Net Questions

1. Human beings were created with a desire to build things: buildings, bridges, automobiles, spaceships, and the list could go on and on. Humankind also likes to build kingdoms: Kingdoms of influence, power, control, wealth, and the list could go on and on. How has this desire to build influenced your life?

2. Our sinful nature has caused us to mis-use our God-given desire to build. How so?
James 3:14  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
James 3:15  Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
James 3:16  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

3. God wants to harness our desire to build for the more noble purpose of building His Kingdom. Why would we want to engage in building God’s Kingdom and would it benefit us personally?
Deuteronomy 10:17 (NIV) For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV) He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 10:19 (NIV) And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:20 (NIV) Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.
Deuteronomy 10:21 (NIV) He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
Deuteronomy 10:22 (NIV) Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

4. Bro. Larry mentioned some of the Kingdom principles found in the parable of the talents. He listed three in his sermon and gives an additional two in his full sermon notes. They are as follows:
In God's Kingdom, it's not the amount of talent you've been given, but what you do with the talent you've been given!
In God's Kingdom, reward is based on faithfulness not success!
In God's Kingdom it all comes down to learning to trust the Ruler of the Kingdom!
God's Kingdom is only inhabited by those who choose to be there!
God manages His kingdom with wisdom and will redistribute talents when they are not being properly used.
Read the parable in Matthew 25:14-30, and see if you can figure out which verse, or verses, go with what principle. Hint: One principle is based on the whole text and does not come from one particular verse.


Sermon Notes

Engage in Building
Matthew 25:14-30

What a powerful video of our church transforming worship, people and the world!

Andrew led worship at the community church in Calabasse. Our team built relationships with the people of Calabasse. Our team changed the face of the community by building yet another house for a displaced family of the earthquake.

So our message today is

"Engage in Building"

Engage in building what?

That's what we're going to discuss today and it is a discussion with grave importance to Northshore Church and its future.

It is a discussion that grows out of our text for today, Matthew 25:14-30.



The context of our text is Jesus talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God.
These two are interchangeable because they are a translation of the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke. Matthew translated it Kingdom of Heaven and John and others translated it Kingdom of God.


Reference to the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is found over 100 times in the New Testament!

Yeah, it's that important!!


Jesus had been talking to His disciples about the coming of the Kingdom at the end times. He had just finished telling them a parable about being ready and prepared for whenever that day comes.

But the Kingdom of God is not only a future event!!

The Kingdom of Heaven is not just a future prediction, it is a present reality and is based on the past work of God in His people's lives.

Just what is the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God?

It is simple yet profound...

The Kingdom of God is wherever God rules!

There were times in the Old Testament in Israel, where the people allowed God to rule their hearts and their land. God's Kingdom was powerful with the children of Israel when they were allowing God to rule.
By the same token, God's Kingdom will be powerful in anyone's life who allows God to rule!

And a quick side note...

God is sovereign, but choses to rule only those hearts who desire His rule!

So here's a question for you and me today...

Does God rule my life, my priorities, my activities, my affections, my desires, my passions, my goals, my pursuits?

Here's a question for our church...

Does God rule our church's life, its priorities, its activities, its affections, its desires, its passions, its goals, its pursuits?

With all this in mind, let's pray and we're going to look at one of Jesus' parables and see how it very much applies to you, me, and Northshore Church!

Pray!

Let's read our passage today:))

Matthew 25:14-30

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
Matthew 25:14 (NIV)

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.
Matthew 25:15 (NIV)

The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
Matthew 25:16 (NIV)

So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
Matthew 25:17 (NIV)

But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Matthew 25:18 (NIV)

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
Matthew 25:19 (NIV)

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.’
Matthew 25:20 (NIV)

“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!’
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
Matthew 25:22 (NIV)

“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!’
Matthew 25:23 (NIV)

“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.
Matthew 25:24 (NIV)

So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
Matthew 25:25 (NIV)

“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?
Matthew 25:26 (NIV)

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.
Matthew 25:27 (NIV)

“ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
Matthew 25:28 (NIV)

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.
Matthew 25:29 (NIV)

And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:30 (NIV)

Some pretty tough words. What does it all mean?


ETS: Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a wealthy man who goes on a journey, leaves his possessions in the care of servants, and later returns to see how they've done.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
Matthew 25:14 (NIV)

It is the Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God!
Isn't it interesting Jesus had just talked with His disciples about His return. Like the man in the parable, Jesus was letting them know He was going to be leaving His Kingdom work in their hands, and that He would someday return.

Here's the question...Would they engage in building their own kingdoms or would they engage in building the Kingdom of God?

Would they use their God given talents to store up treasures on this earth, which will pass away, or use their God given abilities to advance God's Kingdom, which will last forever?

When He returned what would He find?

Here's another question: If God's Kingdom is where God rules, how in the world do we build that? Is it even possible to build such a thing?

Some would say no.
I would say yes.

Let's look at three questions this morning.

1. Why would you want to engage in building God's Kingdom?

2. How do you engage in building God's Kingdom?

3. What principles of Kingdom building are found in this parable?

Let's look at the first question...

Why would you want to engage in building God's Kingdom?

God's Kingdom is where God rules, and I believe God to be a wonderful ruler!

Listen to Moses' description of God to the People of Israel...

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
Deuteronomy 10:17 (NIV)

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV)

And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:19 (NIV)

Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.
Deuteronomy 10:20 (NIV)

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
Deuteronomy 10:21 (NIV)

Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Deuteronomy 10:22 (NIV)

I once lived a life free from God's rule! It was not a good thing!! In my years of ministry I've witnessed the lack of peace, lack of hope, lack of purpose, and lack of unity in the lives of people who are not ruled by God!

In fact when we are not ruled by God we are ruled by our own selfish flesh and we will engage in building our own kingdoms. Let me just give you a little insight into that world...

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
James 3:14 (NIV)

Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
James 3:15 (NIV)

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
James 3:16 (NIV)

James goes on to say...

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
James 4:1 (NIV)

You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
James 4:2 (NIV)

So why would I want to expand God's Kingdom rule? He's an awesome Ruler and when He is not the ruler, their is chaos, discord, and no peace.

When God rules, it's different. James put it this way...

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17 (NIV)

Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:18 (NIV)

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
James 4:11 (NIV)

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:12 (NIV)

God's the only one who knows a persons heart. I just can't know it, so I have no grounds to judge. I may totally disagree with them on their way of life and even their theology, but I am not to judge their heart. Only God has that ability, so I'll just let Him be the ruler! He can handle it.

Oh, just for disclosure purposes, there's another reason to let God rule. . . there have been times I was so sure I was right, and later discovered I wasn't! At times I've let God handle things, and other times I've have had to eat a lot of crow!

"I'm just sayin'"

I could preach a whole sermon on why God should be the ruler!

But let's consider that second question...

How do you engage in building God's Kingdom?

The first way is to let God be your Ruler.

In salvation and in life!

In our parable, the servants may not have had a choice in whether or not they would serve their master, but God gives every person an opportunity to chose Him or reject Him.

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:14 (NIV)

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

Once you've decided to allow God to save your soul through what Jesus did on the Cross, you have salvation and are assured a place in the Kingdom of Heaven!
However, the choice to let God rule in your daily life is a daily choice. Each and every day we must decide if we are going to allow Him to rule over our actions, attitudes, and our decisions!

Ken Hemphill put it this way in his book, "Empowering Kingdom Growth"

"God rules us. We are his. He orchestrates events and directs human history, while somehow--somehow--leaving intact our ability to make decisions and choose our own path.

We walk into each day fully aware by faith that every person we see, every article we read, and every question we are asked are all coming our way by the intention of the King.

Wrapped inside each of these events is an opportunity for us to embrace His mission, embody His name, and obey His Word--to live in concert with His rightful rule over our lives."

This brings us to another way we can engage in building God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.

We expand God's Kingdom by allowing Him to rule in our life, but then
we seek to show others how to discover the joy of having God's rule in their lives!

We do this by engaging in
serving others,
caring for others,
telling others,
discipling others!

And we do this because we are driven by our Lord's mission, our Lord's vision, our Lord's passion, our Lord's love for those who need His Kingdom rule to transform their lives!

It is not about building our Kingdom!
It is not about getting glory for ourselves!

Paul put it this way in Colossians 3:12-17

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (NIV)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

This leads us to our final question for the day...

What principles of Kingdom building are found in this parable?

Principle 1

In God's Kingdom, it's not the amount of talent you've been given, but what you do with the talent you've been given!

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.
Matthew 25:15 (NIV)

You've heard me say, "It's not your ability, but your availability that matters to God!"
The reason I say that is this: If you are available to be used by God, He will give you talents according to the natural abilities He's given you and He will bless and multiply those gifts to accomplish His Kingdom work!

He will not require more of you than what He has gifted you to do and remember, your efforts coupled with God's anointing will produce amazing results!

Paul said it well in his letter to the Ephesians...

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
Ephesians 3:7 (NIV)

Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Ephesians 3:8 (NIV)

and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
Ephesians 3:9 (NIV)

Principle 2

In God's Kingdom, reward is based on faithfulness not success!

The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
Matthew 25:16 (NIV)

So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
Matthew 25:17 (NIV)

But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Matthew 25:18 (NIV)

Have you been faithful with what God has given you? Have you used the talent God has given you to build His Kingdom or have you been working on your own little kingdom?
Or maybe you've not used your God-given gifts at all. Maybe you've just buried them. What a tragedy!

Maybe your attitude has been this: "But what if I try to use my talent for God and fail? That would be horrible, right?"

Wrong!!

Remember...

In God's Kingdom, reward is based on faithfulness not success!

How do I know this? Did you notice that the person who gained four talents was told the same thing as the person who had gained 10? Listen...

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
Matthew 25:19 (NIV)

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.’
Matthew 25:20 (NIV)

“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!’
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
Matthew 25:22 (NIV)

“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!’
Matthew 25:23 (NIV)

Never forget that God's idea of success and the world's idea of success is two totally different things!
Rhea Miller and George Beverly Shea said it well in the old hymn
"I'd Rather Have Jesus"
Listen to these words...

"I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I'd rather be true to His holy name"

"Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today."

Principle 3

In God's Kingdom it all comes down to learning to trust the Ruler of the Kingdom!

“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.
Matthew 25:24 (NIV)

So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
Matthew 25:25 (NIV)

“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?
Matthew 25:26 (NIV)
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.
Matthew 25:27 (NIV)

The third man tried to blame his misfortune on the master. It's no different with people. We try to build our own kingdoms and selfishly rule everything and when we realize it's not working, we conveniently blame God!

The reason many people do not seek to build God's Kingdom is their lack of trust in God. They are so worried that God's plan is not the best plan for their life. They feel they have a better plan. They may even think God has it out for them and wants to ruin their life and make them miserable.

Tragic mis-conceptions.

Although, there are some people who don't really believe God is out to destroy them.
That reasoning just doesn't hold up.
The real issue is they have their own agenda and their own kingdom and they don't want God interfering with their life.

Like the master in the parable, God knows the truth, He knows your heart!

The man with one talent wasn't so much afraid of the master as he was lazy. He had his own agenda and frankly didn't have the time to fool with building the Master's kingdom.

It all comes down to trusting the ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven, God!

Many of you have heard me quote from the book Radical by David Platt or the book Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman.  

These guys have challenged the modern day church to once again have a radical trust in the ruler of the Kingdom of God.

Be willing to give all for the cause of Christ!
Be willing to lay it all down for the cause of Christ!

The world thinks it's crazy to put that kind of radical trust in God and become a follower of Jesus rather than a just a fan.

But let me clarify something for you.

God wants us to be willing to give all!
Being willing to give all doesn't mean you will be homeless, no car, no money, no job, no recreational activities, no more fun, and misery galore!
If you believe this, your thinking like the guy with one talent.

"God's mean, unjust, unfair, and wants me miserable!"

Truth is,
God wants us to completely surrender our will to His!
God wants us to trust Him to be the ruler of every aspect of our lives!

God has a plan for our life so rewarding, that we could never even imagine.

Here's the deal...

If God ask you to give up something or to give something away, you didn't need it or it was a hinderance to you in the first place.

If God does ask you to give up something you need, He will replace it with something even better.

If God calls you to sell everything and move to the mission field, get ready, you're going to have the time of your life!!

If He chooses to leave you right where you are, with all your blessings, ask God to help you to be the best steward of the talents He's given you so when He returns, you will be excited to say...

"Here's what you entrusted me with, it was my honor to use my talents to build Your Kingdom!"

Jesus put it well when He said...

Mat 6:33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


Let's pray!

END SERMON HERE!

Additional Principles
Principle 4

God's Kingdom is only inhabited by those who choose to be there!

If a person doesn't want to be a part of God's Kingdom, then God has no choice but to put them outside the sphere of His rule and authority. It's not a good place to be, but God will not force anyone to accept His rule.

And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:30 (NIV)

Principle 5

God manages His kingdom with wisdom and will redistribute talents when they are not being properly used.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
Matthew 25:28 (NIV)

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.”
Matthew 25:29 (NIV)




For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
1 Corinthians 3:10 (NIV)

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV)

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
1 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV)

his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
1 Corinthians 3:13 (NIV)

If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
1 Corinthians 3:14 (NIV)

If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 3:15 (NIV)

attitudes that do not reflect a "building His Kingdom!"

Solo, lone ranger.
But they are not on our team.
They don't believe exactly like me.
My way or the highway.

ETS: Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a wealthy man who goes on a journey, leaves his possessions in the care of servants, and later returns to see how they've done.

ESS: When Jesus departed this earth He left His Kingdom in the hands of His followers and will someday return to see how we've done.

OSS: I want my hearers to use the talent they've been given to build God's Kingdom.

Probing Question: How do we engage in building God's Kingdom?

Unifying Word: Ways

Transitional Sentence: Let's look at the ways we can engage in building God's Kingdom.

You may have success in the world's eyes, but if your success has come at the expense of God's principles and your witness, this is tragic.


Personal kingdom building is selfish and leads to wasted opportunities.