“BEING A GOOD SERVANT” TALK notes FOR 27TH OCT 2019


Being a good servant

Talk for 27th Oct 2019

Readings – 2 Peter 1 3-11; Matthew 25 14-30; Psalm 145

Do we use the gifts we have as Christians?    Can others feed from us?        Are we fruitful, increasing the masters wealth?

Being a good servant

This links with Tim’s talk on Doubting and Roberts last week on a Harvest of Peace. This is amazing as we each choose what was on our hearts to talk about separately.

Isn’t God just so amazing so wonderful?

 

  • If I gave you £1k what would you do with it, if you knew you had to give account of it at some time in the future?

How about 5k or 10k?

This has been done with children being given £10 to start with and its often quite interesting just what they did with it and how much more they made. Making things then going round neighbours selling it, or providing a service.

Jesus wants us to be good servants, using the gifts we are given with boldness.

 

  • Jesus told a story about three servants and what they did with the gift given to them to show how citizens of His Kingdom should be.

 

It might seem strange to be talking about us as Gods servants when we also talk about being His children.

 

I see it this way, we are Adopted children of God and so his children.

However we are also his workers or servants expected to expand His kingdom.

 

It is possible to be a worker in your parents business and still be their loved child.

 

So I believe that being a servant and a child of god are not incompatible.

A wife loves her husband but also serves him and vice versa

Children love their parents and make them breakfast, serving them in that way.

In Roman families all worked to improve the family name and dignity of the head of the family

We can both be a child of god and part of His workforce; in fact I think that is the whole point, as we are adopted into His family we also become part of the family’s workforce.

 

 

  • Let’s think about this story in a different way.

Rather than getting caught up in thinking about gold, money etc. rather let’s think about it as Jesus was in how people work for their master.

So who is our master?

 

Jesus is isn’t he?

 

Jesus wants us to think about how we use the gifts we have received by the Holy Spirit.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Are we using them to grow in faith and to expand His kingdom and His dignity or just sitting on them?

 

He expects us to show a return for the gift of the Holy Spirit and our place in His family.

Even a small return to better than not using what we have been given at all.

 

In Hebrews Paul says ‘So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do Gods will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.’   Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT

 

  • Jesus said this would be hard when He talked about the narrow gate

Luke 13 22-30

He said to them, 24 ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.”
‘But he will answer, “I don’t know you or where you come from.”
26 ‘Then you will say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”
27 ‘But he will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”

 

Daniel McGinnis says –

“After Jesus emphasises the smallness of the way the kingdom begins in a person’s life, yet the many who will feed on it, someone asks him whether only a few will be saved. This is a highly relevant question, which Jesus makes personal. Christians often talk about seeing Christ in another person, such as the stranger in need, and yet here the focus shifts to us instead and whether our lives will be filled with enough faith and love and hope to be saved.

Jesus’ answer is challenging. He emphasises that it is not enough to eat or drink with him, or to listen to his teaching; his response to these people will be ‘I don’t know you’ (v 27). It seems it is not enough to attend church services, to listen to many sermons, even to participate in communion. Going through religious motions is not adequate. Mere familiarity with Christ is clearly not sufficient. Many of these who assume they are first in line will have actually become last. These are the ones who will end up in a distressing place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

By contrast, what Jesus emphasises is a knowing, an intimacy of real relationship. This passage is provocative, pointing us firmly towards a kind of relationship with Christ that is so different from ritual, proximity or religiosity. This is religion of the heart, which allows Christ to know us deeply and intimately. Jesus clarifies that these are the kinds of people who will be able to enter through the narrow door into the feast in the kingdom of God.

This is a clear call to focus on our personal relationships with Jesus – the way we know him and he knows us. “

 

 

·         Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

Luke 13

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

 

Again Jesus is looking for the fruit from a follower.

God will give us time to grow and mature ready to bear fruit, but we must bear fruit.

Fruit shows we are really a follower of Jesus and part of the tree.

 

From

Luke 3   Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

 

John 15   “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

 

John 15            8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

 

Romans 7 Paul says    So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

 

Service is always more important in God’s kingdom than status or recognition. We need to be producing fruit; it shows that we really are part of Gods family not just looking on.

 

 

  • 2 Peter 3 From the Message

3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!

We have been given an invite into the family of God, an invitation to become a family member.

 

We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.

Peter is telling us how we need to live growing in faith and influencing others into faith as well.

 

Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

The invite removes all your past failures and errors, you start in this family with a clean slate.

 

10-11 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Our salvation is not based on our works but our works shows if we have been really saved.

 

 

  • If you were given a great job with great benefits, would you just stay at home with your feet up telling everyone what a great job you had?

No you would go and enjoy working at this job, the one you always wanted with all the benefits you need and then you would show people what a great boss you worked for.

This is what Jesus is getting at.

We have been give the great gift of salvation and entrance into the family of God

However that comes with responsibilities,

The responsibility to improve yourself with the help of the Holy Spirit, who will help overcome your doubts and enable you to grow in faith.

The responsibility to work for the family of god, showing others the wonders of belonging to the family of god.

 

Let us pray together.

Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as I grow in faith.

Holy Spirit I pray that this day you will help me be a good servant and increase the size of the family by working hard for God, bringing glory to Jesus.

Amen

 

 

 

If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him’ (CT Studd, 1860–1931). Do we sometimes calculate the possible rewards of doing something for God, rather than acting because of his great sacrifice of love for us?

Matthew 25

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[b] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![c]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

2 Peter 3

Growing in Faith

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters,[c] work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

From the Message

Don’t Put It Off

3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

10-11 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

News sheet

Being a good servant

In some schools children have been given £10 and told to use it to make more, most make things and go round selling to the neighbours some do very well. It’s not about how much they make but the confidence and learning that come from it. They learn the value of things and grow.

 

Today we are looking at the Parable of the Three Servants [1] in this parable 3 servants are given money to look after, just like the school children, while their master goes away. Two used that gift to make more the other didn’t.

Jesus has given each of us a gift, the gift of salvation and eternal life, it wasn’t something we bought rather it was a gift. However Jesus does expect to see that gift used and used to further his kingdom.

Peter says ‘So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, [improving yourself and grow in faith pleasing God] and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ [2] It’s also like the Parable of the Fig Tree [3] how long would you leave an un-fruiting tree in your garden? What’s its point if it doesn’t give fruit?

Does the gift Jesus gave you bear fruit or is it something no one sees?

 

[1] Matthew 25 NLT  [2] 2 Peter 3 10-11 Message version [3] Luke 13 6-9

 

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