Background: Matthew 25:14-30
Key Verse: 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. Matthew 25:29 ESV
Imagine being asked to display your talent for the church festival. However, you are so fearful. You do not know what will happen. What if people laughed? What if it is not as good as your friends? Because you do not know what would happen, you opt out of displaying your talent at the festival. Later, you learn that the church wanted to promote someone with your talent to a new position. You really wanted that position, but you lacked the boldness of faith to carry out the simplest request. Now that position has gone to someone else. Will you ever receive another chance?
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares a parable about the kingdom of heaven. A landowner gives three of his servants varying amounts of talents, which was money. To one he gave five. To one, he gave two, and to the third, he gave one. Each received according to their ability. The one who had five made five more. The one who had two made two more, but the one who had one buried the one.
When the landowner returned to inquire of what he had given to the servants, the one who had five talents presented ten talents. The landowner replied that the servant had done well and that he could receive the reward. The one who had two talents presented four talents. The landowner was please and replied that the servant had done well and that he could receive the reward. The one who had one returned the one talent and tried to excuse his behavior. He said that the landowner was a hard man, collecting the profits for work he had not done. Then, he admitted that he was afraid, but he felt satisfied in returning what the landowner had given him. The landowner called the servant with the one talent wicked and lazy. Then, he took the one talent and gave it to the one with the ten talents.
Jesus illustrates two points. The person who has more and willingly invested it wisely will receive even more. Yet, the person who does not have will lose even what he has. Everyone has something to give to enrich the kingdom of God. Those who use what they have to enrich the kingdom of God will receive the promised reward. But those who choose not to use what they have been given to enrich the kingdom of God will receive eternal punishment.
- In the parable, talents are money, but they can represent anything you can invest. What are some talents, gifts, abilities, or possessions you can use to enrich God’s kingdom?
- What are some excuses people use to withhold what they have from enriching God’s kingdom?
- How do you get past the excuses and move forward to do what God wants you to do?
- The servant with the one talent accused the landowner of receiving the profits for which he did not work. What critical piece of information did this servant forget?
- Who blesses us with our talents, gifts, abilities, and possessions? Do you believe what you have has a purpose?
- Have you ever displayed one talent, gift, or ability to discover you had more?
- Have you ever noticed that some people have many talents, abilities, or gifts? Why is that?
- What has held you back from using what God has given you? How will that change after hearing this parable?
- Do you have a goal to use one of your God-given talents, gifts, abilities, or possessions to enrich God’s kingdom? What is it, and how will you use it? How can we support you?
- Ultimately, we all must give an account of what God has given us to use. What do you want to hear God say to you in the end?
What does the bible say about using what you have?
- As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV
- Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. Proverbs 25:14 ESV
- A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. Proverbs 18:16 ESV
- Remember who supplies your talents, gifts, abilities, and possessions. Without God giving to you, you would not have it to invest.
- The purpose of your talents, gifts, abilities, and possessions is to display the glory of God. Ask yourself if you are doing this with what God has given you.
- Whatever you have, invest it wisely, and your return shall be great!