Sun, 2019-08-04 12:02
3. Stewarding your Gifts and Talents well
We are currently studying God’s Word concerning our stewardship of our God-given gifts and talents. God has endowed each of us with a set of gifts, talents and special abilities. Along with that, He expects us to be good stewards (managers) of these gifts, and use them towards building His Kingdom.
1 Peter 4:10 (NKJV) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Sometimes we group the gifts that God has given us into three general areas:
- Our time
- Our talents
- Our treasure
In the Parable of the Minas Jesus spoke about rewards for those who faithfully serve Him. Those rewards will have their fulfilment after His 2nd Coming during His 1,000 Year Reign in His literal Kingdom on earth.
- Stewardship explained through the Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25:14–30 (NKJV) For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The meaning of this parable is similar to that of the parable of the minas. It points to the “Judgement (or Reward) Seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10–12) where Jesus will reward believers for their faithfulness in serving Him during their earthly life.
- The parable of the Talents (weight of silver) speaks about:
- A man travelling to a far country
- This man represents Jesus Christ who went to heaven to receive a kingdom for Himself (Daniel 7:13-14)
- The man’s servants
- These servants represent (mostly) Christians
- A man travelling to a far country
- Before His departure, the man (Jesus):
- Called his servants
- Gave them some silver talents according to their abilities (vs. 15)
- (these talents represent our gifts, talents and abilities)
- After a long time he returned (vs 19) to settle accounts with his servants and find out how they had handled his goods (vs. 14)
- The 1st servant with 5 talents had diligently traded with them and doubled his master’s investment
- He received:
- a commendation from His master
- a promotion to rulership to reward him for his faithfulness
- an invitation to enter “the joy of your lord” (Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom)
- He received:
- The 2nd servant with 2 talents also served diligently and doubled his master’s investment
- he received the same commendation, promotion and invitation as the 1st servant
- The 3rd servant had buried his talent and produced nothing
- he was afraid, confused, accusatory, wicked & lazy
- he received a rebuke from his master for his wickedness & laziness
- he had his talent taken from him
- he was cast into outer darkness where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
- this place of outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth indicates a place of punishment, suffering and separation
- this place can only mean “hell” since in God’s kingdom there is no outer darkness, nor any weeping and gnashing of teeth
Question: Had the 3rd servant lost his salvation?
Answer: No, his lack of genuine fruitfulness and productivity in God’s kingdom indicates a lack of true repentance and the absence of a genuine conversion. He had never come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and was never saved!
According to Jesus, there are many such people in so-called Christian circles.
Matthew 7:21–23 (NKJV) Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
- The results of our stewardship in God’s kingdom will be tested to reveal its true quality
1 Corinthians 3:11–15 (NKJV) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
- Gold, silver and precious stones are durable and permanent materials that are indicative of works of eternal value
- Wood, hay and straw are temporary and short-term materials that are indicative of works of temporary value
Revelation 1:13–14 (NKJV) … One like the Son of Man … 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.
Small Group Discussion: 3. Stewarding your Gifts and Talents well
Revelation 20:6 (NKJV) 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
- At His 2nd Coming, Jesus Christ will set up His literal kingdom on the earth, which will last for 1,000 years
- We, the resurrected saints, will rule and reign with Christ in His literal Kingdom on earth for 1,000 years
2 Timothy 2:12 (NKJV) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
The parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) speaks of two groups of people:
- Those who are diligent with their gifts and produce a return for their master
- Those who are fearful, confused, accusatory & lazy, and produce nothing
The results of our stewardship in God’s kingdom will be tested by fire to reveal its true quality.
1 Corinthians 3:13 (NKJV) Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
- What did the Holy Spirit emphasise to you during Sunday’s message? What verse of Scripture or main point seems most relevant to you right now? __________________________________________________________
- Are you stirred in your heart to review & increase your eternal productivity?
- Do you know a “lapsed” Christian who needs to be encouraged to return to the Lord and once again serve in God’s Kingdom?
Putting it into Practice:
- Find a place of service in your local church and faithfully use your God-given time, talents and treasure to serve Jesus Christ
- Reach out to a lapsed Christian that you may know, and encourage them to return to the Lord and once again serve in God’s Kingdom
- Continue to pray for, intercede and reach out to the people whose names are on your Prayer, Care and Share Card