Serving Jesus on His Terms, Part 5of5, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Joshua 24:14-15,”14“Now therefore,fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.Serve the Lord!15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord,choose for yourselves this day whom you willserve, whetherthe gods which your fathers served thatwere on the other side ofthe River, orthe gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. Butas for me and my house, we willserve the Lord”

Serving Jesus with your talents.

There are so many gifted people in the world in respect to sports, the arts, philosophy, science, theology, construction, etc…. It is interesting that many that began to use their gifts in the church, at some point used it as a stepping stone to use their gifts toward the world. For example, I believe that Pop singer Britney Spears was raised in the Southern Baptist Convention, and began using her voice to sing in church. However, when one looks at her life now, the talent that God gave her has not been one that it used for the Kingdom of God, but rather for the Kingdom of Darkness. There are a number of people that have done the same thing. Why is that? Perhaps it is because there is certainly more fame and fortune outside the church, than inside. However, I would submit in light of this, it depends on who one looking to serve. Everyone serves either God or Satan (although one does not need to be a Satan worshipper to serve Satan).

Recall the challenge of Joshua who turned to the people and challenged them to make a decision as read in the following: Joshua 24:14-15,”14“Now therefore,fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.Serve the Lord!15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord,choose for yourselves this day whom you willserve, whetherthe gods which your fathers served thatwere on the other side ofthe River, orthe gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. Butas for me and my house, we willserve the Lord” Joshua was willing to challenge people in his influence to make a decision as to who they would serve.

Once one decides to serve the Lord, one must serve Him in a manner that pleases Him, as I have shared earlier in these series. Jesus tells the parables of the talents in Matthew 25 saying, “Forthe kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country,who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.15 And toone he gave five talents, toanother two, and toanother one,to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.” Notice that the servants were called by the master, and it seemed that the master was the one that knew the abilities of his servants. Then he decided that the talents were to be distributed each ACCORDING TO HIS OWN ABILITY! Each one had different abilities, and the amount of talents was given in light of the responsibility that the master placed on the servant according to their own ability. Upon the return of the master, he would pronounce his approval or disapproval of each servant.

The first and second servant, who received five talents and ten talents, pleased the master and doubled their talents. The Lord said, “Welldone, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things,I will make you ruler over many things. Enter intothe joy of your lord.” These received the joy of the lord. The servant that received one talent, however didn’t please the master. “24“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’26“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29‘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. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Weeping and gnashing of teeth which are terms that describe Hell, or enter into the joy of the Lord which is a term that describes heaven. Now this does not mean that one can work one’s way into heaven, because one is saved by grace, and this not of oneself (Ephesians 2:8,9), but one will show one’s faith by how one lives, and also what one does with the talents that Jesus has given them. Even the wicked are given talents by God, but only those that invest themselves in the Kingdom of God will be rewarded by God. One day at the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ each believer will be judged on various things including how one used their talents to serve God. Servants of Jesus desire to bring Him joy, because in the presence of the Lord is fullness of Joy, and the joy of the Lord is one’s strength. In the parable, the talents, are actually money.

Do you serve the Lord with your finances and your abilities as well? Are the gifts that God has gifted you with for your glory or for His? Think about your talents, how are they utilized, how do they operate in service to the King?
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Phil

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