Active and Hidden Talents

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

Your God given talent or gift is an aspect of His divine kingdom. Its treasure entrusted to you. Make sure it’s available and functioning, and not buried or hidden.

Speakers notes follow –

Active and Hidden Talents

Matthew 25. 14-30

Wesley ‘I don’t think God will mind if you bury that talent’

Known as parable of the talents – bags of gold (weight)

Series of parables illustrating day of 2nd coming – with his kingdom

Vs 1 ‘At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like’ – Ten Virgins

This parable – vs 14 ‘Again, it will be like‘ – his return is the subject

Like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability’

The man going on a journey is Jesus – from earth + returning – bags of gold are wealth + treasure of kingdom given to each of us

Did you know you have a measure of God’s treasure? Part of the kingdom – entrusted aspect of kingdom – you are gifted – carry an enabling no one else has – never to be seen again!

One servant 5, another 2, another 1 – fair? One may be all you need – don’t worry if friend has 5 – they might need it – you don’t!

If you’re looking at theirs you can’t use yours – if you use your one well + they don’t use their 5 well you may achieve more

What’s better: to be an evangelist preaching to a stadium of 5000 or an evangelist preaching to one? Depends – half stadium puts up hands today – doesn’t believe in a year – the one leading ten people one by one over that year more effective – Don’t underestimate your gift! Don’t covet another’s!

‘The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money’

Went at once‘ – didn’t delay! Don’t procrastinate! Sensed God’s nudging – do it! Years soon pass – life is over!

Supposed to learn instrument? Arrange this week! – Called to teach? Join a home group today!

The man with 5 ran off immediately – couldn’t wait – of course! Its heavenly gifting!

But the man with 1 bag buried it – his treasure – hid his talent – no one heard about it till the master returned

Is you gift covered up, unused? You have a treasure no one else has, the church needs it, the world needs it

USA waste – National Wildlife – 4m tons trash a week, 5m over Thanksgiving + Christmas – avg consumer wraps 20 gifts – if recycled paper used – paper saved would cover 45000 football fields – but it isn’t – environmentalists – God hates waste too!

Maybe your using your gifts – but here’s a question – do you have others buried – dormant?

When I read this parable this week – convicted + challenged – reminded of things – gifts God identified that I haven’t acted on – they’re buried – you haven’t seen them

If you’ve got hidden gifts – do something about it this week!

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 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.’ “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’ – the same happened to the man given 2 bags

Both these men got the same reward though they earned diff amounts – amount not important – diligence is – doesn’t matter if you heal 3 or 3000 as long as you take every opportunity

Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man…So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that [I’m hard]? 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.’

Note – would have been happy with a little bank interest!

Calls servant ‘wicked, lazy’ – but he was also ‘afraid‘ – perhaps those are three reasons we hide gifts – fear of failure: what will people think – lazy: calling involves time, energy, commitment – arriving at 7 am to set up sound! – Wicked: perhaps using talent for self rather than God – Did God mean it to be mainly for his kingdom or your kingdom?

CS Lewis ‘Aim at heaven and you’ll get the earth thrown in. Aim at the earth and you’ll get neither‘

The first two servants were aiming at the masters kingdom – his kingdom first

‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 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.’

This often seemed on fair to me – the guy with 10 gets the extra 1 – but Jesus isn’t comparing the man given 5 and the man given 2 – isn’t saying the first deserves it more – he’s using the strongest example to illustrate – if you use your gifts you’ll get more no matter how many you already have – If you don’t you’ll lose what you have

‘And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Sounds like being cast outside the kingdom – Jesus is drawing a complete conclusion about someone who never responds to an opportunity he gives – even the opportunity to receive Christ – how many put that off forever -‘The road to hell is paved with good in tensions’

This final verse highlights the issue – Christ gives us opportunities – can act on none, a few, most, or all

Someone said this life is your CV for the next – will Jesus like your CV? What will he put you in charge of?

Before Jesus we won’t regret opportunities to make money, or marry, we’ll regret opportunities to do kingdom stuff

Don’t know gift/call – serve – can’t steer unless your’e moving – others will tell you your gift – we can be deluded

Also take note of passions, abilities, experiences – they’re in the mix – if you have a hunch, try it – but at a low level first

Society for valuable violins – gifts remain his – but he wants music that impacts your community

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