A Faithful Servant

15 Sep

Are you a faithful servant?

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 25:14-30

Let us examine the qualities of a faithful servant, then measure ourselves by it.

1. A faithful servant is trustworthy.

– The Master gave his talents to the servants because he trusted them to do what he wanted them to do with them, not what seemed right to them.

– Here is another example: There was a farmer who had three sons. One day the father told his sons he had bought a new piece of property in a far off place. He told his sons to go to the new property and there build a barn, a farmhouse, and dig a well, all in specific locations. When the sons arrived, they came to where their father wanted the well and thought “this is a good place for a well” and so dug it there. When they came to the place father wanted the barn they thought “this is a good place for the barn” and so built it there. When they came to the place father wanted the farmhouse built they thought “this is not a good place, father is mistaken, we will build it another place” and did so. Now, how many times did the sons do their father’s will? The answer is zero. They never did his will, but their own, it was mere coincidence that the first two times their will coincided with father’s. Had it been different, they would not have obeyed. A wicked servant does what is right in his own eyes, not the Master’s.

– Wicked servants, therefore, only serve where they want and when they want to, not when they are needed or commanded by the Master to do so. When the chips are down, they are no where to be found in the time of need.

2. A faithful servant works to increase the Master’s possessions.

– The faithful servants invested their talents to increase their Master’s possessions, not their own. They did not spend his money on themselves, nor did they invest it and spend the interest on themselves. Their concern was for the Master’s goods and wealth, not theirs.

– Our God-given talents are to be used for Him and His Kingdom, not our own personal gain. Romans 12:1-2 commands us to be “living sacrifices” and Jesus says we must first “deny ourselves” then “take up your cross.” Our lives are not our own.

– The wicked servant hid his talent because he was only concerned for himself. Matt 16:25-26 says that if you try to save your life you will lose it, as it happened with the wicked servant.

3. A faithful servant works with what the Master gave him.

– Each servant was given a different amount but was judged good or bad depending on what he was given.

1 Cor 12:7-31 tells us that each Christian serves the Body in a different way. No one is lesser or greater than another. Indeed it says that the unpresentable parts are more important. Compare presentable body parts (mouth, hands) with unpresentable body parts (liver, heart) to the spiritual body parts which are presentable (preachers, worship leaders) with unpresentable (custodians, sound teams, committees, etc). The unpresentable represent the “guts” of the Church are more indispensable than the presentable parts. A body without a hand is only crippled, a body without a liver will soon die. Each part is important, but each part is represented and treated differently.

James 1:5-8 tells us that if we don’t know where we fit, to ask God, who will tell us what He’s given us and what he wants us to do with it. We should ask with open hearts that are surrendered to Him, however, and not hold back, otherwise we will be “double-minded” as James warns.

4. A faithful servant works until the Master comes back.

– The faithful servants worked to increase the Master’s possessions until He returned. Likewise, we should keep on working until Jesus returns. In Luke 18:8 Jesus says “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

5. A faithful servant is rewarded.

Matt 16:27 says “The Son of man is coming in his Father’s glory to reward each person according to what he has done.”

– Notice that both faithful servants were rewarded equally despite their amount of talents. The man who is given great talents to do great things for God and the man who is given few talents to do a few things for God will both be rewarded equally in judgment if they did what they were commanded to do. God doesn’t show partiality.

– Some Christians will serve God for many years and do many things, others may live only a day after conversion. Both will be rewarded if they are faithful. Jesus makes this clear in this parable in Matt. 20:1-16. This “denarious”, this reward, lies in the eternal life all faithful believers will share one day after Jesus returns and judges the earth.

– The faithful servants trusted their Master to reward them. The wicked servant was cowardly and fearful, and sought his treasure elsewhere. Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:19-21 not to seek our rewards here on earth.

So are you a faithful servant? Can God trust you to do what He says, or will you do what seems right to you instead? Will you use the talents He gave you for Him and His glory, or to make yourself rich and famous? Will you be content with what the Master gave you to do, or will you shrink back and hide your gift to your own shame and detriment? Will you work diligently until Jesus returns, or will you give up the race at 60, 70, or whenever you feel you can “retire” from God’s service? Are you content to wait on God’s rewards, or do you seek your treasure here on earth?

Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He returns?

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Posted by on September 15, 2010 in Sanctification


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