Helping the Hurting & Hopeless

Sermon by: Pastor Bryan


Introduction

Have you ever seen someone in need and gotten this feeling in your gut that you need to do something? Maybe you were out in a park and noticed someone crying or they seemed to be distressed. You may have been in the grocery store and just got a sense that someone you passed was hurting. Or driving down the road you noticed a man holding a sign that said hungry, please help. What did you do? Did you follow your instinct and approach the person or did you suppress the feeling and just move on? If you moved on, can you identify why you didn’t help?

We are going to examine helping the hurting and hopeless based on God’s expectation and how we can live this out as a church body and individually.

Refresher From Last Week

We are continuing a four week sermon series on our Church Mission.  Each week we are examining a piece of our mission statement. We are doing this to help everyone have a firm understanding as to why Community Church exists. Our mission statement is:To grow a strong, united church family, to help the hurting and hopeless, to teach people about Jesus and help them grow in their faith and to impact our community for Christ by reaching out in love.

Last week we discussed the first part of our mission statement, To grow a strong, united church family. This week we are examining what it means to help the hurting and hopeless.

Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30

 

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘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. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Scripture Examined

Verse 14

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

In this parable the man traveling on a long journey represents Jesus. His servants represent all who follow Him. The Bible teaches that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here. John the Baptist announced it as being “at hand” (Mat 3:1-2). Jesus taught this as well, but also that the Kingdom of Heaven is living within every believers (Luke 17:20-2).

This parable is teaching how we should live right now, not in the future.

Verse 15

15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

The talents represent the financial resources, gifts, privileges, and opportunities that Jesus entrusts in his disciples while He is away.

Verses 16-18

16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

Why is there such a contrast between the servants? Two of the servants used what they had been given and doubled the talents. However, the one who had been given the least took what he had been given and buried it. He didn’t use what he had been given at all. This is a representation of what we do with what God has already given us. It’s apparent that the man traveling knew his servants well since the one he gave the least did as predicted. It also gives us the idea that the two servants that doubled what they had been given had a relationship with their master and understood what his expectation was while away. The servant who buried the talent didn’t know his master at all.

Verse 19

19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

When Christ returns (Second Coming) He will settle accounts with us. We see this described in Matthew 25 31-40.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

When Jesus returns to see what we did with the talents He gave us he has an expectation that we were good stewards. Furthermore, as seen in this scripture He expects us to tend to the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and imprisoned.

Verses 20-23

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

The servants were happy to report they had reaped a good harvest with what was entrusted in them. They were never told they would be rewarded for their good stewardship with the talents left with them. They did what they did because they knew their Lord and understood his expectation. We see that the master rewarded their efforts by giving them even more.  We also see that being faithful stewards of what God has entrusted with us brings JOY to our lives (enter into the joy of the Lord).

Verses 24-25

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

Obviously this servant only thought he knew the master. Had he really known him, known the expectation and known what was at risk, certainly he would have made better use of what he had been given.

Verses 26-30

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

 29 ‘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. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The master says; if you really knew me why didn’t you do better? At the very least you could have deposited it into the bank. This could be interpreted as invest it into someone else’s ministry. If you aren’t planning on helping people with what I’ve given you at the very least I want you to give to those who do.  The very least of the masters expectation is to give financially to help those who are helping others. Tithe to your church.

How can we be good stewards of what God has given us?

  1. Give financially to the Church

This is a basic principle. God provides for you financially and we are good stewards of our finances and give back to help our church ministries.

  1. Use the talents God has given you to meet God’s expectations until His return

If you are burying your talents you are missing out on what God has for you.

~Amen

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