Osceola Sermon Parable of the Talents & Three Servants Pastor Bob Vale / December 27 th, 2015

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1 Osceola Sermon Parable of the Talents & Three Servants Pastor Bob Vale / December 27 th, 2015 Biblical Focus: Matthew 25:14 14 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. Scripture Lesson: Matthew 25: For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents. 21 His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. 22 Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents. 23 His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. 24 And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours. 26 But his master answered and said to him, You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

2 There will not be a Saturday Evening Service on Dec. 26th: Sunday morning Traditional 9:30 a.m. Hymn of Praise: #238 Angels we have heard on High Prayer Hymn: # 245 the First Noel (verse. 1) Offertory: Lynn Lambert Hymn of Response: # 234 O Come All Ye Faithful Sunday Contemporary: 11:00 a.m. Offertory: Praise Song by the praise Team.

3 Jesus is talking to his disciples and giving different parable stories to illustrate what the Kingdom of heaven will be like. Jesus is talking about life after earth; Heaven or Hell & the choice is ours. Life is a test! 1. Parable of the 10 virgins with oil lamps. 2. Parable of the Talents. 3. Parable of the dividing of the sheep and goats at judgement. In the Parable of the Talents, the King or owner of the house is going out of town and wanted to entrust his property to his servants. Because Jesus is referring to the Kingdom of heaven, it is clear the master in the parable is God & we are the three with the different talents. Matthew 25:15: To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, [a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 1. One person received five bags of Gold. 2. One person received two bags of Gold. 3. One person received one bag of Gold. *Don t you find it interesting the similarity between the words Gold & God? Only the letter L makes the difference between the two words. Illustration: There was a Christian man who died and was heaven bound to live in a mansion in the sky and walk the streets of gold. Story about the man who collected gold all his life and wrote in his will to have all the gold he collected buried in his casket with him. Going up to heaven he carried his large bag of gold over his shoulder. When he got to the pearly gates of heaven St. Peter told him he cannot bring any possessions from earth into heaven. The man insisted that he bring the contents of his bag into heaven with him. It was very important and he could not part with it. Peter was firm and told him no, and quoted the following praise, Naked you came to the earth and naked you will return.

4 The man with the bag carried on just how very important the contents of his bag was to him and that he had been collecting this all of his life and it meant the world to him. It got rather odd thinking that this may would turn down heaven for something he collected on earth. Finally Peter asked the man, what in the world do you have in that burlap bag that is so very precious? The man opened the bag for Peter to look down inside and Peter looked at all the gold and with an odd expression on his face and said, Pavement.you brought pavement? It is true that Jesus talked more about money than any other topic because he knows Gold has a way of turning into our God. Each according to his abilities: This one line states a lot in the scriptures. 1. It indicates that each of us in the world has different gifts and talents according to our abilities. (Each of us is different) 2. What you may be strong in one area, another person may be weak. 3. What you may be weak in one area, another person may be very strong. 4. According to the scriptures (Romans 12:6) each of us are given different gifts and abilities. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 5. It is very important to notice that everyone in this story received some sort of talent. (So it is with us God gives each of us talents, abilities or gifts of some kind.) Gifts Illustration: Could you imagine if all of us in the church had the same single gift? How boring would that be. What if all 250 people at the Osceola UMC had the gift of preaching. Each of us may want to use that gift, which means that each of us would get to preach about once every 5 years on a Sunday morning.

5 But then if we all had the same gift, who would use their gifts and talents in teaching, who would use their gifts of hospitality, who would use their gifts of administration, who would use their talents of working with the children and working with the teens? Who would use their musical talents if all of us only had the gift of preaching. God gives a variety of gifts to help the church grow. But only if we use the gifts we are given. *I Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. Matthew 25:16: 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 1. This man must have been very smart to put his money to work and immediately double his efforts. 2. Key # 1: Went at once. He did not delay or procrastinate. 3. Key # 2 Put his money to work. He put his money in a place where it can grow. He did not hide it; he did not let the talent just sit there and procrastinate, he did not spend it foolishly, he did not gamble it away. Illustration: More than likely he used some sort of farming or building talent and purchased goods, sold them and doubled his money. 4. How much physical labor did he put into this? We don t know?.he simply let the money work on his behalf. Illustration: There was a church who hosted a year-long Missions Talent Challenge: In the beginning of the year the pastor and the missions committee of the church gave each person who wanted to participate $50 to make money for missions. Each person was to take their $50 advance and begin some sort of money making venture, then from the proceeds they would bring back the money and it would go

6 towards missions. They also had a chance to share how they used the original $50 to start some sort of project and how that project reaped a reward. Some who knew how to plant a garden, used the money to buy seeds to plant a garden and sold the produce in the fall for a nice profit. One man was very creative and took his $50 to purchased gas for his small car, then used his car as an Uber Taxi Cab on several weekends and more than tripled his money for missions. Another lady in the church used her $50 to purchase supplies for baked goods. She made cookies, cakes and pies and then sold them at a local bake sale. Another man who was a good car mechanic and used his $50 to purchase engine oil and filters to offer oil changes to those who needed it. When people found out what he was doing, they paid him and also gave him large tips since the money was going for missions. Another man used his $50 to buy fuel for his chain saw and cut down unwanted trees for his neighbors and also sold the wood for fire wood. A teenager used her $50 to purchase yarn and made very trendy bracelets for her peers at school. At the end of the year the church had a large celebration banquet and they shared the total that was going to missions. The total was four times more than what was originally given in $50 gift amounts. Whether it was the gardener, the taxi driver, the lady baking cookies, the mechanic changing oil or the teenager making trendy bracelets, they all had one thing in common. They each used their own personal gifts and talents for the Lord s work. Matthew 25:17: 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 1. This individual must have done the same thing as the first man to double his money. Do you know of any type of plan today where you can go out and double your money quickly? 2. He had the same outcome as the person who had five bags of Gold. He must be a rising star in the world of finance.

7 3. He or she were given just enough to carry through with their commitment to gain two more. Matthew 25:18: 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master s money. 1. This man decided to simply hide the gold. He was not a risk taker in any way. Perhaps he was just lazy? (not motivated; didn t know how to invest, or just didn t want to do it.) 2. If you bury something certain realities can happen. a. It can get lost if you forget where you buried it or you die before telling anyone else where you buried it. b. No one else is able to be blessed by the gift. c. The money cannot work on your behalf or for others. Illustration Back Yard Buried Treasure: I always find it interesting how every now and then we hear of someone who will find buried money or a jar of rare old coins in their back yard, which was left there from the previous owner. Obviously the previous owner never got to spend his hard earned savings; the hidden treasure was simply lost in time. How sad. Important: Do you ever think God looks at us and wonders why we are not using the talents and gifts He has given us to make the world a better place? Or to use our gifts to build the church and we refuse!!! How Selfish! I do. Some folks have amazing abilities and gifts and for the life of me, I see that they just let them lie or bury them so no one can see them. I wonder if God gets a bit frustrated with people in the church who don t use their gifts? (Volunteer Opportunities at church)

8 I have some tough questions for you: There are four areas of ministry that keep a church alive and going strong. They are: Prayer, Service, Tithing, and Congregational Worship as a church family. Without anyone of these being strong by the church family.the church will suffer. Here are my questions: 1. In the area of Prayer what if the amount of prayer you participated in 2015 was the same amount of prayer by everyone else? In other words, if you prayed 30 minutes a day then everyone else did the same in Would that amount of prayer bless our church or hurt our church? Interesting Question. 2. In the area of Service and volunteerism what if the amount of volunteer time that you participated to the church in 2015 was the same amount of volunteer service given by everyone else in 2015? In other words, if you did not volunteer very much at all to the church and everyone else did the same; the church would be very weak and have hardly any ministries running. Would that amount of volunteerism bless our church or hurt our church? Interesting Question. For some our church would be so very blessed and we would ask ourselves what do we do with all the volunteers and for others who don t volunteer, if everyone were like them, we would have to close down the church. 3. In the area of tithing and giving financially to the church what if the amount of financial blessing you gave to the OUM church in 2015 was the same amount of tithing or giving by everyone else? In other words, if you gave nothing or very little in 2015 and everyone else did the same, would we have enough to run the ministries of the church or would we have to close the doors of the church. The church needs money to pay the bills.

9 However, if you are a tither and give the ministry of the church 10% of your income, the leadership of the church may be asking the question: What are we going to do with all this extra money for ministry? 4. In the area of attending worship as a church family what if the amount of worship attendance you participated in 2015 was the same amount of church attendance by everyone else? In other words, if you only came to church a few times a year and everyone else did the same, would the church be able to keep their doors open? Where would the church family support be? Hebrew 10:25 clearly tells us that we should not give up meeting together, but we should meet to encourage each other. However, for some of you who are so faithful with your worship, the church family would be strong with everyone else attending very regularly. Interesting Question. Matthew 25:19: After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 1. This seemed to indicate the master was gone for a long time. 2. It is time to settle accounts with them. (One day we will all settle accounts with our Maker, God who will ask us what we did with the gifts and abilities we were given in this earth.) 3. Scripture examples of this is the pruning of the fruit tree in the gospel where Jesus tells us that the tree that does not produce fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19) 4. Another example is Matthew 25:41 where Christians are asked to use their gifts and abilities to serve the poor and needy of the world. Those who refuse to do so, Jesus has clear instructions: Depart from me, for I never knew you into the lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels.

10 Trust me when I tell you that one day, one of two things will happen to all of us. 1. The master (Jesus) will come home to earth. 2. We will go home to see the master. (Jesus) The Bible clearly says that Jesus will come back to earth and the Bible also says that each of us will die and face eternity in front of the Lord. Matthew 25:20: 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. Master, he said, you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more. 21 His master replied, 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 your master s happiness! 1. How can it get better than this? 2. The master says, Well done, good and faithful servant. This is a reference for us in the Christian life of what we want to hear when we depart from this earth and stand before God ready to enter into heaven. (Matthew 25:34) 3. The master also gives a simple principle that rings true to those who are faithful. Vs. 21b. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. 4. I have seen this over and over again in my ministry and life. Those who are faithful with a little continue to grow and get more responsibility and in return, end up getting more blessings! 5. The phrase, Come and share in your master s happiness; is a reference to enjoying both the abundant Christian life here on earth and also enjoying eternity in heaven one day. Life is a short test compared to eternity. How and where we will spend eternity is up to how we live out the test of this life.

11 Matthew 25:22: 22 The man with two bags of gold also came. Master, he said, you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more. 23 His master replied, 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 your master s happiness! 1. This person received all the same accolades and praises from his master for doubling his two bags of Gold. 2. There is a very important principle here that needs to be brought out. a. Even those who are faithful with lesser gifts receive the same reward and celebration than the person with many gifts and talents. b. You don t have to be a superstar to be used by God. c. You don t have to be a Billy Graham of Evangelism. d. You don t have to be the Mother Teresa of caring for humanity. e. You don t have to be a Rick Warren in the teaching world. f. You don t have to be overly blessed with gifts and talents to be used by God. g. Just be faithful and grow with what God has given you today! Matthew 25:24: 24 Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. Master, he said, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. Two huge Mistakes: 1. Fear 2. He thought the gold belonged to his master and not to him.

12 Do you know what his problem was? Three simple words describe his issue: I was afraid. Fear entered into his mind and he just gave up trying. Secondly, he never took ownership / stewardship of the gold. He always looked at it as belonging to someone else and never thought of it as his own to use for good. In the end he told his master, This belongs to you. How many of us have those same two issues in life? 1. We walk through life afraid to try something new. 2. We never take ownership of the gifts God gives us: or we never give the gift back to God to be used for his glory. 26 His master replied, You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 1. The master is very angry and tells him it was wrong to do nothing. At the very least he could have deposited the money into the bank and drawn a little interest. 2. So also we should never hide or not use the gifts and talents the Lord has given us. Matthew 25:28: 28 So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

13 1. The punishment was clear and swift. 2. The one bag of gold was taken away from him and given to the one who had ten bags. 3. Then the famous line of Jesus is spelled out in verse 29, For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 4. Jesus is saying, Use your gifts or the blessings will go to someone else. 5. The final punishment is the worst in verse 30: And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. a. Known as a Worthless Servant. The Christian life has responsibilities; especially if we re given gifts and talents. b. Thrown into The Darkness. This is a reference to hell and separation from God. (For God is Light) c. Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Another reference in the Bible of hell in the afterlife. What is there to learn from this parable. 1. Use the gifts God gives us to make the world a better place. 2. Never hide the gifts God gives us to make the world a better place. 3. Never be afraid of God He is on your side!!! 4. Realize according to the scriptures and stories of Matthew 25; the only difference between the servants who received a heavenly reward and the servant that was go to eternal punishment.was what they did and did not do in this life. Life is a test.how are you doing?

14 Let s Pray, Lord, help us to be a good servant and steward of the many gifts you give each one of us. Encourage us to use our gifts for your glory and honor. May we never hide our talents or not claim them as our own. Amen. Words of Wisdom: Watch your thoughts, because they become your words. Watch your words, because they become your actions, watch your actions because they become your habits. Watch your habits because they become your character. Watch your character, because it will become your destiny. Benediction: God has uniquely equipped you for service. Recommit to God the gifts he has given you. Use the gifts to be a breath of fresh air and to help others who are seeking the Father. May they see in you a life blessed by faith.

doulos someone who belongs to another; a slave, without any ownership rights

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