1-25-15 “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant” Mt. 25
?Well Done Good and Faithful Servant?? Mt. 25:20-23; Lk. 16:10? 1-25-15 LMPC by Dr. Ben Sloan
For Video of this sermon, click here: http://youtu.be/Qznjw5SENkU
?I am your obedient and faithful servant?(last week?s sermon title) ?is very similar to the words we hear on this passage: ?well done good and faithful servant.?? One is a vow/valediction, and the other is a reward for fulfilling the vow.? We are good because we listen to the good God.? We are faithful because we persevere.? In? the most basic of ways- we are good because God was good first.? We are faithful because God first is faithful to us.? It is His grace that allows and calls out our goodness and faithfulness. ?Obedience is a symptom of knowing the good God. ??Goodness and faithfulness go together and are great characteristics of being a good servant of God.? ???????? Faithfulness shows in the big things but also in how we do the little things.? Relationships depend on faithfulness.?? Marriage counselors say it is the little things- sweating the small stuff that destroy a marriage.? So can you adjust to loving people even if you disagree with them- about say? How the toothpaste is squeezed- from the bottom, middle or top?? Did you know that Ann Landers said that the most controversial point in all her advice column was whether the toilet paper should be over or under?? 60% say over- 40% under.? I say if you can?t love someone who thinks differently on TP you are in trouble. ?Can you love someone when their snoring is too loud?? Can you love your children when they irritate you?? Can you love your parents when they bug you giving you too much advice for your patience?? Can you love God when things do not go your way?? If you love someone faithful and well in the little things- you will be able to love them through the big things.? If you love God faithfully and well in the little things- you will be able to love Him in the big things.? Jeremiah asks the question if you have raced with men and they have worn you out- how can you race with the horses?? If you stumble on level clear ground what will you do in the thickets?? In other words- if you can?t do the easy things- how can you keep the faith when things are hard?? Hard times come- we must prepare our souls- train ourselves so that we do the little things well now- so we are ready for bigger tougher things. I. GROWING IN FAITHFULNESS- You have been faithful with a little I will put you in charge of many things.? Integrity is something that grows with us.? If you catch someone lying about a little thing will you trust them to be truthful about bigger things? I used to use this principle when I was a personnel manager over two plants.? When we found someone who did a small job well- that was the person we looked at to elevate to the next level.? This is true in other areas.? We call the plumber back who fixed our sink when it is time to add on a new bathroom.?? If they did a bad job with the sink- I?m not going to let them touch the new bathroom.? The faithful God calls us to be faithful in return- in response to His faithful love.? What little thing can you be faithful in?? Kind words, Kind deeds, a servant?s heart.
- GROWING IN TRUST- You have entrusted me with a few- here are more. Trust does not come overnight. Says something about our trust in God. God is, after all, represented by the Master, and we are represented by the servants.? The two servants took advantage of the gifts and opportunities given to them.? But the third servant had a poor view of the Lord.? His view was that the Master was stingy and harsh.? Everything we see here is just the opposite.? A talent is 15 years? wages.? He was giving and benevolent and gave them this sum for a long period of time- trusting them to do what was right for his Honor and I might say glory.? People who think God is harsh will not likely trust Him nor will they make the most of the gifts He has given them.?? If you think the God of the Bible is harsh why would you try to please Him and give yourself for Him?? But if you think God blesses and rewards and is trustworthy and generous, it changes how you react.? The sad thing is the servant who lived in fear- pronounced his own judgment- even what he had was taken away.? But those who trusted the Master did well. We are called to trust and not to fear.? Trust in God- in the little things- then grow in trust in the big.
III. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS ENTERED INTO NOW- Enter into the joy of your Lord. The joy of the Lord is knowing you have His approval.? Part of revelation is not just telling us what to do, but it is knowing that when you have done what is right you can relax.? It is the guilty conscience that cannot relax.? He says ?well done.?? God?s blessing- you see- is not just things.? That is another illusion some have- that God is only capable of blessing in terms of things.? God?s blessing goes much deeper.? It is the blessing of peace and satisfaction with Him. Come share your master?s happiness- enter into the joy of your Lord.? This is not just an invitation to heaven. This passage has been read at so many funerals- and it is so true.? We want to say at the end of our life- well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.? In a sense- because the smaller blessings and test of trustworthiness on earth are multiplied in heaven.? ??Enter in? of ?Come share? is a present invitation.? It is not just you will one day come share or you will after you die enter into your master?s happiness.? The joy of being a servant of God comes now.? It brings peace, it brings energy to do what is right with enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration.? We do not just serve God for heaven but because God is worthy of serving for now as well as later. God has opened the door of His joy for you.? In this world- things can be a nightmare.? You can feel like you are living in one.? But God invites you out of the sadness.? He invites you to enter His joy- the joy of living in His blessing- goodness and faithfulness.
Your Lord beckons to you- He calls your name and asks you to enter into His joy.? But to do that- you must believe that He exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him.? To enter into His joy you must be willing to acknowledge He is Lord and you are not.? He is God and we are His subjects.? You must acknowledge that we need to listen to Him to find goodness and to be faithful to Him following in His way.? Enter into His Joy.? Don?t wait til your death bed.? Enter into it now.? Believe God has your best interest in mind and loves you now. The Joy of the Lord helps us go through the valleys of the shadow but also helps us to really rejoice in the blessings of life.
When I was personnel manager it was in the recession of 1979 during the economic hard times when Jimmy Carter was president.? We shut the whole plant down.? My terrible job at the time was to lay everyone off- and help them get their unemployment benefits.? But then a few months later things picked up a bit, and we hired three fourths of the plant back.? ?We made a list of the very best workers to hire back.? A lot of these folks in Oconee County, South Carolina were pretty desperate for work.?? But I remember one single mother of four, Martha, she was about 50- so energetic, such a hard worker- but she had deep furrows on her face from worry.? The plant supervisor and I made a list of the people to hire back, then we gave the list to the secretary to contact and tell them to come back.? There was a mistake. ??Martha?s name was on the list- but the secretary checked it off before calling her.? Martha knew and everyone else knew she deserved to be on that list.? So when they first came back and there was no Martha- people began to question us.? I thought Martha was sick or something.? Martha came herself to ask why she wasn?t hired back.? We paid her for the day she missed because of our mistake, and apologized a hundred times.?? This is a great story- and it goes along with our passage- but I am not quite sure how.? Perhaps you can help me figure it out.? I know God wants us to enter into His joy- and He rewards goodness and faithfulness in His servants.? Today I invite you to enter into that joy.