This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
Matthew 25:14-30 The Gifts of God: Use Them or Lose Them
you ever been afraid to use your gifts, talents or skills? Have you ever thought
that your skills and talents were not appreciated by other people? If the
answer to either one or both of these questions is “yes”, then you can probably
sympathize with the third slave on the Parable of the Talents, which you will find in Matthew 25:14-30.
word “talent” represents all of the opportunities God has given his people to
serve him. Talents include wealth, abilities and learning. The parable teaches
us to invest everything God gives us for his glory. If we want to be faithful
servants of Christ, we must use what he gives us to spread the Good News. If we
are faithful stewards in this life, we will be rewarded with even greater
responsibility in the next life. The reward will be in proportion to the tasks
we have accomplished.
when we do God’s work, we will not feel appreciated. I’m speaking from
experience. I’ve often felt that my ministry has not been appreciated in the
community, but I was proven wrong at my recent anniversary service. When we
feel that what we are doing for God is not appreciated here on earth, all we
have to do is what I did-pray to God. When we please him, we are doing our
daily job. The greatest reward God can give will go to godly people who have
laboured faithfully without any earthly recognition.
are encouraged to be better than average. We are encouraged to excel. So why
don’t we excel? Why don’t we try?The
answer is fear. Fearful servants, are afraid of God. They see him as a harsh
taskmaster. They do not see the meaning of the term, “fear God” as “total
reverence.” They take the term “fear God” quite literally, and therefore they
never multiply the gifts God gave them.
To know God, as the moral slave
knew, is to be afraid. To really know God is to agree that he does indeed make
his rain to fall upon the just and the unjust alike. To know God is to
acknowledge, as the fearful slave acknowledged, that he's a tough man, playing
by rules we can easily question and often find deplorable. Such knowledge would
make almost any thinking person afraid, and thus it was that the unprofitable
slave took up the shield of playing it safe in order to hold his fear at bay.
is both a generous rewarder and a strict judge. He evaluates our stewardship on
the basis of how well we administer the responsibilities and talents he has
given us. He evaluates our stewardship based on how well we have kept His
priorities instead of our own.If we use his gifts to spread the Good News,
we will be rewarded. If we don’t, we will be punished by being separated from
him for eternity.
must master and receive the gifts God gives us, including the gift of time. No
matter how old or how young we are, we can still use the gifts God gave us.
Even when we are sick, God can still use us. If we master and use the gifts God
gave us, we will have plenty of time to grow in faith and spread God’s Kingdom
here on earth.
of the most important gifts we have is our salvation. Sometimes we take it for
granted, and sometimes we treat it like one of our most prized possessions.
Sometimes we treat it with reverence and respect when we are first saved, but
sometimes over time we take it for granted. That is the wrong attitude to have.
The gift of salvation is a gift from God, and we are to use it just as we use
all of the other gifts he has given us.
one of the gifts God has given us is the Gospel. He gave us that gift not so
that our ability to spread it can be put to good use, but so that our inability
is exposed and God is glorified. We can’t, but God can.
demands faithfulness. If we are faithful we will produce results. If we do not
use what God gave us, we will lose everything. We are to dedicate ourselves and
all we have been given to Christ so that he can multiply those gifts.
seems to imply that there will be a long period of time between his first
coming and his second coming, but the delay does not mean that he will not be
coming. We are duty-bound to expand God’s kingdom in his absence regardless of
how long we have to wait for him to return.
sees everything from the beginning to the end, even if we can’t understand
things. He sees our motives. He sees how we handle even the smallest of things,
and our future depends on the little things. Contrary to what a popular saying
says, we must “sweat the small stuff.”
how can we know what God wants us to do? It’s simple. We have to read the
Bible. If we do, we will discover that God does not want us to play it safe. He
wants us to take risks. No risk, no reward. We have to risk living the life
Jesus taught us to lead instead of the life the world wants us to lead.
are lots of lessons to be learned from the Parable of the Talents:
1.Be good stewards
of your abilities. Lose them or lose them.
2.Don’t be afraid
3.Never say, “I
have so little, my contribution won’t matter.” Every little bit helps.
4.People may not be
equal in talent but they can sure be equal in effort.
The faithful servants gambled with the master’s goods in pure blind faith
that that was really what he meant for them to do. They yearned so completely,
in other words, that they believed his intentions--his spirit, if you will--as
they understood it, and they gambled themselves on fulfilling it. They loved
the master with all their hearts and souls and minds, for this is the first and
great commandment, and all the others are secondary unto it. The only proper response to such stories as
these is to pray that God may give each of us such grace and faithfulness in
our times as he gave to those faithful servants in their storied ones.
are getting closer to the end of the church year. In two week's time
we will be starting the season of Advent. Advent is a time to remember Jesus’
birth in the stable in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. It is also a time to
prepare for his Second Coming, and Matthew 25 talks about being prepared for
the coming kingdom.When God comes to
judge us, will we be afraid that we will be cast into the fires of hell? Are we
being too cautious when it comes to serving God?Are we afraid of failure? Are we afraid of
taking the chances that discipleship requires? The Parable of the Talents
encourages us to take bold, risky action just like this church has taken action
to help the older members by investing in this projector and screen.
Parable of the Talents is about trust. God trusts us to use the gifts he has
given us to spread his kingdom here on earth. He calls on us to return the
favour by acting on the gifts he has given us out of trust. God has blessed us
so much that we can’t lift our bushel baskets on our own. God only asks that we
use, spend and grow our resources, including our talents. He only asks that we
love him enough not to hoard or hide our resources. We can trust him. Can he
Churchill once said that “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by
what we give.”Albert Schweitzer said,
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones
among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to
serve.” On Judgment Day, we will be called on to give a personal report to God.
That report will be based on the choices we make here and now. We can make any
changes we want to here and now. It will be too late to make them when we stand
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, NKJV (Brentwood,
TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013)
2.ESV Study Bible.
Part of Wordsearch 10 Bible software package.
M.S. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 29: Matthew (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.;