Offer your best to God
Matthew 25:14-30; BCBC/IOUC; 5/9/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
What is the best in your life? You may think you know a little bit if you are not asked. While you may realize that you have no idea at all when you asked. Yeah, how do you make the best wording? Today’s scripture brings us to this question, how does the Bible look at it? What is Jesus talking about? What instruction does the actions of the three servants teach us? Let’s look at the first point:
Offerings were not depending by the amount
More and less, this is a topic that has influenced us for thousands of years and the scripture today shine light on this topic as well. May I ask you:, does today’s scripture touch you? First, no matter what the amount is, it is entrusted by God. Our question is we remembered the quantity, while forgetting what was entrusted by the Lord, right? The three servants all came to the Lord and were given money in different amounts. How would you respond if you were there? Would the servant who received five bags of silver say, “Look, the master looks highly of me!” Several times more money than the two of you! The servant who was allocated two bags of silver thought to myself, I am less than the best, while I am more than the worst! People who have got one bag of silver might say, it doesn’t matter, it’s a fact that I have little ability and not so capable. It’s true that I have little ability and not so capable, but I am stable! I buried the silver under the ground and waited steadily for the owner to come back to fetch it. It will not be short of a penny! Don’t you know that the focus here is God’s entrusting, not how much! The number of church attendance is often used to measure the value of a pastor and a church. Isn’t it? Do you think so as well?
Second, no matter what the size is, it is the gift given by God. It is not doubt that each one has different talents and gifts. But what is our focus? Is it the size of the gifts and talents, or the will of the gifts and talents the Lord has given us? There are two attitudes towards people who are more talented and gifted than oneself. One is the servant who receives two bags of silver. His focus is up on to the servant who receives five bags of silver. He didn’t give up on himself, instead he observed carefully and found that the master’s mind towards the servant was “multiply in size”. He set a goal to increase the two bags to four bags. The second is the servant who received one bag of silver. I thought that anyway, the master assigned me the least amount of money, and he was such a stern master, so I was scared when I even think about it. I would rather hide the silver under the ground, instead of losing to make the master angry! As a result, we all know that he really provokes the wrath of God! This is just like those who think they are saved, holding a train ticket to heaven, and sleep at home, right?
Lastly, no matter whenmo the time is, we all need to give account to God. I have got the money, but when the lord will come back? The best thing is to come back early and I will return the one bag off silver buried in the ground to him quickly, so that I can report my duty! Therefore, there are always people who keep asking: Lord, when will you come back? It seems they love the Lord, but never to preach the gospel! He often guesses in which year the Lord will come back, and which day will come at my door to pick him up and return to heaven. Many people may have such thoughts, don’t they? In fact, “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. (Matthew 25:19)” The point is not how long the time has passed, but no matter how long the time has passed, the master will come back, and you don’t know when he will come back! Therefore, accounting to the master is the core value here. May I ask you, are you ready? Let’s look at the second point:
Offerings should be based on faithfulness
The Lord will come back, the Lord will come again, and the Lord will come soon. These are the core values of our belief, right? If we have problem with the core values, we are then not children of God at all! Today’s parable tells us that now the Lord has finally returned, and he wants to clear the account with the servants. How does he settle accounts? First, to tell God what has been done. The Lord has returned, and the servant probably has no excuses for denying and laziness anymore? The Lord is light, and the darkness of all people has no place to hide before the Lord, right? It’s very simple. Five thousand made five thousand, two thousand made two thousand, and one thousand did not make a penny. If you say yes, if you don’t say no, if you say too much, it’s because of the evil one. The first two servants only said what it was, and did not say much. However, the servant who received one bag of silver had a lot of additional words. Obviously he didn’t work hard, but instead blamed the master for being a “hard-hearted” person. “hard-hearted” in the original text means strict, even ruthless! What he did is similar to Adam and Eve, right? Obviously, he ate the forbidden fruit, but it was the woman that God created that asked him to eat it, and the snake that God created told her to eat it. The snake has no one to blame, he was cursed to walk on his belly!
Second, to reward or punish according to the deeds. A man reaps what he sows. The number of rewards for servants of five bags and two bags is the same: 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!’ (Matthew 25:21,23) “I checked the original text, the two sentences are exactly the same word by word! The master said to the servant of one bag: “You wicked, lazy servant! (Matthew 25:26)” We may not be ready yet , How could the Lord’s judgment be so severe? In fact, it’s not over yet. The scripture tells us that the final outcome is “throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30) ” We should understand the problem carefully. You need to know what the consequences are and to make a decision, right?
Lastly, what God wants is faithfulness. In fact, the truth is very simple. The Lord gave his life for you, but you are still with the narrow view. The Lord wants your faithfulness, but you never give your heart to the Lord. What’s the point of your coming to the light of the Lord? The essence of the relationship between God and man is to have the heart of Christ as the heart. Jesus said that those who love me will obey my commands. Will you? In fact, those five thousand bags and two thousand bags are just doubled in growth. The Bible calls it “You have been faithful with a few things. God calls you “good and faithful servant”, and even “Come and share your master’s happiness. Are you loyal to the master? Let’s look at the third point:
The offering must be the best
Let’s come back to the question asked at the beginning of today’s sermon: What is the best in our life? First, be responsible to God’s wealth. After Adam was created, the Lord God brought him before all the things he created, and taught him one by one the knowledge of all things, and the eternal power and divinity of God. God entrusted the fruit of the tree in the garden that could recognize good and evil to that person and left. The kingdom of heaven will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. (Matthew 25:14) “It took a while before God came to settle accounts with people. We believe in the Lord, and we are also waiting for the Lord’s return. When He comes again, he will ask us for this account. How we are responsible for God’s wealth must be clear to God. God will see if our lives are commensurate with the gospel we believe.
Second, put in effort to God’s heavenly kingdom. No matter how much God has given us, we should always work hard! Just look at God, don’t look at people! Maybe one has five thousand, and another has ten thousand, but what’s that with me? Either one thousand or two thousand is given to me, and I will use my heart to multiply it. Don’t always look at others with envy, or even jealousy from heart, bitterness from spirit, full of curse. A person who is working towards God and the kingdom of heaven has no time to complain, or even to talk nonsense. A person lives focusing on God, always projects his inner light to the exterior., bears the fruit of the Spirit, loves to share the gospel, and always projects his inner light to the exterior. gospel, do you agree?
Lastly, be watchful to God’s time. This is important, and it should be talked separately. A few days ago, someone suggested that people from Eastern Lightening or Almighty God came to the church to disrupt. In their doctrines they defined three periods of human history: the law period, the grace period, and the kingdom period. It is terrible that their doctrine set a time limit of six thousand years for human history, which is almost equivalent to limiting the time of God. But what God said was very clear. No one knew that day, not even the son! When you respect God, you are giving your best to God!
Dear brothers and sisters, offer the best to God, means no matter what the amount is, what the size is, or when to offer, we all should be faithful to God. What God wants is for us to be responsible to Him, to put effort in everything, and be watchful! Are you willing to?
Let us pray together……