Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses Matthew 25:14-30; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Ephesians 4:7-8 Study Questions What talents or abilities would people be surprised to know you have?Read the list of spiritual gifts in these passages: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. Which spiritual gift(s) do you believe God has given you?Read 1 Peter 4:7-11. Do you feel there is anything urgent about using your spiritual gifts? What would it take for believers to adopt a 1 Peter 4:7-11 mindset?Read Ephesians 4:11-16. How does Paul envision the church really working? For instance, what role might a pastor have? What role does each member of the church have? Is this the kind of church believers are open to being a part of?Consider the list of spiritual gifts you read earlier. What would it look like to exercise these gifts in the context of your small group? How might your small group not only build each other up, but build the larger body of Christ at Lakeside?What would it look like for you to build up the body of Christ with your spiritual gifts? What obstacles exist and how can your group help you? Apply It! Worthy of Your Name - PassionCome Thou Fount of Every Blessing Faithful to the End - BethelYour Glory / Nothing But The Blood - All Son's and Daughter's Resources Be sure to check out the Lakeside Bookshelf in the lobby. Downloads & Resources People of Talents Dr. Jon Morrissette - 1/27/2019 In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus tells this Parable: 14 “For [The Kingdom of Heaven] is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. When I was a kid, there were three of us boys. In his prime, dad was probably the hardest working men I knew. He would get up while it was dark, head off to the factory, work all day long, take every over-time shift available, and come home spent. He’d work weekends. We didn’t always have everything we wanted as a family, but definitely everything we needed. Every morning he’d write a list of expectations. Make your bed. Clean the dishes. Sweep the house. Wash and fold the laundry. Take out the trash. Mow the grass. Chop firewood. Weed the flower beds/garden. We had the largest garden in the neighborhood (maybe in town). Dig up and peel those carrots/potatoes. Pick/shuck corn. Pick/snap beans. Pick tomatoes/lettuce. Cut the asparagus/rhubarb. Clean peas. Throughout the day, dad expected everything to be done. Our oldest brother refused to do chores and would disappear… so Mike and I were left w/all the chores. No matter what the circumstances, when dad came home, that list needed to be done. The neighbor kids would mock us as we worked the garden. As humiliating as that could be, our greater concern was facing dad’s wrath. Our goal was that when dad came that door, he’d be pleased. This has been my psychology my whole life. It was never a thought to “shrug off” dad’s expectations. At the top of this series we talked about prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hollowed be your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The most natural thing for me to understand, is that I have a Father in Heaven whose to be respected and loved. A Heavenly Father who expects His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Never in my life have I thought I could blow either my earthly Father, nor the Heavenly Father’s will. In the Parable of the Talents Jesus reminds us we are God’s servants. God has entrusted abilities, possessions and talents to us. It’s not our place to contemplate the inequities of life, how much or how little God’s given. God has reasons for giving what he’s given. The only thing that matters at the end of the day when God returns is what have we done with what God’s has given? First, God gives us NATURAL ABILITIES. People’s natural abilities are not equal. Not everyone is naturally endowed w/the same benefits. Some have great stature; others small. Some have stupendous athleticism, coordination, strength; Some stand head/shoulders above their peers, their IQ off the charts; Some have relational/emotional EQ; Street smarts. Some have perfect health while others struggle with a disability/challenge. Some are fertile, while others infertile. Some are creative; Some artistic; Some are doers, detail oriented, maybe entrepreneurial. We can complain all we want about the natural deck of cards we’ve been dealt but we can’t do a single thing to change it. Your DNA is your DNA. Your natural estate is your natural estate. Natural Ability is all about what we can do for God. Everyone has some level ability. During games, the Chicago Bears, Coach Nagy, always has a play card in his hand with the word “BE YOU.” Being You isn’t just the best play you can make, it’s the only play you make! Second, God endows us with SUPERNATURAL TALENTS. A talent can be a supernatural gift. There is a list of 7 gifts in Romans 12:6-8: “Prophecy… Serving… Teaching… Exhortation… Giving… Leadership… Mercy…” A list of 9 in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 lists, “Words of wisdom… Words of knowledge… Faith… Gifts of healings… Miracles… Prophecy… Distinguishing between spirits… Tongues/Language… Interpretation of tongues/languages.” When I went to Bible College as a twenty-year-old in college the only spiritual gifts in my life I could discern was faith. And my faith was, “how am I going to pay tuition each semester!” A talent can be a supernatural resource. Some translate “talents” as “gold.” Has it ever dawned on you that all wealth originates with God? In Haggai 2:8 God declares, “The silver and gold belong to me.” God distributes the gold/silver according to his own set purpose and plan. A talent can be a supernatural opportunity/advantage. Andy Stanley was explaining to a group of pastors what it takes to be a mega-church pastor. His answer was, “Be the child of a national celebrity pastor like Charles Stanley.” In Acts 17:26 Paul says, “From one man God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” People are afforded vary Abilities/Talents. Varying opportunities, circumstances, benefits, gifts, charisma. We can complain all we want, but it’s God in his eternal wisdom that has distributed gifts as he sees fit. Ephesians 4:7-8 says, “Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. For it says: When he ascended on high, he took the captives captive; he gave gifts to people.” God didn’t consult with us when he distributed Natural Abilities/Super-Natural Gifts. We should worry far less about the inequities of who has what… and far more demonstrating faithfulness with what has been given. One person has five talents. One person three. Another one. What business of it is ours? God has ordained what God has ordained. In the Parable, Jesus describes how “Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. Three Different MentalitiesPeople have one of three mentalities. Some are High Producers. High producers are the 1%. They have natural and spiritual gifts in spades. The 1% are typically the envy of the 99%. Their like that seed in the Parable of the Sower that “produces a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” It’s like everything they touch turns to gold. Their lives tend to have a disproportionate impact!Some are Middle Producers. Middle producers are the 20%. They are your two-talent people. How do we they’re the 20%? Maybe you’ve heard of “The Pareto Principle” otherwise known as “The 80/20 Rule.” It’s an axiom in the business realm that 80% of sales comes from 20% of clients. In politics, 80% of tax revenue comes from 20% taxpayers. In the church 80% of the work, 80% of the budget/vision comes from 20% of congregants. The typical church is only operating at 1/5th 20% capacity! In typical church, four out of five people sitting in the pew, are barely giving/ serving. The majority are Non-Producers. Non-producers are the ones who disappear for the day when God’s declares his will. They tend to disappear when the work begins. They shrug their shoulders all day long, imagining themselves exempt from any eternal concern whatsoever. Non-producers tend to obsess about inequity and misunderstood the true nature of the Kingdom. Dave Ramsey’s organization recently studied 10,000 individuals who have a net worth of $1 million plus. They wrote a fascinating book called Everyday Millionaires. MILLIONAIRES DO NOT mostly come from upper class homes, rely on luck, take huge risks on gimmicks/fads, take extreme financial risks, attend expensive universities, graduate top of their class, have high paying jobs, receive large inheritance. MILLIONAIRES DO build wealth on their own without a large inheritance, believe anyone can excel with hard work and discipline, believe they control their destiny, invest carefully over the span of years and decades and lifetime, have regular jobs, live on less than they make, avoid debt, work for companies not themselves, use coupons, save and invest consistently, practice outrageous generosity. Jesus puts his finger on the problem in Matthew 25:18: “the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.” The non-producer ventures nothing, invests nothing, is faithful in nothing, wastes time, waste energy, squanders opportunity, plays it safe… but this is just the tip of iceberg… Consider what happens in Jesus Parable of the Talents. Matthew 25:19-30, “19 “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ 21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ 22 “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ 23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ 24 “The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. 28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him 30 And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ At the end of the day, how many talents did the High producer possess? How many say five? ten? How about eleven! Not only did the High Producer get a head start, he gets what the other man squandered! How many talents did the middle-producer possess? He started with two? But turned it into four. Do you realize four is one talent short of where the High Producer started! In time, faithfulness turns middle producers into high producers! How many talents did the non-producer end up with? It wasn’t one, it was zero! If you aren’t being faithful with God’s possessions, God’s wealth, your Natural Abilities, Your Supernatural Talents, the opportunities/advantages God has afforded you… you’ll spend your life managing an ever-diminishing equation! I believe that a person who was once a High Producer can become a Non-Producer. It’s possible for your 10s to become 5s; your 4s 2s, your 2s 1s, and 1s Zeroes. If you go by the Pareto Principle, 80% of people are living diminished lives because they shrug off the will of God. They don’t think it matters whether their faithful or unfaithful. 80% of churches have diminished impact because their filled with people who are lazy, fearful, wicked, who hope to gather where haven’t ever sown. I also believe a Non-Producer can become at least a Middle/High Producer. How do we know? Jesus promises in this parable “faithful with little, faithful over much.” Your 1s and become 2s, 4s, 8s, 10s, 11s, 100x 50x a 30x what is sown. Maybe you’ve bristled that God has only given you one tiny nugget? Maybe you’ve envied those with 2 or 5 talents? Maybe you feel you’ve already squandered so much time, opportunity, money? Why not ask God to help you make up what’s been lost? Maybe you haven’t found much contentment/joy in regard to possession/ money. What if God top opened the floodgates and allowed you to share in His joy? Maybe you’ve been angry at the thought God would have the audacity to lay claim on what little you do have? I don’t live in a corner. There is such an outcry in our culture anytime some preacher suggests some poor soul tithe. We preachers get scolded all the time, “how dare you pass an offering plate.” But tithing isn’t some preacher’s idea, it’s God’s expectation, and Christ’s commandment, and there are two ways we can test God. (1) We can test God by giving and see if he doesn’t pour out his blessings. (2) We can test God by not giving, and see if he doesn’t withhold his blessings, and see if we don’t end up w/ever diminishing equation. I don’t know any other way to say it. There isn’t any way to sugar coat this. There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus, certainly not in this parable, that suggests we can shrug off God’s commandments. He is coming soon, to share his joy/abundance with the faithful, but his wrath/condemnation against the unfaithful. The “good for nothing non-producing servant is thrown into outer darkness where there is weeping/gnashing of teeth.” God absolutely takes the Stewardship of Natural Abilities/ Supernatural Gifts series. Your eternity weighs in the balance of what your heart most loves! You can’t control what you start with, but you can control what you end with. If you’d be faithful with little, God will make you faithful over much. Jesus says, “everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Christ is returning soon; will he find faith on the earth?