In the Matthew 25 Jesus
tells us the parable of the talents. This is where the master, who was going
on a long trip, entrusts several of his servants with varying amount of money. Upon
his return the servants were called into account to see what they had done with what was entrusted to them. Of the three, two had invested wisely and had increase in what was given.
The third being fearful of the master hid what was given and only had what was given when the master returned. The two who had done what they knew would please their master was told “Well
done, good and faithful servant” but the one who was fearful lost what was given to him and he was thrown out.
Those words “Well
done, good and faithful servant” are great praise for anyone. Are those
not the words that we long to hear when it is out turn to go meet Jesus after our time here on earth is done? To hear Him say, “Well, done…” is almost beyond description. Those are the words that all believers long to hear from our Lord and Master. But as in the parable we are entrusted by our Master with something for us to grow, to develop. He has given us so much and so many different ‘talents’. What I would like to do is to talk about two of those.
First are we, as followers
of Jesus, have been given new lives and as such we are to entrust our walk through this world to Jesus and grow our lives
in Him. We are to become more Christ-like each day. Colossians 2:20 says, “Since you have died with Christ to the principals of this world, what,
as though you still belong to it, do you submit to its rules…”
Christians are assailed each day by this world we live in to follow its rules and ways.
Television and movies depict violence, greed and sex as normal and should be embraced by all. As they would have you believe, “If is feels good - do it”, there is no such thing as right
and wrong. The morals of our society have become perverted. Drugs and sexually transmitted diseases are a normal lifestyle. But
that is not what the Word of God says. Colossians 3:5 says, “Put
to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which
is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”
We are no longer to be
walking in the ways of this world. But how do we change. I’m only human. I keep trying but I can’t seem
to make the grade. I try not to do what I’m not supposed to but I do it
anyway. Guess what? Even the Apostle
Paul had that very same problem. Romans 7:18 says, “I know that nothing
good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what
is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do;
no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep doing.” In other
words, Paul wanted to do good but kept failing but even though he did not want to do bad things he did them. This is the sin nature at work in our lives. We are human
and no matter how hard we try, we fail. So how do we live for and in Christ and
not for and in this world?
First we need to lean
completely on Jesus and let Him direct our lives. We need to be in the Word daily,
in study and in prayer. We need to ask for guidance and direction and protection. We need to put off the way of this world - Colossians 3:5. We need to clothe ourselves in Christ. In verse 12 of Colossians
3 we read, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Think of putting
on clothes. When you get dressed in you cover yourselves completely with the
clothes. Shouldn’t we do that with Christ?
So we need to live our
lives each day by asking for His guidance, protection, and above all His forgiveness because not matter how hard we try we
will keep falling down. But if we are truly sorry and we are trying out best,
God will forgive us and love us and guide us. The Cub Scouts have a motto, “Do
your best”. If they try their best, even though they don’t quite
make the mark, they are rewarded and achieve what they are working on. If we
try out best, and in doing so, lean completely on Jesus as our Lord, Master, and Savior, then I think that God will forgive
us and lift us up and say “Well done.”
The other thing that
I wanted to talk about that God has entrusted us with is the spreading of His Word - the Gospel. In Acts 1, Jesus tells His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come
on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria
and to the ends of the earth.” We are to be witnesses of Jesus
and what He has said and done. For the disciples it was first in Jerusalem
(their home), then Judea and Samaria (their neighborhood), to the ends of the earth (everywhere
else). This same Scripture is also our marching orders but instead of Jerusalem,
Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth we need to start at home, work, school (our Jerusalem), our neighbors, people
we meet when we are in line at the store, etc. (our neighborhood) and everywhere we go (the ends of the earth). We are to be spreading the Gospel of Jesus.
Unfortunately so many
people of afraid of talking to others about what God has done for them. Many
others believe that it’s against the law to preach God’s Word at work, school, and in public places (how very
wrong they are). We need to be more like the Apostle Paul who tells us in Romans
1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” God’s Word, the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, contains God’s power to
save people who believe. And how can someone come to believe if they do not hear
it from you? Spread God’s Word today.
Do not wait! 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in
season and out of season…”
These two things, living
our lives daily how Christ would have us live, trying to walk how He wants us to and telling everyone we can about the saving
grace of God that can be found only through Jesus are two of the ways we should be following Jesus so that when all is said
and done He will say to us, Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Pray with me, “Father,
I love you and give you thanks for sending your Son Jesus to be our Savior. I
ask that you watch over and guide us as we struggle each day to try and do the right thing.
Help us to clothe ourselves in Jesus. Also, Father, help us to not be
timid in telling others of You, Your Son and the saving grace that can be found in accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Help us so that when we come home we can hear the words “Well done, good and
faithful service”. Amen.