Are you missing out on life because things aren’t happening the way you want them to? The good news is that you don’t have to wait for the stars to align to get moving and start living life to the full. So much is happening beyond our bubble of focus each day. Every day you draw breathe, there is opportunity to glorify God. God works through every moment. And we can choose to work with Him! In Matt 25, Jesus presents to us a parable about how we should posture our lives until we wait for His return. Discover how the decision to make the most of every opportunity can mold you into the person you were always meant to be.
Matthew chapter 25 is where we’re going to go. Today, we’re going to look at the parable of the bags of gold. If you have an old NIV or another version of the Bible, you might see it being called the parable of the Talents. But you can go there with me. Again, and we’re going to start in verse 14 in just a second.
Today we’re going to talk out of this passage. We’re really going to talk about one idea, and it’s this. It’s making the most of every opportunity. If you want to think about like a declaration for the sermon, it’s this make the most of every opportunity. And before we read, let me set up the context of this chapter.
This parable comes from a collection of parables about the kingdom of God found in Matthew chapter 25. More specifically, Matthew chapter 25 is where Jesus launches into kind of like a sea of teaching, exploring what it means to be a follower of his as we await heaven. The whole chapter is about what should we be doing on earth while we wait for God to come back? How are we supposed to live today? Like right here, right now?
And in Matthew 25, Jesus teaches three pretty remarkable parables. The first is about ten virgins. He says, hey, as you wait, consider these ten young women who are engaged to be married. They’re waiting to be wed, but the wedding, they don’t know exactly when the wedding is coming. And so because they don’t know when the wedding is coming, they become a little bit complacent.
So when the groom actually shows up to take them to be married, they’re not prepared for their wedding and they missed their opportunity. Then he ends this section in Matthew 25 with another parable about the sheep and the goats. God is going to separate sheep from goats is what he says. He’s going to separate the good from the bad. And how are you he’s going to decide what’s good and bad?
Well, he’s going to look at how we treated the lowest people in society. Did you give them a drink? Did you give them food? Did you visit them when they were in prison? And if you did, all of that will be credited to your account.
Any service you do for the least of these will be credited to your account as though you had done a service to God Himself. What is he trying to teach? Well, that every opportunity that we are given to serve, we should take. Overall, the parables are painting this picture that while we wait, we should be making the most of the opportunities that are before us. But no parable teaches that concept quite as good as the one we’re going to study today.
This parable is maybe my favorite of all the parables in Scripture. It’s very well known, but man, I believe it is profound and will teach us how to live as we wait for God to come back one day. You with me?
Matthew, chapter 25, verse 14 is where we’re going to begin. It says this. Again remember, this is a series of parables. We’re going, hey, here’s another parable for you. “It will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.” Here is the way things operate in the kingdom. Jesus says it’s like a master preparing for a journey.
But before he goes on his journey, he calls all of his servants to him. And the Bible says that he entrusts these servants with his wealth. Right away, what are we supposed to think about the Master? Well, the Master, he’s quite generous, isn’t he? Why would he entrust his wealth to these servants?
They’re not very capable. We don’t know anything that makes them capable. But he entrusts them. He says, Look, I trust you guys enough. I’m generous enough to give you a portion of my fortune.
To one, he gave five bags of gold, to another, two bags, and to yet another one bag again. The new NIV takes a little bit of liberties here. If you’re reading an older version of your Bible, of the Bible, it might say the word talents there. Talents is a transliteration. Talent is a word for a weight of something, and specifically a weight of money.
So you could have a talent of gold. You could also have a talent of silver. You could have a talent of copper. Those are the most normal ones. Regardless, what we know for sure is that this idea, this talent, this five talents, two talents, one talent is an extraordinary amount of money.
I did some calculations. A talent of copper would be something like a few months wages. The median household income of the United States is right around $75,000. So you use that and you think a talent of copper would be one talent of copper would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000. Imagine your boss just saying to you, hey, I’m going on a long journey. I’ll be gone for a couple of years. Here’s $20,000. That would be a lot of money. A talent of silver would be about a year’s wages, $75,000 in today’s equivalents. And a talent of gold would be 20 years wages.
So that’s $1.5 million in today’s money. Meaning that the guy who got five bags of gold got seven and a half million bucks. Imagine someone giving you seven and a half million dollars. The guy with two bags got 3 million, and the guy with one bag got $1.5 million. Think about the story.
The Master is so generous that he gives an ungodly amount of money to these basically they’re peasants. But in spite of their status or their poverty, the Master again entrusts his wealth to these people. So let’s stop and make the parallels, because this story is important, right? We have to figure out where we are in the story. Obviously in the story, who do you think the Master is? God. Amen. And who do you think we are? The servants.
Yes. Good. You are not the master. Amen. And so what are we? We are gifted a portion of God’s wealth. That’s what the Bible saying. Given things and you know this that we could never earn on our own effort. Jesus is saying, this is how the kingdom works. The kingdom works like this.
God is infinitely rich and he entrusts his servants with a portion of his wealth. He takes our unqualified nature and gives us something that would make us feel like we’re richer than we can ever be. He bestows upon us a portion of his capacity, a portion of his riches, and a portion of his character. He gives each of us kind of like a gift set. He says, hey, here you go.
This is a gift set for you. Here’s some resources. Here are some people, here’s some time. Here’s some money. Here’s some responsibility.
Here’s some intellect. We are each gifted by God. This is the idea, by the way, of being an image bearer. Like in Genesis, chapter one, when the Bible says that God made us in his image, what it means is that he gave us a portion of Himself. We are given to carry a portion of his character or his creativity, or his competence, or his compassion, or his mission or his glory.
And so our resources, just like in the story, they’re not really ours. They’re actually the masters, right? The breath we breathe is not ours. It’s the masters. The time we have is not ours. Our children, our family, all of it are sort of a gracious gift from a loving father. And the Master in this story is so generous that and God is so generous that he gives it to his unqualified servants. It’s pretty amazing, I think, about maybe the greatest gift I’ve been given, sort of at a humanistic level, are my children. These are my three kids. This is Ezra showing his muscles.
This is Cadence Grace. She’s five years old. And this is Silas. Silas still doesn’t sleep, but he’s so happy. And so we barely want to kill him.
We have the best three kids in the whole world. And I feel very much like these are gifts from God. These are resources. I’ve been handed these gifts. And what’s the responsibility?
I don’t necessarily deserve these kids. I’ve been blessed with them. But it’s my responsibility to just like the Master given the treasure to the servants, to steward them. You know what I’m saying? Like, I have to raise them. I have to figure out how to develop them. This is the gift that God bestowed upon me. Now, I have lots of other gifts, right? You are human beings. Meaning we can go see the great valleys of Zion and go see the cliffs of Yosemite national Forest.
We have the world, right? We could swim in the ocean. I’ve been given a stewardship of those amazing resources. I’ve been given a stewardship of my job of, again, the air I breathe and the time I have and my abilities and my strengths. They’re just a portion of God’s goodness, but he’s entrusted them to me and to you.
Here’s the point. We’ve been given a portion of God’s fortune. I want you to be thinking about that. All the blessings in your life are just a portion of God’s immense fortune. Sorry, God’s immense fortune. But notice we’re not equally gifted. Verse 20. What does it say? To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags. To another one bag. Notice the last line. Each according to his ability. Jesus the Master storyteller, as he’s building in and developing the characters, he’s telling us that each person’s talent distribution is according to their ability.
And this is kind of key. Right? What is Jesus wanting to tell us about the Master? Well, the master knows his servants. He knows his servants in such a way that he doesn’t give them more than they can handle, but it gives them just enough so that they’ll use what they have been given.
I love this, right? And this is kind of the way I summarize this. Each person is expected to be productive to the degree that they are capable. It’s kind of profound, right? Because with this, there’s no comparisons.
There’s just, hey, you were given five, you were given two, you were given one. Now go. Do the best with what you got. Do the best according to your ability. And we know that’s the truth.
Everyone in here has different gift sets. All people are different. Some people here are ablebodied. Some people are not. Some people have brilliant minds.
Some people don’t. Some people have generational wealth that’s been passed down for years and years and years. Some are self made. Some have zero wealth, like literally zero minus wealth. Some have grace and privileges.
Others have little. Some have gifts physically, they can jump high and shoot basketballs and run and whatever. Some have gifts emotionally. Some have gifts relationally. And in this story, the idea is that the Master is giving not an equal giftedness, but a giftedness to every one of the servants, each according sort of different weights of blessing according to their abilities.
Then the Bible says then he went on his journey. I would imagine there’s sort of a pep talk, right? Here you go. Here are five gold bags. Let’s see what you do with it.
Here’s $7.5 million. Let’s see what you do with it. Here’s an able body and four kids and a great job and living in America. What are you going to do with it? Here are one bag. Maybe that’s you’re in a developing nation. Here’s one bag. But I want to see what you do with what you were given, and then he leaves. And here is where the bags of gold is no longer just kind of a gift, but now what is it? It’s an opportunity to grow.
And what we’re going to find out in the rest of this parable and I’m going to kind of bury the lead here, but what we’re going to find out and the rest of this parable is this. It’s not what you have that matters. It’s what you do with what you have that matters. And we’re going to see this come out, rather we’re going to see it play out for the rest of the parable. Verse 16. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five more bags.
Again, today’s equivalent money, he went from $7.5 million to $15 million. So also the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. Immediately after the master leaves, the man with five bags, puts it to work, gains five more. The man with two bags puts it to work, gains two more, and the man with one bag digs a hole and puts it in the ground.
Let’s just stop there just for a second. Rarely do you and I get a chance to put ourselves in the timeline of the biblical narrative. Like, you are not David, right? You’re not Slaying Goliath. You’re like, who am I in the story? Slaying goliath. That’s not you. That’s a symbolism of Jesus, right? Like, you’re not Jonah getting swallowed by a big fish. Like, what would I do if a fish swallowed me? That’s a weird question.
You’re not there. But in this story, we’re here. Did you catch where your 2022 is? Right here between verses 18 and verse 19. God is the Master, we are the servant. The master has deposited in us gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities, and he’s gone on his journey, and today we’re awaiting his return. We are right there. We’re right here, 2022. So we should pay close attention because the next verse answers the question, what does God expect us to do while he waits, while he’s away, rather. And we’re given three examples in the text, or really two examples, does he want us to double his fortune or does he want us to dig a hole and put it in the ground?
That’s the question, right? It’s a very simple question. Verse 19 after a long while, a long time, and it’s 2000 years and counting, by the way, after a long time, the master of those servants returned. And the Bible says it’s settled accounts with them. That’s a scary term.
It may not seem like a big deal, but here’s the implication. The bags of gold, the talents, the gifts, the wealth, the opportunities, they will be accounted for. At the end of time, I kind of picture it like this, you will be called into a room and standing behind the desk will be God Almighty. And you can barely you can’t even look at him. So he has to put, like, a veil over himself or a veil over your face, and he’s standing there and he’s going to ask you a question. He’s going to tell you every opportunity you had, every dollar you were given. And God knows the accounting, like, he’s like IRS level forensic accounting stuff. He knows every single thing, right? And he’s going to come before you and he’s going, maybe there’s a bunch of Polaroid pictures and they’re like, all there. He’s like, here’s your bank account. I see the bank account. Look at the first dollar you got. And this is the question he’s going to ask you. This is my interpretation of the text. What did you do with what I gave you? That’s the question. And every single thing you’re going to have to answer for. This is the question. What did you do?
I gave you three kids. I gave you a loving church. I allowed you to live in America. I gave you a job that you made 80 grand a year. I gave you a house.
I gave you a family. What did you do? What did you do with the family, with the relationships, with the wealth, with the house, with the talents, with the gifts of the spouse, with the kids, with the time, with the air that you breathe? What did you do with the strengths, with your creativity, with your abilities? What did you do?
What did you do with what I gave you? What did you do? How did you grow it? How did you develop? Did you make the world around you a little bit better?
What did you do? Were you a good image bearer? I gave you a portion of my character, a portion of my love. What did you do with it? So there we are in the room, right?
And then the master comes in, rather the master’s there. And then each servant comes in. And here’s the response of each servant, the guy with five bags, sorry for so many words. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five and said, master, he said, you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.
His master replied, well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, $15 million, a few things. I put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness. Verse 22 and 23, the same thing happens with the man with two.
The man with two bags of gold came in, master, he said, you were trapped with two bags of gold. See I have gained Two more. Master replies, well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share in your master’s happiness. So the first guy comes in, and the second guy comes in, and both of them say, hey, you gave me some wealth and I doubled your wealth. You gave me five and I made five more. You gave me two and I made two more. And the response to both of them is identical.
What is it? Well done, good and faithful servant. It’s identical. It’s not guy with five bags, you made ten bags, so you’re A plus. And guy with two bags, you got two bags, but you should have got five bags, so you’re a B minus.
There’s none of that. It’s just you did it. And maybe you ask, well, shouldn’t there be more reward given to that guy? And no. And here’s why.
Because the story is telling us that it’s not about the amount. Jesus is developing a picture of God the Father, a portrait of God the Father. And what is he developing? He’s saying the master God the Father is generous. He’s a benevolent master.
He knows his people is not going to give them more or less than they can use. And what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that he’s not about the bottom line. He’s not about making a lot of money. What is he about?
Development of his people. He wants his people to be better than when they started. He wants the gifts that are deposited in people to be used to benefit other people. He’s like you’ve been blessed. How have you used that to bless other people?
How have you encouraged other people? How have you impacted the lives of those around you? It’s totally immaterial to the master that the first guy made double the amount of money. It doesn’t even matter. The servant doesn’t care.
The master doesn’t care. The master only cares about whether or not we use or develop the gifts we’ve gotten. That’s it. God is such a kind and generous master that he’s like, I just want you to do really good with what you got. Oh you didn’t have a father to teach you how to be a dad? Yes, maybe that’s a one bag thing, but did you do really well with what you got? Oh, you had generational wealth. Were you really generous? Oh, you had this awesome house. Did you fill it with people so that people could learn the gospel? Right? You had this great job. Did you serve at it diligently? Did you take the opportunities that you were given and cultivate them and grow them? That’s what he’s about. In fact, what do we see at the end?
Like, there’s a statement that the master says. He says, Come and share your master’s happiness.
Apparently, the master is most pleased with his servants when they become what they’re capable of becoming, and it’s an occasion for joy for him. Come, be a part of my group. I love that. Jesus would be like, the best boss ever. You work for somebody like that, they’re like, you know what? I don’t care about the bottom line.
I don’t care about how much money we make. All I care about is that you develop as a human being. That’s like a great boss. I’m not saying that the elders of this church are not that type of boss, but it’s another level.
Jesus saying, the Master, what does he want? Using what they had, they developed into who they should be. And that’s the bottom line. That’s what God wants. That’s what God’s after.
Use the opportunities you have to develop into the person you’re supposed to be. So let’s make it really practical. Let’s say you’re naturally gifted at art. So you’re saying, I’m going to develop that gift. By the way, I am, whatever the opposite of that is.
One time I drew a picture for my wife, and I invited her on a date, and then later I spent hours and hours and hours on this picture, and then I later found it in the trash. Yeah, you should rebuke her after service. She’s somewhere in the back. Find her, tell her that’s not kind. The point is that it wasn’t a good art picture because I’m a terrible artist.
I’m legitimately a terrible artist. But let’s imagine you’re a great artist and you go, you know what? I was naturally gifted with this. I’m going to develop it. I’m going to grow in it, and I’m going to encourage people with it, and I’m going to figure out how to use this to strengthen the church or to help people who are in need.
I’m going to take the talents that I was given naturally, and I’m developing them. I’m taking the opportunity that was given naturally, and I’m developing them. And God’s like, well done, you were faithful, you did it. Or let’s say you’re a naturally gifted encourager. I can’t teach on Sunday morning, but what I can do is I can see the brother or sister that’s in need.
I can go over them. I can put my arm around them and say, I love you, bro. You’re doing great. And whatever God’s going to say, okay, so then you develop it, right? And then you go, all right, well, how do I decide who needs help?
Well, maybe you become very discerning, and maybe you develop it by asking great questions, or maybe you read some books, whatever it is, but you develop it and then you use it. At the end of the day, God looks at that talent and goes, well done. You were faithful. I gave you something, and you had an instinct to develop it into something better. That’s the point.
And whatever I have, I use it for the glory of God. Maybe you’re really rich. Maybe you are blessed with resources, like abundantly, and you’re thinking to yourself, you know what? I could buy myself another car, or you can help start another church, right? Like, you could think to yourself, wow, what can I do to support the poor?
What can I do to support the mission? What can I do? And you think to yourself, you know what? Most people should give 10%. I should give 12% of my offering because I’m wealthy, I’m rich, and so I’m going to cultivate that and use it for the benefit and the blessing of other people.
And God’s like, well done. You were faithful. You were faithful. That’s kind of the idea, right? Again, what’s the question?
What did you do with what I gave you? What did you do with what I gave you? That’s the good side. Now let’s go to the bad side.
Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. Master, he said, I knew that you are a hard man. Here’s a question. Where in the story is there any indication that this guy is a, quote, hard man? The master is not a hard man. By the way, this word means, like, unmovable, stubborn, like, hard headed, merciless. It’s used sometimes to be merciless. Oh, I knew you were a jerk, master. Like, there’s nowhere in the story that says he’s a jerk. So far what do we read? He’s generous, he loves his people, he’s delightful. He’s like the nicest master there’s ever been.
And so this guy invents a narrative, in his own mind of the master, by the way, this is pretty much directly related to his misuse of his opportunities. The way you use the opportunities God has given you and the blessings God has given you is directly related to your view of God himself. If you think God didn’t give you anything and God should have given you more and you’re self made and you’re really rich because of yourself, you’re just going to think, the master is worthless. Who cares about him?
I really just care about myself, which is kind of what this guy does. Anyway, he says, you’re harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So he’s like the master, you’ve been productive, you’ve been successful, and obviously because you’re productive and you’re successful, you’re a terrible human being, and that’s not the case at all. And then he says this, so I was afraid. I went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here’s what belongs to you.
Now, you might be tempted to think, well, here is this timid, insecure guy, and the master is just putting way too much pressure on him and whatever. But Jesus changes that idea very quickly. His self assessment is that he’s afraid. By the way, your self assessment is not always correct, or at least the assessment you give to the world is not always correct.
Jesus’ assessment of this man is not that he’s afraid, but instead, he uses two words that are pretty intense. His master applied, you wicked lazy servant. You’re not afraid. You’re lazy. You’re not afraid, you’re lazy.
By the way, brothers and sisters, laziness is the sin highlighted in this text. Laziness is when you’re given an opportunity and you let it go to waste. Laziness is when you spoil the blessings of God because you’re lazy. You might say in your own self assessment that you were afraid, but you weren’t afraid. You are lazy.
And by the way, if you’re lazy, laziness is connected to wickedness. Oh, you didn’t want to develop your character, though I gave you a heart of encouragement because you’d rather watch Netflix. Got it. Or you didn’t want to take care of your soul because you’d rather be surfing on IG. Got it. You didn’t want to develop into a person that could help other people or raise your kids well because you’d rather deal with the creature comforts of society. Yeah, you’re not afraid, you’re lazy.
That’s what Jesus is saying. You’re lazy. You didn’t develop your kids. You didn’t develop your spouse. You didn’t develop your relationship.
You just let it go to waste. He says, so you knew that I harvest where I had not sown and gathered where I had not scattered seed. Well, then you should have put my money on deposit with the banker. You’re not afraid, because if you’re afraid, you would have just put my money on deposit with the banker so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest, right? What is it?
He’s not that he was afraid. It’s that he treated the master with no dignity and with no respect. He was lazy. He was wicked. This guy thought the master didn’t care about him, and so he didn’t care about the blessings of the master, and he let the opportunities go to waste.
And now this is where the story gets super intense. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags of gold. For whoever has will be given even more. Whoever uses the opportunities they’ve been given will get even more opportunities. Whoever uses the blessings for the glory of God will get even more blessings.
Not necessarily numerical riches, but blessings in terms of, like, character and in terms of, like, all sorts of other things, right? Opportunities. And they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have meaning, whoever squanders what they have, even what they have will be taken from them and throw that worthless is the word servant outside into the darkness, where they will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Why the word worthless?
It’s a pretty intense word. Why worthless? Well, let me just give you a little history of humanity. You came to Earth to be an image of God. You were born because God wanted you to make the world awesome.
The goodness of God was given to you as a gift so that you could pass that goodness on to the rest of the world. And if you don’t do what you were intended to do, then you’re worthless.
If you’re a ladder and you don’t allow people to climb your rungs, then what’s the point of having you? That’s the indication here. That may seem extreme to you, but it is extreme. It’s extreme because this is what you were called to do. This is why God made you.
You would bring goodness to the earth and every time you miss an opportunity to do it, you are squandering a blessing that God has given you. Again, what’s the question? What did you do with what I gave you? That’s the question for everyone. And the man with one bag says, I did nothing.
And the Master replies, well, you’re wicked, lazy and worthless. Why is the master angry? The Master’s anger isn’t targeted at the loss of wealth, but at the servants wasted opportunity. He didn’t use it. He didn’t use what was entrusted to him.
Here’s a quick illustration. This is a tip and co Mickey Mouse motorcycle, 1930. It was made. It’s a little tin toy. It recently sold for $110,000.
That’s right. It’s like this big and if someone saw it in your house, they would say, what’s that? And then you would say, I bought a tips and co Mickey Mouse. And they would say why? And then that would be the end of the conversation, because there’s no reason to own this thing.
But it’s $110,000. In the economy of vintage toys, there’s one thing people look for. Do you know what they look for? Condition. That’s all they care about.
You know what you want in a really good vintage toy? You want a toy that was never played with. That’s what you’re looking for. You want a toy that was given to a child and the child thought, this is worthless, and put it on the side or kept it in the box and thought, this toy is trash. I don’t want to use this toy.
You want, in essence, a toy that there was a whole dug in the house and it was put in the ground. That’s what you’re looking for. The less you touch it, the more it’s worth. It’s sort of like new, old stock. No one touches it, no one plays with it. It still has its original box and then it’s worth even more.
Some of us think that our faith is calculated the same way. God, you gave me all these amazing things and guess what? I did nothing with it. I’m going to do nothing, Christian. All I do is abstain from sin. And somehow, at the end of life, god’s going to be like, well done. Oh, you stopped watching pornography. Well done. That’s never been the point.
This is my life. God here. I haven’t touched it, I haven’t played with it, I haven’t used anything. It’s still in its original box. Nothing has changed.
I think to that person, God would say, I didn’t give you this so that you would keep it in the box. I didn’t give you your faith so that you would do nothing with it. In fact, in God’s economy, the unused is worthless. Condition is still everything, but it’s the exact opposite of the vintage toy market or the trading card market. If your gifts aren’t used, meaning they aren’t dirtied up a little bit, they aren’t worn down, you didn’t give it a shot and get denied.
If you have no scars because you never tried, there’s no scrapes, there’s no scuffs on your faith, really, it isn’t worth anything to God. If there aren’t any mistakes, there aren’t any failings, or you didn’t use it, then you come sort of worthlessly. The faiths are given back with a less worth than when they were originally given to you. Your faith is not a collector’s item. Faith is not to be put in a museum. It’s to be used in a movement. You get the difference, right? It’s not behind twelve glasses or twelve panes of glass so that no one can touch it. Instead, it’s supposed to be in the world. One time I was sharing my faith with somebody, and if you don’t have stories like this, then this is a problem, right?
One time I was sharing my face with somebody. I was on campus sharing my face with a lot of people at the time when I led campus ministry. I haven’t done it as much. I want to get back into the habit of doing that. But anyway, I’m on campus and I reached out to a guy. The guy sitting at the desk, TJ Bereca, is with me. TJ Bareca at the time was like a campus intern. And I’m walking around, I want to show TJ how to share your faith. I’m all brave and I’m like, hey.
I always say the same thing. Hi. My name is Tony. I stick out my fist. Hi. My name is Tony. I’d like to invite you to a Bible discussion we’re having about 15 minutes. Most people, when I stick out the fist, Vince, what do you do? That’s what you do.
All right, good. So that’s what happens. You stick out your fist and someone gives right back. Hi. My name is Tony.
I’m part of a club here on campus. I wanted to invite you to a Bible discussion that we’re having in about 15 minutes. Is that something you’d be interested in going to? Most people say no, and then I say, have a nice day, and I go on to the next person, right? Some people say yes, and that’s awesome.
One person know I stick on my fist, and he says, Get the bleep out of my face. And TJ Brekka is standing beside me, and he’s a campus intern. And I’m thinking to myself, if I stand my ground, I will show TJ. You could be brave. If TJ wasn’t there, I’d have just left, but I wasn’t going to stand up for that. So I was like, I’m just trying to invite you to a Bible discussion. Are you interested? Get the bleep out of my face. Bro, I’m just trying to invite you to a Bible discussion.
If you’re not interested in that. And then the guy stands up. He was sitting in the chair. He stands up and he’s like and she just like, let’s go. And I’m like, I’m just trying to invite you to a Bible discussion.
And look, eventually TJ pulled me away and he’s like, do you want to talk about that? I’m like, no, I was just trying to invite him to a Bible discussion. Here’s my point. If you use your faith, you’re going to have some bizarro stories, right? If you share your faith, if you try to encourage somebody, you’re going to say, bro, I just wanted to encourage you and say, I don’t need no encouragement, okay?
If you try to give to somebody, maybe they’re going to take you for granted. If you have a friend and you share your faith with them, maybe they’re going to become a Christian and then they’re going to wander away. Maybe you’re going to study the Bible with somebody and they’re going to say, you know what? I’m not really interested in your whole church. And then they’re going to go to a different church and go, I found Jesus and you’re going to go, but I was trying to teach you about Jesus.
If you use your faith, it’s going to have some scuffs, it’s going to have some scars. People are going to curse you out. People are going to say mean things to you. People are going to diss you or misuse the gift that you give them. Your children are maybe going to take you for granted.
Your wife maybe is going to say or your husband is going to say, forget that old Jesus thing and let’s leave. You’re going to get a lot of that scuff. It’s going to happen. If you use it, it will get hurt a little bit, but that’s exactly the way Jesus wants us to go. He wants us to be in heaven with, like, scars. Like, I gave it a shot, I did my best. Christ did not suffer so that we could live more cautiously. I think many of us fear using what God has given us because we’re afraid we’re going to make mistakes. And so we live complacent kind of boring Christian lives, not impacting everybody, and it’s still in its original box. Never sharing with anybody, never giving anything, never having anybody curse you out.
I mean, not pursuing that. Don’t pursue having anybody curse you out. But we take the gifts that God has given us and we dig a hole and we stick it in the ground and we’re hoping at the end of life, god will look at us and go, well done. But I think he will say just the opposite. Use his gifts for his glory.
The Master wants you to use his gifts for his glory. I gave it to you. I gave you my wealth so that you would double it. I gave you my gifts that you would impact somebody. I gave you my faith that you would reach somebody.
I gave you my courage that you would touch someone’s life. I gave you my foods that you would feed somebody. I gave you my mind so you would solve someone’s problems. I gave you my hope so that you could reconstruct someone else’s. What did you do with what I gave you?
Don’t keep it in a box. Don’t keep it in a box. Inactivity is not acceptable in God’s kingdom. It’s not acceptable. At the end of the day, you can’t just return to what God gave you.
Put it to work, get a profit, do something with it. And I want to encourage you, make a decision today. Today will be the last time I ever misuse the opportunities God has given me. I’m just never going to do it again. I’m never going to do it again.
Maybe you’re studying the Bible. Today’s the last day I’m ever going to throw away or put aside this opportunity. I’m just going to make a decision. Yesterday is going to be the last time I ever failed God by not using the things he had given me. And from now on, I’m going to kind of echo this awesome biblical mantra that I’m going to make the most of every opportunity.
Make the most of every opportunity. Let’s become men and women who follow that beautiful mantra in Scripture and share in our Master’s happiness again. It will be like a man going on a journey who calls his servants and entrusts his wealth to them. Then he went out on that journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money and gained five more bags.
After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought five more and said, Master, he said, you entrusted me with five bags. See, I’ve gained five more. His Master replied, well done, good and faithful servant. Come share your master’s happiness.
Let’s pray. God, we are in awe of Your plan, Lord. Your plan is incredible, Lord, that you would give us unqualified, unskilled in many ways. In comparison to you, we are nothing, Lord. And yet you give a portion of Your incredible character, a portion of Your tremendous wealth, a portion of Your gift set to us, these undeserving people, Lord.
And Your plan says that we would then use them to impact the world. God, what a beautiful plan. What an amazing design. God, I pray in this congregation that we have the heart to fulfill the calling that we have been given, to use the opportunities and to use the gifts and to use the talents that we have received for the glory of the One who made us. Lord, let us be people that bring heaven on earth that impact our coworkers, our neighbors, our friends, our communities, our children, our spouses, our girlfriends, our boyfriends, our fiance in a way that just is tremendous.
It’s something that cannot even be fully explained with her earthly words. Lord, let us be people that have an impact because we use the skills that You’ve given us, we develop it into the people we ought to be, Lord, and we multiply Your gifts for Your glory, lord, we pray that we have the mindset of the Master, that he is generous, that he is kind, that he is compassionate and that he knows us intimately. We pray. Lord. That today if our mindset of the Master or mindset of you is that you’re a hard man who’s not interested in us being great. Lord. That we would replace that. Then we would have repentance in our hearts and minds with an image of you, Lord, as being good and generous and kind and wanting us to develop. Lord. And let that image stir us to good works so that we can impact the world for Your glory. Lord. There is no better example of this than Jesus Christ.
There’s no better example of someone being given a portion of who you were really divinity was in him. The Bible says that he gave up everything, Lord, he gave up in many ways that divinity and it’s in Him. And then he impacts everyone around him. Lord, let us be like Jesus who are willing to sacrifice everything, who at the end of his life, Lord, he was scuffed up and bruised that he had a crown of thorns on his head. Lord, let us live those types of lives that it’s not about the comfort, the creature comforts of today, but it’s really about getting to heaven with having an impact, Lord. And we thank you for Jesus, we thank you for the way he lived as an example for us, Lord, and every single week we take a communion. We take a little bit of bread and a little bit of juice. It’s supposed to represent the passion of Christ as he lived and died and resurrected. Lord, I pray that as we take it today, the little bit of bread and a little bit of juice that will have in mind the sacrifices that he made to make the world around Him such an amazing place and to pass on his faith for generations and generations. And, Lord, that we will be reminded as we take communion of the life that is required to live in order to have the impact that he had. Lord, we love you.
We praise you in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.