It’s always interesting to me to find out what has been preached at home while I’ve been on holiday and to think about what has been preached at the church I visited. There is a remarkable similarity of content which I find reassuring!
Last Sunday we were at the Elim Family Centre in Onchan on the Isle of Man. The preacher was from the Elim church in Ramsey. To Garry’s delight, he was a fellow biker!
Pastor Des spoke from Matthew 25:14-30 TNIV, the familiar Parable of the Talents. He spoke about the mission God has given us and how we should keep on mission through our life choices. He urged us:
1) not to live our lives by our own perceptions and beliefs. In this parable, the unwise servant had a wrong view of the master which coloured his outlook and influenced his actions. With wrong perspectives, we can miss out on what God wants us to do and what He can do in our lives, often ending up unhappy and unfulfilled.
2) not to make excuses by accusing other people. The unfaithful servant blamed the master because of his wrong perceptions. We need to stop making excuses at times and be prepared to humble ourselves and repent (2 Chron 7:14 TNIV.) We have to decide to do what is right, regardless of what anyone else may do. The servant did not fully understand the amster, but pre-judged him without getting to know him. This leads us into all kinds of prejudice.
3) not to look for an easy way out. The unfaithful servant accused the master of reaping what he had not sown. We often compare ourselves to other people and feel dissatisfied, but God wants us simply to do what we can with what we have got. We all have been given gifts by God and it doesn’t matter what anyone else can do. God asks us only to use what we have, ‘each according to his ability’. Noah was a one-talent-man! God asked him to build a boat and by that one act, he saved the world. Faithfulness and perseverance are highly valued by God.
4) not to be guided by our fears. Too often we hold back and don’t do things because we’re afraid; this leads to regrets. Faith involves risk. We live by faith and not by sight. We are part of God’s army and there is no such thing as a ‘comfortable army.’ Fear distorts our views and keeps us limited; it robs us of the joy and destiny that God has for us.
If we keep on mission, we will use the talents God has given us and will be rewarded by Him, for He is not at all like the unfaithful servant perceived the master to be. He is good and His love endures for ever; His plans for us are good and are to give us hope and a future.