RAP SHEET 2/13/22
Sermon: Talent Trap
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-29
ICE BREAKER: What is the best investment you have ever made? (doesn't have to be financial... invested into a relationship, skill, hobby, etc.).
In week 5 of the Metaphor series, Pastor Clayton walked us through the Parable of the Talents. Jesus told this simple story just days before he was crucified. He was pulling back the curtain and making his disciples aware of a startling reality - At the end of our life, all believers will stand before Jesus and give an account of our lives! The Judgment Seat does not judge whether we go to heaven or hell because all believers in Jesus go to heaven. This is a reward judgment based on how we stewarded the life we were given.
This moment is called the Judgment Seat of Christ. It was accepted as truth in the early church and taught for the last 2000 years. However, this was news to the disciples of Jesus when he shared this parable! To help them understand how to have a positive experience on that day, Jesus shared this parable.
The story is of a King who goes away and leaves his servants with varying amounts of money. One servant gets 5 talents, one gets 2 talents, and the last gets only 1 talent. They are given based on their ability to stewards that money well. A talent was a LARGE sum of money, and the King expected a return on investment.
Eventually, the King came back and settled accounts. He found that the first servant had turned 5 talents into 10, and the second servant had turned 2 into 4. To both, he said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Then he rewarded them with the opportunity to share in the fortune of the King himself!
The last servant had taken his 1 talent, dug a hole, and hid it in the ground. He had no return to bring the King, and the King scolded him for wasting his opportunity.
In the parable, Jesus is the King, and the Servants represent us. The first application of the story is that life isn't always "fair." Not everyone is given the same gifting or opportunity. With that being true, we must decide whether we will get caught in the comparison trap or do the best with what we have been given!
Do you ever feel like you are not gifted enough?
How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to those around you?
The servant went and hid his talent in the GROUND. In the parable, this is synonymous with us hiding the gifts, resources, and abilities that God has given us in the things of this world. When we use who we are and what we have for selfish motives - to make ourselves KING instead of Jesus - we hide our talents in the dirt. Someday we will stand with King Jesus and review our lives. How much of that story will be us investing ourselves into the ground?
Another application is that WE WILL BE JUDGED BY HOW WE STEWARD OUR UNIQUE LIVES. The first and second servants were given the same reward even though one brought 4 talents and the other one 10. The servant who started with only 2 was not judged based on whether or not he could produce the same result as the servant who started with 5. Jesus is interested in how you use what he has placed in YOUR hands. When we allow comparison to keep us from action, we judge ourselves by what we DO NOT have - Jesus is watching the life you make out of what you DO HAVE.
So how does God decide our ABILITY? How does he know who to give a lot and who to give a little? The parable teaches us that:
ABILITY IS DETERMINED & INCREASED BY PROFIT-ABILITY
Are you living a profitable life? If you are using what you have to build the Kingdom of Heaven, you will be trusted with more and more! If you are burying your gifts in the ground, even what you have maybe taken away!
36 For what does it profit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life?
What are you doing with the life you have been given? Are you using who you are and what you have to profit yourself? This is the quickest way to lose the power of the life you have been given!
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is ONE WAY you have been burying your life in the things of this world, and what is ONE WAY you can begin investing that in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Maybe you are burying your relationships. Instead of building up the people around you and helping them discover their purpose in Jesus - you use your relationships for your gain and advantage.
Perhaps you are burying your finances. You would love to be generous, but you have piled up so much debt buying things to impress other people that you don't have the means to be generous.
Often we bury our actual talents. The gifts and personality you have been given are always used to build your influence and status.
This week, unbury your talents and invest them where they belong! The King is coming; it's time we get ready!
Ask God to show you the areas of opportunity for his Kingdom that you have been missing out on. Lean into the Holy Spirit's guidance as you seek to follow Jesus. Pray for others as they seek to apply the truth of these parables.