Parable of Faithfulness(Matthew 25:14-30)(Luke 19:12-27) Dr. J.L. WilliamsJL, Patt & Friendswww.JLwilliams.org
Introduction This is one of the most familiar of Christ’s parables, and yet one of the least applied by so many Christians! This parable deals with what we are to be doing between now and when Christreturns. Jesus answered that question with a story about money and business! He spoke of certain “talents” that were given to several servants. And the word He used means “silver.” So the Lord Jesus used money to illustrate this principle of stewardship. In it, I see at least 10 crucial Biblical Principles to guide me in the management of ministry.
1. Principle of Apportionment • “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own servants, and entrusted his possessions to them...” (Matthew 25:14) God does the apportioning… the entrusting! He is the owner of all things. Therefore, we do not acquire by our efforts… God apportions by His grace!
2. Principle of Acquisition “What do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (I Cor. 4:7) “...no man should boast before God...just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (I Cor. 1:29, 31). “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (II Tim. 1:14) Have you humbly acknowledged the fact that He is the owner and you are the steward? We are just the stewards. His is to apportion… Ours is to accept!
3. Principle of Ability • “...to each according to his own ability...”(Matthew 25:15) So God only holds me responsible for my faithfulness according to my abilities! God only gives me responsibilities in accordance with my abilities---not my inabilities! We are not all equal in talent; but we can be equal in faithfulness!
4. Principle of Application “Immediately, the one who had received five talents went and traded with them...in the same manner the one who had received the two...” (Matthew 25:16). “He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys” (Prov. 18:9). “Delayed obedience is disobedience!” Fruitfulness follows faithfulness!
5. Principle of Attitude • “Then the man who had received the one talent 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 talent in the ground.’” (Matthew 25:24-25). It is a shame that some people spend so much time coveting what God has graciously given others…instead of applying what He has given to us! A Negative attitude results in negative actions!
6. Principle of Accountability • “Now after a long time the Master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.” (Matthew 25:19) The Bible assures us that a day of accounting is coming! We must each give an account of what He has entrusted to us! His judgments are perfect!
7. Principle of Approval “Well done, good and faithful servant...” (Matthew 25:21, 23). “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15 KJV) One of the most important places God expects ministers to be faithful is in our study and preaching of His word! Faithfulness and fruitfulness are what glorify and please God!
8. Principle of Administration • “...Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the same...” (Hebrews 12:2). With faithfulness comes increased authority to administrate greater things. The greater the responsibility the greater the joy! “...enter into the joy of your Master.” It will not always easy, but it will be joyful!
9. Principle of Antagonism • “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.” (Matthew 25:25) Two negative attitudes -anger and fear- caused his unfruitfulness and unfaithfulness. Although it is God’s talent, He expects you to do with it as if it were your own! Your God-concept will determine your motivation toward faithfulness!
10. Principle of Abundance • “For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29: c.f. 13:12). This is true in every aspect of life! “If we abuse it or don’t use it, we lose it!” The more we use our talent, the more it multiplies!
Conclusions As you have looked into the mirror of this parable, what has it revealed to you about your own heart? Do you have the heart and hands of a faithful or unfaithful servant? Is your life multiplying and bearing fruit for the Lord?
Conclusions What are you doing NOW with what He has entrusted to you? What you do for Him now will determine what He says to you then! Each of us will one day either hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant...” Or we will hear Him say in final judgment: “Youwicked and lazy servant, depart from Me...” He wants you to be faithful and fruitful for His glory!