Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series “parables: secrets to the kingdom of heaven” with “Judgement or Reward”:
When we receive the Kingdom, when we acknowledge God’s reign and the salvation that it brings into our lives, we’re also accepting the responsibility that comes with naming Christ as the King of our lives.
When we become citizens of the Kingdom we get enlisted in Kingdom purposes.
How well we get on with the purposes of the Kingdom in our life will mean either judgement or reward.
We need to be:
- Wise in the way we live because we don’t know the hour of the Lord’s return
- Watchful as we don’t want to miss the hour because we have been unprepared
- Faithful while we’re waiting because there will be a reckoning on how we have used our time
The first two servants in the parable of the talents honoured the gift that they were given as a way of honouring their Master. In that way they act out of love.
The one-talented servant dishonoured the gift and his Master and therefore acted in fear.
Henri Nouwen said, “Fear always leads to sterility. Fear only ever results in unfruitfulness.”
Love only produces more.
Even though they are given different amounts, isn’t the reward exactly the same? The Kingdom says, “You do what God asks you to do and all that God has for all of us is yours.”
When it comes to reward it doesn’t matter what you’ve been given, it matters what you do with it. The reward is the same and faithfulness is the key.
That means there is no room for comparison with others.
The Kingdom’s secret is this – it doesn’t matter what your gifts are, your resources, your abilities or your opportunities. What matters is what you do with them.
The one talent is an opportunity; the two talents is an opportunity; the five talents is an opportunity to do more with it.
We are provided the same occasion to do something with them, something that God has for us to do in this world.
Comparing will not do anything for us except take our eyes off the Giver of the gift and cause us to focus on lesser things.
Run your own race. Don’t be looking to the left or right.
One talent is different than five, but they both represent opportunity. Even the person who is struggling and seems to have less can make more of their lives, but we tend to diminish people.
You can have all the potential in the world and God has given us all the potential we are meant to have for our world and yet if we bury it, it might as well be a stone buried in the ground, it’s just left there.
God cares deeply that we become all that we are meant to be and we steward what we have been given to the highest form of flourishing – that’s what faithfulness looks like and that’s what reward will be based on.
There are three truths:
- There is a day of reckoning coming. God expects a return on the investment He made in you. Are you honouring the gift as a way of honouring the Giver?
- When we are given gifts, we need to recognize our limits as well as our potential. You’re not meant to do everything, but you are meant to do something with your life with what you’ve been given. When you’re not stewarding your gift, you are not becoming your true self. You are not only taking away from you, you are taking away from the very people that God intended for you to serve while you are here. It not only hurts you, it hurts those that God intended to serve through you.
- Your calling in life is not achieved, your calling in life is received. Are there some things that just cause you to be on fire and truly alive? That’s who you were meant to be. Let your life speak. Listen to what inspires you, to what directs you, to what empowers you and therefore blesses others in the process. Are you listening to the Voice of the One who knows you and called you from eternity past, the One who set you apart as His beloved? Are you listening to what He is saying to you as He hands you that portfolio and says, “This is what I’ve tasked you to do with your life?”