Church of the Nazarene – East Rock
What Does God Want from Me? Time
Live like the time you have is truly a gift.
Today we begin a new 4-part teaching series called “The Talents”
Throughout this series we will seek to understand and answer the question:What does God expect of me?
We believe whole heartedly that it is only by the grace and mercy of God that we can be saved. There is absolutely nothing we can ever do to EARN our salvation.
But truths such as the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God do not nullify the fact that He has expectations about how we are to live our lives.
Our teaching series is based on the parable of Jesus in Matthew 25 known as the parable of the talents.
The parable has a surprise ending for one character in the story, and it becomes clear- this is a hard truth. God’s expectations matter. The issue of how we utilize what God has given us isn’t just a nice idea, it’s not extra credit, it’s central to our life as believers.
And it has dramatic consequences one way or the other.
“Again, it will be 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. Then he went on his journey.
The “again” of verse 14 is linking this with the parables before, illustrating what the kingdom of God is like.
It’s like a man going on a journey, calling his servants or employees together and entrusting his wealth to them.
Depending on your translation what is given may be talents, silver, or like the NIV translates here “bags of gold”
The original word here is where we get the English word for talents. It was a unit of measure- in this case of money. We don’t know exactly the value of a talent; some scholars estimate the value of one talent being between 400,000-600,000 dollars.
The first two servants were given millions, and the third was given over a half million.
These were gifts entrusted to his servants. With no further instructions, the man leaves on his journey.
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.
Two of the servants take it upon themselves to utilize what they had been given. The 3rd servant takes a different approach. He takes his half million and buries it in the ground for safe keeping.
“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. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two 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. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
The first servant has put his master’s money to use and doubled it to 10 talents.
The master is well pleased and praises the servant’s efforts. “Well done good and faithful servant- I have many more things in store for you”
The second servant steps up, he also has doubled the master’s money. Again, there is increase.
Both servants were commended equally for their stewardship of the master’s money.
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 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 harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 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. “ ‘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. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The third servant is different, and Jesus wants us to see that clearly.
What we do with what we are given, always reveals the true condition of our heart. This servants’ actions are motivated by fear- and he tries to shift the blame back onto the master for his actions.
This last servant seemingly does less than the least- He could have at least put it in the bank to earn interest, but he didn’t even do that.
Had he truly known the heart of his master, he would have done SOMETHING with it. But rather he is shown to be apathetic to the desires of his master-and he receives a harsh and vivid sentence.
“Throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Seems harsh right? Friends, that’s the emphasis of this parable.
What we do with what we have been given matters to God.
He has expectations of his people to invest in his kingdom, to utilize their talents for the growth of his Kingdom.
How are you investing what God has given you?
Throughout this series, we are focusing on 4 different talents, 4 different areas of our lives and how God expects us to invest them for his glory.
We will seek to understand what God expects from us with regards to our time, our spiritual gifts, with our money, and ultimately our very lives.
While we may have different amounts of money, a wide variety of gifts and skills, there is one area that we are all equal, and that is time.
We don’t know how many days we will have, but, within each day, you know precisely how much time you have – and so do I.
Regardless of your age, social status, abilities, or even charming, good looks, you have just 24 hours everyday.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
So, what does God expect from us with our time?
That we would invest it with urgency, with intentionality.
That we would use our time for the growth of his kingdom.
That we would understand that He gives us every minute for a reason.
We’re busy, we’re tired, we’re overwhelmed- honestly most of us struggle with time in our own ways, so it’s easy for a message about time to feel overwhelming.
But the parable of the talents isn’t about doing more…achieving more. This is about giving back to him what he’s already given us.
It’s about obeying more, loving more
Every day, making the Master’s will, your will.
Updates on the new Waynesboro campus
God is inviting us to step out in faith to plant a Spanish-speaking campus in the Waynesboro community. Join us on the journey!
Check out the link below for more information and for frequent updates throughout the journey.
Giving at COTN
If you ever have questions or need help with online giving, please let us know: email@example.com Thank you for your partnership in building the Kingdom of Christ as you impact others!