When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 3)
When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 3)
Continuing with our discussion on what truly matters in life, we enter Part Three of our sermon: “When It’s All Been Said and Done.” In Part Two, we explored how God’s love is the ultimate measure of our lives, drawing inspiration from the story of King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel 5:1-27. Just like Belshazzar was weighed on God’s scales and found lacking, we too will be assessed by the scale of God’s love when everything else fades away.
Now, in Part Three, we delve deeper into this crucial aspect: “Being Accountable to God.” Let’s understand why being accountable to God holds significant meaning when everything else is said and done. Stay tuned to learn more about this essential topic.
2. God will ask for a report
When it’s all been said and done, God will ask for a report on how we have used the gifts, talents, and other resources He has entrusted to us. Jesus Christ illustrates the importance of stewardship and accountability in the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
In this parable, the bible says a master goes on a journey and entrusts his servants with different amounts of talents. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability.
Upon his return, the master asks for an account (a report) of what each servant did with the talents they received. The servant who received five talents had invested and multiplied them, resulting in ten talents. The servant who received two talents also invested and gained two more talents. Both of these servants were commended for their faithfulness, and the master said to them, “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.” (Matthew 25:21).
However, the third servant who received one talent chose to bury it in the ground out of fear. When the master returned and asked for a report, this servant returned the single talent without any increase: “… I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours’ (Matthew 25:25).
To this answer, the master was displeased, calling him a wicked and lazy servant. He showed the servant that there was still a way to make something out of that little he thought it was. The master pointed out that the servant could have at least invested the talent with the bankers so that it would have earned interest (Matthew 25:27). This would have been a small step, but it would have demonstrated a sense of responsibility and an effort to make something out of what was given.
As a result, he commanded to take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents, and Jesus finishes the parable by saying: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
Two important aspects...
My brothers and sisters, before going any further, I want to draw your attention to two important aspects.
No.1. Jesus starts the parable with the sentence “For the kingdom of heaven is like…” (Matthew 25:14). By beginning this way, Jesus intentionally draws a parallel between the events in the parable and the workings of the kingdom of God. This is not a story to be taken lightly or dismissed as mere fiction; it holds profound spiritual truths that relate to our lives and our eternal destiny. The use of the phrase “the kingdom of heaven is like” indicates that Jesus is unveiling a glimpse of the divine perspective on life and eternity. It’s like a window or a condition into the very heart of God’s kingdom.
No.2. Notice that each servant received something from his master, but each according to his own ability (Matthew 25:15). This highlights the fact that each one of us has been entrusted with something unique by God. Just as the master in the parable entrusted his servants with talents, God has bestowed upon us unique abilities, resources, and opportunities. These gifts are not random; they are purposeful and intentional, given to us with divine forethought and care. Some may have received more, while others may have received less. However, the crucial point here is that God has entrusted something to every individual. Whether the gift is substantial or seemingly small, whether it’s abundant or limited, God awaits each of us to be accountable for what we have been given.
The master in this parable represents none other than Jesus Christ Himself, and the servants symbolize each and every one of us (His disciples). Just as the master went on a long journey, Jesus ascended to heaven after His earthly ministry, and He promised to return again. However, before He left, He did not leave us empty-handed. To each of His servants, He entrusted a mission, gifts, talents, and resources, expecting us to use them wisely and purposefully.
When Jesus comes back, He will ask for a report on how we have utilized His time, resources and gifts. He will inquire about our faithfulness, stewardship, and the impact we have made in His name. It is a sobering thought. We will be accountable for the wise and responsible use of the talents we received from God. How is your report? Is it positive, filled with stories of fruitful labor and faithful service? Or Is it negative, marred by excuses, wasted opportunities, and squandered talents? What are you doing with the gift, time and resources the Lord has given you?
Unfortunately, many people resemble the last servant in the parable. They present a report full of excuses and a lack of productivity. They fail to grasp the significance of their mission and the responsibility entrusted to them. But let us not be counted among them. Instead, let us reflect on our own lives and consider what we are doing with the gifts the Lord has given us.
Moreover, in Matthew 25:25, the Bible describes the third servant as “wicked and lazy” because he chose to bury his talent out of fear and a desire to avoid responsibility or risk. In doing so, he missed out on the incredible potential to multiply his blessings and fulfill his purpose. Again, this is the case for many people today who have buried their talents for various reasons. Some have done so consciously and others without knowing.
Five (5) ways to burry talents
Let us explore four ways in which someone may bury their talents: