Stewardship

STEWARDSHIP: Talents

STEWARDSHIP: Talents full sermon manuscript

STEWARDSHIP: Talents

Matthew 25:14-30

July 29, 2018

Pastor Ben Marshall

There was a master, a boss, who went on a journey and entrusted a certain amount of money, or talents, to three different servants (a talent was worth about twenty years’ wages for a day laborer). Remember, this is a parable. The master was Jesus, and the journey the master went on was the time between when Jesus walked on the earth and when He will return to the earth. The master knew the three servants well, and they were seen as professing believers in Jesus Christ.

The passage says, at the end of verse 15, to each according to his ability. The master knew his servants and gave to each one of them according to their ability to handle the talent or talents he had given them. In the same way, God knows you better than you know yourself. He has entrusted you with the proper measure of responsibility according to your ability.[1] The point of this parable is not the amount of talents each servant has (but isn’t that so often what we focus on? That comparison game is deadly, paralyzing, and sinful). The point is this: “What are you doing with the responsibility you’ve been given?” We’ve been given gifts and abilities. We have passion points and things we get geeked up about. How are we using those things deeply wired into us for the glory of God?

The point of the message today is this: God gifted you to glorify Himself. When He returns, be found being faithful stewards of what He has gifted you with.

What talents has God blessed you with? What are you most passionate about? Use that for the glory of God.    

How are you using the talents with which God has blessed you? How should/could you use them for the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?    

For whom are you using your talents? Whose Kingdom are you trying to build? (Colossians 3:17, 23-24).

If Christ were to return one minute from now, would He find that you have been faithful with the treasure, time, testimony, troubles, and talents with which He has blessed you? If yes, keep it up! Don’t grow weary in doing good! If no, not sure, maybe—step up! Realize you will give a reckoning for the way you have lived out your faith. You will give an account for your faithfulness or faithlessness to the gifts God has given you.

Take a risk. Use your talent. Do what God has given you a passion for. The first two servants we read about didn’t just use part of what they had been given—they were all in! They fully used all God had blessed them with and didn’t hold back. That’s risky!

I believe when God gives us a passion (that lines up with Scripture and furthers the Kingdom of God), He is sharing a piece of His heart, what He cares about, with us and empowering us to be His hands and feet and mouthpiece here on earth through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where has the Father broken your heart for what breaks His? Get after it and use your talents for His glory. Remember, God gifted you to glorify Himself. Be found being faithful stewards of God’s blessings.   

 

[1] “God knows intimately the abilities, gifts, opportunities, and circumstances of every person, and He graciously assigns responsibilities accordingly.” (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 24-28, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), 100).

STEWARDSHIP: Testimony

Today we continue our Stewardship series talking about our testimony. A testimony is the story of our faith and life. When we talk about stewardship of our testimony, we are going to focus on three parts: the testimony of our salvation, the testimony of our sanctification, and the testimony of our reputation.

There are three questions we can ask, one with each of the three parts. We can ask, "How did I meet God?" regarding our testimony of salvation; "What is the Lord doing in my life today?" regarding our testimony of sanctification; and "What do people think of Christ when they look at my life?" regarding the testimony of our reputation.

STEWARDSHIP: Time

Stewardship of Time full sermon manuscript

STEWARDSHIP: Time

Assorted Passages

July 1, 2018

Pastor Ben Marshall

 

Time. Time is one of those things we are not sure what to do with. It’s often one of the things that we wish we had more of, because the task list is always longer than the hour we have.

Have you ever wished you had more time to get done the things you needed to get done?

We are overworked and underrested. We are an exhausted people.

We must no longer brag about not keeping the Sabbath, proclaiming to all how busy and full our schedule is. Instead, we must remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. If we believe "God alone is sovereign, and the Bible is His inspired Word and the final authority for my life,” we must take seriously what the Bible says about work and what the Bible says about Sabbath rest.

The Sabbath rest (literally meaning to rest from labor), was instituted before sin entered the world. God wove rest into the very fabric of Creation. God also wove work into the very fabric of Creation. Both were commanded before the Ten Commandments and even before sin entered the world.

Work is good, and rest is good.But, work without rest is not good, and rest without work is not good. The main point of this message is: "You have too much to do to not rest."

Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, Exodus 31:12,17 reveal the institution of the Sabbath and the remembrance and commanding of Sabbath-keeping from God to the Israelites.

Matthew 9:38, 12:8 and Mark 2:27-28 reveal that Jesus renews this Sabbath-keeping covenant, and is Himself the lord of the Sabbath and the lord of the Harvest (work).

Sabbath isn’t a rest from every possible thing that could be considered work. It is a rest from the kind of normal work and activity that the other six days of the week are given to. 

If you don't choose to rest, the decision will be made for you.

There will always be excuses. There will always be more on the to-do list. One author wrote: “Sabbath is not the break we’re allotted at the tail end of completing all our tasks and chores, the fulfillment of all our obligations. It’s the rest we take smack-dab in the middle of them, without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than God told us we could.”[1]

 

[1] Mark Buchanan, in A.J. Swoboda’s Subversive Sabbath, 36.