Sermon: Make The Most of Your Resources


Summary:  We need to be ready for the final stage of God's Kingdom by using the resources God has entrusted to us as his ambassadors to serve and minister in the ministry of reconciliation


Text:  Mt 25:1-46


Scripture Reading:  Heb 12:26-29



1.  Are you ready?  An earthquake is coming!

a.     Will your house stand?  Will you stand?  Earthquake insurance?

b.     Scripture reading reminds us that whole world is on the fault line

c.     The only thing to withstand the earthquake - Kingdom of God

2.  Been thinking about the theme for the retreat - Building the Kingdom

a.     Only the kingdom of God build on an eternal foundation - Jesus

b.     Conclusion - I want to be in the Kingdom of God, not of world

c.     We live in two worlds - Kingdom of God & of the world

d.     But can only have one loyalty - Kingdom of God, or of the World

3.  Question - Am I ready for the earthquake

a.     The message of readiness is part of the message of the Kingdom

b.     Jesus deals with this in Mt 24:42-46 - Do not know the day or hour

c.     Then, Jesus tells 3 stories to illustrate what this is like


I. Kingdom is like 10 virgins/maidens (Mt 25:1-13)

A. Closer look at elements of this story

1. Everyone is waiting for the bridegroom/Jesus - Do not know when

2. 5 brought extra oil, 5 did not

a. 5 were running out of oil & could not borrow from others

b. You can't rely on preparedness of others

c. You have to prepare for yourself

B. Point: We need to always be ready

1. Long time goes by, easy to fall asleep - spiritually & emotionally

a. In other words, become complacent

b. No longer think of coming earthquake

c. Become careless, no longer prepared

2. Need to stay in readiness, alert, prepared

3. His coming will be like labor pains

C. ILL:  Reminds me of birth of our first child

1. We spent time preparing

a. Doctor appointments

b. Prepared a room for the baby, furniture, diapers, etc

c. Lamaze classes

d. Even kept a bag packed

2. It was a good thing, lost my head, forgot how to get to hospital

3. But grabbed bag, arrived at hospital, few hours later, baby boy

4. All went well because we were ready

D. That is the point - Get prepared, and stay prepared

1. Jesus is coming, just like he said he would

2. We don't know when, but he will

3. We need to be ready

4. *Jesus tells another story to focus the message even more..


II. (Mt 25:14-30) Kingdom is Like Being Given Bags of Gold

A. This story has several things in common with the 10 virgins

1. A long time passes by before master returns

2. Don't know when he will return

3. Need to be ready - Story tells us how to be ready. .

B. Closer look at some elements of this story

1. Master entrusted bags of gold to his servants

a. Think about the term - servant - purpose to serve the master

b. He gives HIS bags of gold - He is the owner

c. Servants need to remember it is not theirs, it belongs to the master

2. Master entrusted bags of gold

a. Older translations said "talents" - Which was a weight

b. What is a talent?  - 75 pounds of gold - 20 years wages

i 5 talents = 100 years of wages - 5 million dollars

ii 2 talents = 40 years of wages - 2 million dollars

iii 1 talent = 20 years of wages - 1 million dollars

c. Bags of Gold better communicates the sheer value

d. Way Jesus tells story, God entrusts great value to us

3. Master expects his servants to DO something good with it

a. It is not just for safekeeping untouched

b. Master expects it to be used for some kind of return

c. The 1 servant who buried his million dollars condemned

i Returned it untouched and unused

ii V.26 - Master called him a wicked, lazy servant

4. God rewards us when we do something good with it

a. V.21 - Well done, good and faithful servant

b. Since you have been faithful, will give your more

c. Got a promotion

C. ILL:  It is as if we are all investment banker

1. Many of us have retirement and other accounts

2. We entrust them to someone who is expected to get a return

3. That is what God expects of us

D. So, what do the bags of gold represent?

1. Do talents refer to our abilities?  Sing, teach, art, build, etc.?

2. Does this refer to evangelism? Bring people to Christ?

3. Consider these passages

a. 1 Pet 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

b. 1 Peter 1:18-19 - 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ,

c. 2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us [d]by His own glory and [e]excellence. 4 [f]For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

4. What is precious? Jesus, his blood, his promises.  Why?

a. Who does God want to trust in the cornerstone?  Us

b. Who was Jesus' precious blood given for?  Us

c. Who were the precious promises given to?  Us

d. *The next story focuses the message even more. .


III. Kingdom of God is Like Sheep & Goats (v.31-46)

A. Elements of the story

1. Separation process - Sheep & Goats - Judgment

2. Sheep are blessed by the Father

a. Because work in Kingdom now, inherit heavenly kingdom

b. They used resources to serve & minister to least of these brothers of Christ

i Hungry & thirsty - Food and drink

ii Stranger - Welcoming & inviting

iii Needy for clothes - Clothed them

iv Sick - Look after those who were sick

v In Prison - Visited (probably provide necessities)

c. Brethren were often destitute due to conversion

i Disowned from family, trade guild, prison

ii Brethren are to look after them

d. Their service to the brethren is service to Christ

3. Goats are cursed by the Father

a. Because they did not serve, eternal punishment

b. They did not serve and minister to the least of these

c. Their lack of service was refusal to serve Christ

B. Although this parable seems to apply specifically to brethren, I think we can extend the principle to all people

1. Mt 22:36-40 - Great commandment has two parts

a. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind

b. Love your neighbor as yourself

c. Mt 10:29 - Who is my neighbor? Parable of Good Samaritan says it is Anyone in need

2. This is why Gal 6:9-10 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers

a. Brethren are priority, we care for each other

b. But we are to do good to all people

3. We see this example in God - John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life

C. Point: People are precious to God

1. Look at the progression of Jesus' 3 stories

a. Be ready, the Lord is coming back

b. In the meantime, he entrusted you with great value

c. What is precious to God are people, created in his image

2. This means that Kingdom Work is People Work

a. Jn 17:6 - "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world." - Jesus' Kingdom Work is People Work

b. Mt 4:23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the [k]gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. 24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, [l]epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

c. Gospel of the Kingdom is People Work

3. (2 Cor 5:18-20) God entrusts people work to us

a. 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

b. Why are we Ambassadors? - We represent His Kingdom

c. He has entrusted to us - Ministry of Reconciliation - precious

D. As we engage in Kingdom/People Work - He will return

1. And he will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master

2. Or, he will say, "You wicked and lazy servant, throw him out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping ang gnashing of teeth"

3. Mt 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.

a. When he returns, he wants to find us busy doing Kingdom Work

b. Kingdom Work is People Work



1.  Can sum up: We need to be ready for his return by utilizing the precious value God has entrusted to us to minister to people

2.  He has entrusted a ministry and a message to us for people (inv)

3.  Last call for surveys

a.     Want to move beyond hearing the word to doing the word

b.     How can we translate this to a specific plan of action

c.     We are all part of the body of Christ

                                                    i.     We not just a bunch of disconnected individuals

                                                   ii.     It involves all of us - that's why the survey

                                                 iii.     Need more surveys back, only got 10

d.     Will get together as the body of Christ, brainstorm, prayerfully choose next kingdom project that we can focus on