The Text the morning is from: Matthew 25: 14-30
You know, there are many good people, nice people with potential service for God. The only thing is they never move from potential to productive. It is kind of like the car that’s transmission is stuck in neutral; the motor sounds impressive, the lights radio and horn are all in working condition, new tires, but the only problem is that it is not going anywhere. The 3rd servant in the parable is the same way. He looks at the master and says I did not do anything. I hid the one talent and never put it to use, never allowed you to gain any glory. He had the talent, he had the blessing of the master, he had the opportunity, he had the potential but never moved over to productive.
So let’s talk a bit about Productive Service - What good is a fruit tree that does not produce fruit. We must realize that God will judge our lack of action just as much as He does our actions. 1 Corinthians 3:13 tells us….Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:14 goes on to say….If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:15 tells us….If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. God desires for us to dream dreams & to have visions and goals in our lives for the Kingdom.
- It takes a vision in our soul to be productive
- It takes a dream before us day and night to produce fruit
- It takes a goal set before us to give us the drive and determination that we need to produce gold, silver and precious stones
One of my favorite plays is by Tennessee Williams and is called – The Glass Ménage Erie – There is a woman character….she is a sad little soul….and a good example of not using your potential….She is expecting a gentleman caller to ring her door bell, fall in love at first sight, and marry her. But she does nothing to attract any young men to the door. She simply sits & waits as life passes her by.
God has called us to labor;
- He has equipped us for the call
- He has blessed us for the service
- He has give us the talent to use
- What is He going to find on judgment day?
Martha Berry was a lady with a vision to help children. She began a school for poor children. She had no books, no building and no money. But she had a dream. She went to Henry Ford to ask for a donation. Mr. Ford reached into his pocket gave Martha Berry a dime. Most people would have been insulted, here he is a multi-millionaire and all he could give was a dime. But Martha took that dime and bought a packet of seeds and planted a garden, raised a crop, sold it and bought more seeds. After three or four harvest she had enough money to purchase and old building for the children. She returned to Mr. Ford and said, “Look what your dime has done.” The man was so impressed that he donated a million dollars to Berry School.
God calls his people to be productive with what they have.
- To make our lives count for more than:
· Pats on the back
· Trophies and awards
· Praise of Men
God wants Powerful Service from us….
God says that he has given the church power. He desires to see us productive not passive. A number of years ago on the "Merv Griffin Show" a guest appeared that was a body builder. As he entered with his huge muscular frame the crowd went crazy with applause as he flexed his muscles walking over to take his seat to be interviewed. Merv’s first question seemed to catch the body builder off guard however; he asked him "What do you use all those muscles for?" A bit puzzled, the body builder simply stood up and flexed his muscles again while the crowd again applauded wildly. As he sat down Merv again asked him, "What do you use all those muscles for?" Again with a puzzled and somewhat frustrated appearance the body builder stood up and flexed his muscles once again to a cheering audience. Merv however was undaunted and insisted a third time, "What do you use those muscles for?" The body builder was stumped and had no answer, all he could do is sit there and look bewildered at Merv’s constant question. The man was all power, but with no purpose! While he could impress the audience there was no application for all this power. The power that God has given to us is not meant to sit up on a shelf but it is to be used. According to Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Let me tell you…. This power is for service; to be a witness to this world of the love God has for humanity. This power is for service; to walk in authority of his name.
- Today we find too many defeated Christians walking around with heads low
- We find To many who allow the enemy to bring all sorts of attack against them without resisting.
- There are those with the “Ya’ll pray for me that I can just hang on” mentality
People….God says that He has given us power over the enemy
- And God has given us the authority of His name
This power is for service; to worship His Holy Name.
- He said that if we would not praise Him that the rocks would cry out
- In fact….the The reason for our existence is to Worship God.
God’s Power is not for potential use but it is for the production of fruit in our lives
- Not to lay dormant but to rise up within us daily
· Power to witness
· Power to walk
· Power to worship
And while we are talking about our Potential and Power….we cannot leave out…..Passionate Service
To many lack the great passion for God to become a Productive servant for God
A man once went in search for God. He went to a wise old sage and asked if he could help him find God. The Old man told the young man to follow him. The old man led him down to a river and walked out until they were neck deep. The old man turned grabbed the young man and held his head under the water. The young man twisted turned and thrashed about finally the old man let go of the young man and said, “ when you have the passion to find God as you did to find air then you will find Him.
So let me ask you this morning….What is it that excites you; that causes your heart to pound; your blood to race; your spirit to soar?
- Nothing will move you from potential to productive until you are moved from passive to passionate
Jeremiah had Passion – In Jeremiah 20:9 - Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. Nehemiah’s had great Passion. In Nehemiah 6:3 - And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Paul had a huge Passion. In Philippians 3:10 - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
The Master leaves the servant in charge until he returns. If the master were to return today and ask you to give an accounting of your life, would you be ready? The potential servant will have nothing to show the Master. They were nice people, but made no real contribution to their world, their community, or their church. They just kind of blended into the landscape. The words of the master still ring true today. “To whom much is given much is required.”