Most of us recognize that we all have gifts, talents, time, and resources. Most of the time, we work hard to leverage these things in order to achieve success or to advance ourselves in life. Sometimes we even refer to these things as “God-given” gifts. But have you ever stopped to think what purposes God may have given you these things to accomplish? Most of the time, we leverage them for our good and our purposes. In this week’s teaching, we see from the Bible that God has given us our time, talents, and treasures to help us accomplish the purposes that He has for us in life. But it’s not always about using these things for our good, but for the good things God has planned for us to do.
One Year Ago: Radical Generosity of Grace – 18 people baptized – just the beginningThis is a cause worth giving to. This is a mission worth devoting your life to.
DNA: Last week, we discussed how God has uniquely gifted you to help contribute to the health and growth of our church and the people around you. You were created for a purpose. To have a relationship with God. In the OT, this is how that was lived out.
5And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (All-in) [Deuteronomy 4:5]
We live out our purpose by going all in with Christ. By loving him in every area of our life.
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ (This is what a true relationship looks like) [Matthew 22:37]
This is why we want you to be personally involved here. Because then it goes from
something you do to something you are a part of. You are no longer a spectator.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. [Ephesians 2:10]
God has given you what you need to be successful for him and to do his good work.
Our time, talent, and treasure are gifts from God and should be leveraged
for his purpose.
By being radically generous with these resources, God can make a greater impact through our lives. That is our mission. For those who haven’t made the decision to go all- in, you won’t be held to the same standard. But if you have decided to go all-in on Christ, this is what it looks like.
14 The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man (God) going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last – dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. (Kyrie vs. Rozier; capacity = responsibility) [Matthew 25:14-15]
What you’ll see is it doesn’t matter how much God gave them. It’s what they did with it. In the same way, he gives us resources to see what we do with it.
For You: Your Time, Your Talent, Your Treasure
16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and
earned five more. (bought stock in fish)
17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to
work and earned two more. 18But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. (Swanson?) 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. (Now God is going to hold them accountable)
HS Economics Class: How did your stocks do? I chose Apple, so pretty well!
20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.”
Let’s celebrate together!’ (You were a good steward with what I gave) God determined who he was giving more to based on what they did with what they had.
22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ 23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.
Let’s celebrate together!’
What was important was not the total amount earned but the faithfulness in how they used the resources he gave them. He doesn’t give all of us the same resources or the same giftedness. We don’t all have the same capacity with what he’s given us. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is how faithful we are with what we have. Rock What You Got: If he’s given you 1/ 2/ 5, be as responsible as you can with that one.
24 The servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
He doesn’t really know the character of God. There’s a misperception here.
He’s also quick to justify why he didn’t do more. He didn’t lose any. That’s good enough? How often do we justify why are holding back from God?
I could have done more, but at least I did this much. Right? But his standard isn’t good enough. His standard is all-in.
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ [Matthew 25:24-27]
God had given him something and he did nothing with it. He wasted it.
Think of Your Time: Does your schedule reflect that of a generous person?
Are you generous with the time God has given you? Does it reflect a love for God?
Time is the currency of love. Love can be measured in the currency of time.
When you look at the way that you spend your time, does that paint a picture of a person who absolutely loves God and loves people? Are you generous with your time?
Priorities: We make time for our priorities – eat, work, kids’ games, Netflix show
How generous are you with the time God has given you? Are you investing it into the work God has for you to do or just burying it in the dirt and wasting it?
Think of Your Talent: What do you do? Are you willing to make yourself available?
Examples: Doctor; Contractor; Hospitality; Photographer; Teacher; Nanny
This isn’t about networking and bringing you more business. This isn’t about you making your sales pitch to everyone in the room. This is about you using your every-day experience to make an impact for God.
Stories: Paul; Bob (legally we can, and if you don’t let us we’ll sue you!) ; Katherine; JorgeBring your talent to the table.
28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. [Matthew 25:28-30]
If you aren’t a good steward with what God is given you, he’s not giving you more. Don’t waste what God has given you. Invest it into other people.
Your Treasure: Are you being a good steward with your money or burying it out of fear?
Deuteronomy: First fruits; the first 10%; the tithe
NT: Give generously; 10% isn’t generous – that’s just the bare minimum obedience
Some of us can’t be generous with our finances right now because we aren’t even
obedient yet. Obedience is the first 10% back to God because that belongs to God. That’s his. What I give beyond that is generosity.
JC Penney: Reverse tithed – he shared because he wanted to make a difference
A lot of us are asking, “What do I have to give”? That’s not generosity. That’s minimal obedience. Instead we should ask “What else can I give?” Some of you are already obedient by giving your first 10%. Your prayer should be “How can I be more generous?”
Next Gen: Many are going to sacrificially invest not for yourselves. For your kids & GK
“We have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel?” [Joshua 22:24]
Senior Adult: Willing to give up those hymns because they know their GKs want different. What if we lived with kind of generosity? That we viewed God’s work as a top priority with our time. That we constantly looked for ways to use our talents to reach more people for God. That we were generous with our finances, giving well beyond the tithe because that’s the best way to invest our money.
10Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. [1 Cor. 3:10]
I gave you Jesus. He is the foundation. And now we, the church, are building on the foundation. We get to continue doing the good work God has for us by using our resources to make a greater impact.
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ. 12Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials – gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. (What did you do with what I gave?) The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer
great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. [1 Corinthians 3:11-15]
For followers of Christ, we’ll all get to heaven. But some of us won’t have much up there. Because we stored up all of our treasure instead of using it to impact people’s eternity. Where we spend eternity is exactly the same. But how we spend eternity is based on the decisions you make between now and the time you die.
How is that determined? By how we used this life God gave us. By how faithful we were with what God has given us – with everything God has given us. With your time, your talents, and your treasures.
Grocery: 5? Just one. God gives me 10 and asks for the first bak; Earn more – Cookies To have a heart of obedience, give the first 10% to God. To have a heart of generosity, give more.
Our problem is that we pick and choose how we are generous to God.
Marriage: What if you did that with your marriage?
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
(This is why you were created) [Matthew 22:37]
How can you be radically generous with everything God has given you?
2% > 5% > 10% > Generosity
Next Step: Get to a place of obedience with all three things; A place of generosity
“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” [Proverbs 11:24-25]
$23,000: That gift is to help people he’ll never meet
My prayer is that everyone in this room dies before Grace Church does. That your
generosity stretches so far that it helps people you won’t even meet.
Closing Sentence: Because you remember all of it came from God so you could fulfillyour purpose of doing his good work.