and mercy

God has entrusted us with the treasure of the gospel. We can bury that treasure or we can invest it at every opportunity.

2. GOD HAS GIVEN US GIFTS

It is understandable that we are hard to do our responsibility without God’s help and guidance. So by giving us gifts, we can become responsible to Him. The only thing we are asked to do is to use our gifts for God’s glory. This seems to be the lesson from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. In that story, each servant was given differing amounts, “in accordance with their ability”.

God has equipped each one of us with gifts that we are to use for His glory.

Every time I relay this message there are people who tell me that they think God skipped over them when he was giving out gifts. We seem to think that the only gifts God gives are gifts of music, public speaking, or teaching. Those are just a small measure of what God gives to people. God gives many gifts,

· It may be our finances (the ability to help others and make things happen)

· It may be a particular talent

· It may be insightful ideas (you can lead with great clarity and insight)

· It may be an ability to organize (you are a detail person)

· It may be a great vision (you see possibilities others never thought of)

· It may be a caring heart (you are tuned in to those around you)

· It may be the ability to give wise counsel to those who need guidance

· It may be the ability to mediate between warring parties

· It may be the ability to build or fix things (you can help people in very tangible ways)

· It may be an athletic ability (and consequently you are given a platform from which to minister to those around you)

· It may be a rapport with children (you may have gifts in youth work

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