Read: Matthew 25:24-32 |
“God has not called us to success but to faithfulness.”
– Oswald Chambers
As a servant of God, we have a membership in the body of Christ. Membership has privileges and responsibilities.
The privilege is that we’ll go to Heaven, because we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. The responsibility is that we live our lives worthy of the calling we have received [Ephesians 4]. We are called to be the light and to put aside our old selves [Matthew 5:13-15].
We are also called to bear fruit [John 15:1-3]. To bear fruit, we use our talents, skills and abilities to plant seeds where God guides us. If we don’t plant seeds, then we are careless in God’s work. In fact, we are “almost” busy in the devil’s work. For, we are not called to be a fruitless!
As we conclude our study of the Parable of the Loaned Money, we focus on the last statements at the end of the parable. At this point, we see the results of these three servant’s fruitful and unfruitful behaviors. In the last few verses, the Master rebukes the third servant. He confirms his expectations of fruitfulness. Then, he redistributes the third servant’s one gift to the first servant and passes judgement on the third servant as a result of his actions or lack thereof.
Rewards of the First Two Servants
As we know, Jesus used this parable as part of His instruction for what He wanted the disciples to do after He ascended into Heaven. The first two servants took the mission seriously and so should we. They worked with a holy ambition of living a life of purpose based on God’s plans for their lives.
As a result of dutifully exercising the “potential” within their gifts and abilities, God blessed and multiplied the “product” of their actions. Ultimately, upon the Master’s return, their reward was to hear what every Believer wants to hear one day as we enter Heaven, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
Take a moment though to note the disproportion between the work we do for God and the reward. We really cannot compare the eternal reward of Heaven, His presence in our lives and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to the little that we can do for Him in our short lifetimes. God loves us disproportionately! Do not take that for granted, daily live for Him!
Reward of the Third Servant
The destination described for the third servant is the “outer darkness” – Hell. According to several commentaries, the outer darkness is outside of the light of heaven, out from the joy of the Lord and the presence of God. [Matthew Henry, IVP Commentary]
Based on John 10:28, it would be a spiritual contradiction that a true “servant” could go to Hell. Thus, the commentaries note that this servant must not have been a true servant. Just as some do now, he may have cloaked himself to appear servant-like. Only God knows the heart of a servant.
Using an illustration from an anonymous author, who likens a sinner to a caterpillar and a believer to a butterfly, allow me to clarify my point. We begin life like caterpillars – sinners. When we accept Christ we become a new creation – a butterfly. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Some caterpillars (sinners) try to mold themselves into the cocoon of a church. They may attend Christian fellowships hoping to become a butterfly (Christian) by association or at least butterfly-like. They may even join a church, but becoming a church member alone does not yield a regenerated heart.
Too often they elect to stay in their current caterpillar state and stop just short of accepting Christ. They cannot give up the things of the world and the indulgences of the flesh. Subsequently, they avoid anything that will lead them to true holiness and intimate fellowship with God.
Will you allow God to make you a new creature in Christ as did the first two Servants or will you be like the third servant and stay a caterpillar?
|Title of Posting (Link)||Outline|
|1 – Ability and Unequal Gifts (Link)||Ability
|2 – The Five-fold Return Servant (Link)||Mission
|3 – The Two-fold Servant – Part 1 – Inspiration (Link)||Position & Respond to Inspiration
Be an inspiration
|4 – The Two-fold Servant – Part 3 – Interest (Link)||Return on the investment of our:
Time – Talent – Treasure
|5 – The Two-fold Servant – Part 2 – Investment (Link)||Identify
|6 – The Third Servant (Link)||Slothfulness
The choice of “inaction” is an active choice of Unfaithfulness
Surrendering Slothfulness to the Savior
|7 – Master’s Return (Link)||Preparing for Christ’s return only matters if He is your Master
Purposeful living in Preparation for His Return
|8 – Five-fold Servants Reward (Link)||Adopt a Holy Ambition
His Reward is worth the effort!
|9 – One-fold Servant’s Perspective (Link)||Trust- Test – Temporary Assignment
3rd Servants Motive
|10 – Reward of each Servant (Link)||Rewards of the First Two Servants
Reward of the Third Servant
1. Discover –
A. Rewards – Do you serve God for the reward of service or for the Love of God? What is the difference?
B. How do you interpret the quote by Oswald Chambers: “God has not called us to success but to faithfulness.”
2. Develop –
A. How can you apply Oswald Chambers Quote in your life?
B. How do you avoid being unfruitful with the gifts, skills and talents God has given you?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Has God made an investment in you that you have not used for the glory of God? If so, why not? If not, share with others what drives you to live for Him!
B. Would your prayer partner or spouse agree with your assessment above? Why or why not?