“MAKING WISE INVESTMENTS” Matt. 25:14-30
INTRO – Are you making wise investments? Usually referring to money & finances when we ask that question. Stock market – IRA’s – mutual funds – retirement accounts – college savings accounts – all ways that we can invest our money.
But, question for us today goes further & deeper than just money. Certainly money is an important part of our lives & is part of our spiritual lives, too.
- About 15% of all that Jesus taught had to do w/ money.
- Taught more on money than He did on heaven & hell combined.
- 1 in every 7 verses in the NT has to do w/ money
- Bible has about 500 verses on prayer, less than 200 verses on faith, & over 2,000 on money
- Martin Luther – “There are 3 conversions every person needs to experience. The conversion of the head, the conversion of the heart, & the conversion of the pocketbook.”
So, making wise investments w/ our money is important.
In our Scripture passage for today, Jesus talked about 3 servants who had the opportunity to make wise investments w/ their master’s money. 2 of them did a stellar job w/ their investments. 1 of them royally stunk it up.
But making smart financial investments is not what Jesus is driving home in this parable. He’s teaching that we are to be working hard & investing our entire lives in His work until He comes. It’s a total life investment parable. Jesus is teaching us that we ALL have the opportunity to use our abilities, we ALL should looking for the opportunity to use our abilities, & we ALL must be faithful in taking the opportunity to use our abilities. It doesn’t matter whether we have been given lots of abilities or a little ability – w/ lots of money or little money – w/ lots of skills or just a few skills – the call & the requirement is the same – BE FAITHFUL W/ WHAT YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN! Make wise investments w/ your life! If we are making wise investments w/ our lives, we will be faithful w/ our money – faithful to use it in the Lord’s work, faithful to give it to the Lord’s work, faithful to invest it in the Lord’s work. It’s a part of the wise investment of our total lives. It’s a part of the transformation of our hearts. It’s a part of our growth as a Christ-follower.
Since this is about the investment of our total life, let’s look at the total Christian life. Chuck Swindoll series, “Growing Up in God’s Family” talks about the ages & stages of the Christian life, the different life stages in a family.
- Birth & infancy – total dependence
- Childhood & discovery
- Adolescence & immaturity
- Adulthood & maturity
I want to give you 4 components of the Christian life:
GOD – Our salvation & our life as a Christ-follower begins w/ Him, continues w/ Him, & ends w/ Him.
- He’s the author of our salvation, the giver of our salvation, the sustainer of our salvation, & the culmination of our salvation.
- He calls to us before we ever call to Him.
- He draws us to Himself.
- He’s the giver of the faith we need to respond to Him.
- He’s the giver of the nourishment we need to grow in Him. He’s the giver of the strength & courage we need when we come to the end of our lives.
- He’s the giver of our eternal home in heaven w/ Him.
It’s all about God. There’s absolutely no way we will ever make wise investments w/ our lives & our money if we don’t get this. Nothing we have belongs to us – it all comes from Him. Our lives are in His hands from beginning to end.
- James 1:17 – “Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
- 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the “author & perfecter of our faith”
- “Author” means the founder of our faith, the originator & creator of our faith & our salvation.
- “Perfecter” means the completer or the finisher, the one who brings it to completion.
GET STARTED – New birth – born again – John 3:3 – regeneration – THAT moment, & what a moment it is! Have YOU had that moment? If you have, go back & relive it right now. Remember it. Ponder on it. Think about how excited you were, how fired up you were, how happy you were.
- 200 people at Decision America Tour
- 2 people at Mission Byram last week
- Wear the bracelets
- Mission trips
- Nearly every sermon I ever preach – Like right now… If you haven’t had that moment, then today can be that day for you. Today can be your spiritual birthday!
GROW – After a baby is born, it begins to grow, or at least it should. If it doesn’t, then there’s something seriously wrong. Doctors will work to find out why baby isn’t growing.
Same true in Christian life. We should begin to grow in our relationship w/ God. If we don’t, then there’s something seriously wrong. We need to find out why we aren’t growing.
Revisit the number “2016” & remember how each of those numbers will help us continue growing in our walk w/ Christ:
- 2 essential spiritual disciplines
- 0 tolerance for sin
- 1 direction to go – forward in faith
- 6 questions to ask:
- Am I saved?
- Am I serving?
- Am I supporting?
- Am I speaking life?
- Am I sharing Christ?
- Am I stuck?
GO HOME – And then we come to the end of our life here on earth & we go home to heaven.
- Phil. 3:20 – “Our citizenship is in heaven…”
- John 14:2-3 – “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go & prepare a place for you, I will come again & receive you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Go back to the part of our Christian life where we are to be growing. It’s where many of us are today. THIS is where the wise investments of our lives take place. And there are 3 realities in this growth phase of our Christian life:
GRAPPLE – There will be times all throughout our growth as a Christ-follower when we will have to grapple or struggle or wrestle w/ questions, issues, & situations. Times when our faith is tested. Times when our commitment to Christ is tested. Times when our love for God is tested. Times when our obedience to His commands is tested. Times when our beliefs are tested.
- “Can I trust God enough to give 10% of my income to His work? Will I trust Him & give more than 10%?”
- “Am I going to give in to this temptation?”
- “Is Jesus truly worthy of my total devotion?”
- “Why is Christianity the best religion?”
- “What do I truly believe & why do I believe it?”
GIVE – Another reality in our growth as a Christian is that we must realize that the call of God on our lives is the call to GIVE. Give what? Give everything to Him. Hard for us to comprehend this. Even harder still for us to do this. But it’s a clear reality, a clear responsibility, & a clear requirement for the Christ-follower. The world says get all you can get & hold on to it as tightly as you can. Jesus says give all you can & let go of it all for my sake. Matt. 16:25 – “…whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
- We give our testimony to tell others what Jesus has done for us.
- We give our time to get into the Word, to pray, to serve God, to share Christ, to help others.
- We give our $ to further God’s work here at home & all over the world.
- We give our lives to share the Gospel.
GIFTS – Another reality in our growth as a Christ-follower is that we have all been given spiritual gifts to use in serving God in the Church. 1 Cor. 12:4-7 – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
God has given all of us who belong to Him gifts to be used in His Kdom work for the good of the Church. Growing & maturing in our faith means that we will grow & mature in using our spiritual gifts in the Church. Mark Sandifer will help you discover what your gifts are & where you can use them in the church. I am planning to preach a series on spiritual gifts starting in June.
CONCLUSION – How many of you want to hear the words, “Well done, good & faithful servant”? Remember that the servants who heard that from Jesus were the ones who had invested wisely.