Faithlife
Faithlife

The Tragedy of Wasted Opportunity

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:40:07
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God has given to each of us the opportunity, in varying degrees, to give glory to His name through ordained spiritual gifts and abiities. When we waste that opportunity, we lose it all.

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Main Points
Each of us are given talents according to our abilities.
God expects us to serve Him as much as the talent that He has given us.
Our joy at the coming of the Lord is in accordance with how much we have served Him today.
The unprofitable servant will lose it all!

Each of us are given talents according to our abilities.

The Talent - a measure of weight
1 talent is equal to 6,000 denarii, or 19 years of daily wage
the master has entrusted a huge sum of money to his servants
The Talent - a gift of service from God and for God
it is NOT your natural gifts/abilities or “talent”
artistic ability - singing, music playing
intellectual ability - academic excellence
financial ability - investments, etc
social ability - ability to go along with people, etc
the Spiritual abilities we receive according the measure of faith
1 Corinthians 12:4–11 NKJV
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Romans 12:3–8 NKJV
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
The confusion/deception - Christians are investing on their natural talents rather than in their spiritual abilities.
the Talents are given according to our abilities
- ability, grk.dynamis, power, strength
Matthew 25:15 NKJV
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.
Acts 1:8 NKJV
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God gave the opportunity to us according to how much we are able to work for Him.
God is most concerned with the spiritual gifts that He has placed in our lives.

God expects us to serve Him as much as He has given to us.

How much was given to you - serve Him that much!
2 Corinthians 10:13–15 NKJV
We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
Luke 12:48 NKJV
But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Even the single talent is a huge measure to us.

Our joy at the coming of the Lord is in accordance with how much we have served Him

We will rejoice when we know we have served God "faithfully”!
we did what was commanded of us.
- doing so…
Matthew 24:45–46 NKJV
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
Matthew 24:45–46 NKJV
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
Matthew 24:45–47 NKJV
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
- serving…suffering…be glad with exceeding joy!
1 Peter 4:12–13 NKJV
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
We will rejoice because we know we have served God “fruitfully”!
the talents returned as much the investment.
Colossians 1:10 NKJV
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Right - according to the spiritual gift in us.
Right - according to the spiritual gift in us.
Right - according to the spiritual gift in us.
John 15:8 NKJV
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

The unprofitable servant will lose it all!

He was unfruitful.
Matthew 25:26 NKJV
“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.
He was disrespectful.
Matthew 25:25 NKJV
And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
He was lazy and wicked
Matthew 25:26 NKJV
“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.
He lost it all!
- what was left was taken away
Matthew 25:28–29 NKJV
So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘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.
- he was cast into outer darkness
Outer darkness -separation from God
weeping and gnashing of teeth - remorse/regret and trauma of knowing you missed and failed!
Matthew 25:30 NKJV
And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Outer darkness -separation from God
weeping and gnashing of teeth - remorse/regret and trauma of knowing you missed and failed!
weeping and gnashing of teeth - remorse/regret and trauma of knowing you missed and failed!
Conclusion

What have you been doing with the talents in your life?

Don’t wait till you’ve “buried your father”
- don’t wait till you’ve buried your father
Luke 9:59 NKJV
Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Don’t wait till you’re old and weak.
- don’t wait till you’re old and weak
Ecclesiastes 12:1–7 NKJV
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain; In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim; When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low. Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Do not invest your time and strength on your natural gifts or talents.
Invest them in the spiritual gifts in your life.
Gifts of the Spirit
Wisdom and revelation of the Word of God
God will expect to gain honor out of your life - your time, your strength, your resources!
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