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  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
 
The Stewardship of Talents-1

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2/7/05

Text: Matthew 25:14-30

This is the second message in our stewardship series, though I preached a message on father’s day titled The Stewardship of Fatherhood.

Here is an overall outline of this message series…

  • Stewardship of Life
  • Stewardship of Talents
  • Stewardship of Time
  • Stewardship of Money

Review

The place to start is to review the definition of stewardship. A steward is a person who manages and administrates what has been entrusted to him by another. In this case, a steward is a person who manages what has been entrusted to him/her by God. As I have noted in the sermon titles above, God has entrusted us with our lives, our talents, our time, and our money.

There is another thing that I want to point out before we move on to today’s message. Remember that there are several key principles upon which stewardship is established. Two key principles are these –

1. God Owns All Things.

Psalms 24:1 says, "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

2. Every believer has the personal responsibility to manage, supervise, and administer all that God has given him/her to the glory of God -- Luke 19:13 "And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy (= use what you possess) till I come."

FOCUS

Today’s message is titled The Stewardship of Talents.

I feel it is necessary for me to make a brief explanation of the title of today’s message, particularly the word talents. I am not using this word in the specific sense. A talent was a measure of weight. We see this in Revelation 16:21 – "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." The Greek word translated talent is ταλαντιαῖος talantiaios (tal-an-tee-ah'-yos). According to my sources, a talent weighed between 108 and 130 pounds. I am not using talent in this way.

A Talent, among the Hebrews, was also a gold coin, the same with a shekel of gold, also called a stater. We see the word stater translated "the piece of money" in Matthew 17:27, that was to be found in the fishes mouth. I am not using talent to refer to a coin. However, I am using talent in a metaphorical way referring to the gifts, talents, abilities and possessions the Lord has given to each of us. While Matthew 25:14-28, the parable of the talents, uses the word talents to indicate and amount of money, the purpose of the parable is a metaphoric one, showing us that God holds us responsible to use our gifts, talents, abilities and goods to advance His purpose and plan.

The Stewardship of Talents Is Built Upon The Fact That God Expects All Christians To Produce Good Works

  • We are to be fruitful in every good work – Colossians 1:10

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote to the Colossian believers telling that it pleases the Lord when they are fruitful in every good work. The word translated fruitful is the Greek word karpoforew karpophoreo (kar-pof-or-eh’-o) means to bear fruit. Believers are trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. Good works are the fruit, which, under the influence of divine grace, we are to bring forth. Remember, fruitfulness depends on our being ingrafted into Christ the true vine, and deriving life, sap, and nourishment from him. Turn with me to John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Are you abiding in Christ? We are to be fruitful stewards of the all the talents God has given us. We are to bear fruit with our talents.

  • We are to be established in every good work –

2 Thessalonians 2:17

"Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."

The English word stablish is a translation of an interesting Greek word, sthrizw sterizo (stay-rid’-zo). It means to turn resolutely in a certain direction. We are told we are to be stablished in the word. That is, we are to be turned resolutely or be fully committed to the Word of God. But, the verse also says that we are to be stablished in the work of God. This implies that we are committed to and persevere in using our talents (the gifts, talents, abilities and goods) God has given us for good.

  • We must diligently follow in every good work –

1 Timothy 5:10

"Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."

When you read the context of this verse, it is clear to see that the verse specifically deals with widows who are worthy of church help. However, It is revealing to see the standard used to determine a worthy widow. She must have "diligently followed every good work." The English phrase diligently followed is a translation of but one Greek word - epakolouyew epakoloutheo ep-ak-ol-oo-theh’-o, which means to walk in the footsteps of, that is to say, she devoted herself to doing good. In the earlier part of the verse some of these "good works" are itemized: she reared her children properly, feeding, clothing and teaching them. We see that she was hospitable, giving housing, food and drink to people she did not know. She also humbly "washed the saints’ feet. This indicates that she served as needed, even in the most humble tasks. We are to follow her example and use our talents and energies to do good, as the passage says, diligently follow…good work."

  • We must provoke others to good works – Hebrews 10:24

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:"

The word provoke in our current usage has a negative connotation. However, in this context provoking other believers is a good thing. The word is a translation of the Greek word paroxusmov paroxusmos (par-ox-oos-mos’) and it means to sharpen, to stimulate, to incite or excite. Believers are called upon to arouse, excite and to call to action other believers to love (agaph agape) and to good works. We are to take note of other believers spiritual welfare, and when perceive them to be calloused and lethargic in the area of love and good works, we are to try to stir them up to perform actions of love and good works.

Remember, God expects all Christians to produce good works.

  • We are to be fruitful in every good work. We are to bear fruit for God with everything He has given to us.
  • We are to be established in every good work. We are to be committed to and persevere in using our talents that (the gifts, abilities and goods) God has given us for good.
  • We must provoke others to good works. We are to try to stir them up to perform good works.
 

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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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