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Making the Most of What You Have, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2022 8:00 am

Making the Most of What You Have, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 30, 2022 8:00 am

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Do you think of yourself as an owner of what you have or as a steward of what you've been given? In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares today's Destined for Victory message, Making the Most of What You Have. But before he gets started, he's been kind enough to join us from his studio in California. Pastor, we're getting ready to launch into a new five-part series.

You've titled it Making the Most of What You Have, so tell us what to expect in this series. I've never heard scriptures like, Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of your Lord. And yes, that's true, and that's what Jesus told us in that parable of the talents. But that was because there were two servants he had left his resources with who had done good things with those resources.

But there was a third dude, and the third dude did not hear, Well done. He received the chastening, the rebuke, the rebuke of the master, because instead of giving the master a good return on his investment, he had taken the talent he received and hidden it. The fact is, many of us in the body of Christ are hiding our talents and our gifts of various sorts. Our time, our talent, our treasure are all resources God is looking for a return on. And so I preach this series hoping to challenge the Lord in the future.

Listeners, to understand we all have those three things. We all have time God gave us. We all have talents God gave us. We all have treasure, whether a lot or a little. But God is expecting a return on those. I think this series is really going to be eye-opening and I pray life-changing for people so we can all be prepared to hear the Lord say, Well done, good and faithful servant. What a day that will be, Pastor Paul. You know, as Pastor said just now, life is about stewardship, not ownership. And today he reminds us that in the kingdom of God, the best and most joyful way to live is by being a faithful steward. That means using our time, our talent and our treasure for his glory, not our own. Here now is Pastor Paul with today's message, Making the Most of What You Have.

My goal in this series that I'm launching with this message is a simple yet very important one. And that is to help us learn how to give God an excellent return on his investment in our lives of various resources. God has invested into our lives treasure, that is financial resources, time, and talent, ability. And we are to give God a return on his investment. Therefore, we need to learn from the mouth of our Lord what that means, how important it is, and how we can give God an excellent return. In other words, the goal is to become excellent stewards or managers of the resources God has entrusted to us.

So let's lay a foundation in this message. I want you to realize that what we're looking at here in Matthew 25, beginning with verse 14 is a parable. When Jesus spoke a parable, a parable is a story. And so there are a number of parables spoken by the mouth of our Lord. And in sharing parables, Jesus was telling stories in order to illustrate important spiritual truths. He used things in nature. He used things in life that would help us understand, get a grasp on spiritual truths. I often say as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. And Jesus would use natural things in order to teach spiritual truths. And so there are a number of parables that are definitely worth studying in the Scriptures.

And this is one of them. It's commonly called the parable of the talents. And in it, Jesus shares with us some important spiritual truths. So let's lay a foundation by just taking it very slowly and walking through this parable to glean from it all of the spiritual nutrients that we are to get from it and eat from it that we might be spiritually healthy. Look with me at verse 14 of Matthew 25. Jesus says, again, it will be like a man going on a journey. It will be like a man going on a journey.

What does he mean it will be like? Well, in context, when you look earlier in the chapter where he has shared yet another story, he says, I want to help you understand what the kingdom of heaven is like. Now, when Matthew uses the phrase kingdom of heaven, it is a phrase that is interchangeable with a more common phrase, kingdom of God. Most of the time when you look in the gospels, you will see the spiritual kingdom, God's kingdom spoken of as the kingdom of God. However, in Matthew's gospel, a number of times it is referred to as the kingdom of heaven.

There's no problem, no conflict because they are one and the same. God only has one kingdom. It is the sphere of his rule. Now, sometimes when we see the word heaven, we assume that it's talking about that place that Jesus said, I'm going to prepare for you. But heaven is not just a locale. Heaven is the headquarters, if you will, of where God is. Wherever God is, heaven is. And so the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably.

And so there's no problem at all. So what is being spoken of here is the kingdom of God, the spiritual kingdom where God dwells. The kingdom of God, don't think of it in terms of a location. There is a day when all of us will be in heaven with the Lord, but the kingdom of God is present right here on earth right now.

You know why? Because God's kingdom is wherever God is ruling. And God is in charge everywhere. And when we submit our lives to him, we enjoy the benefits of the kingdom right here on earth. I'm not waiting for heaven to get all of my benefits.

I'm enjoying them right now. Now heaven's going to be great. Can't wait to go. But don't think that you're not in a spiritual kingdom until you get to heaven. The reality is you can and should live under the rule of God right here and right now.

You and I are to enjoy the benefits of being citizens of heaven even while we're still on earth. And so we're living in the kingdom of God right now because it has to do with the rule of God. The kingdom has a king. God is king.

He is in charge. And so the first thing I want you to notice here in this passage is when he says, it, the kingdom, will be like a man going on a journey, he is referring to himself, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to save us, to redeem us, to show us what living right was really supposed to look like. And now, having established the rule of God in our hearts through the gift of salvation, Jesus has gone away.

But here's what you got to understand. He's gone on a journey. A journey by definition means he has gone somewhere other than home, but he is returning. First thing I want you to note from this parable is that Jesus has gone away, but he's coming back. Jesus has gone away, but he's coming back.

I need you to know that. As a preacher of the gospel, my job is to tell you the truth. And the truth of the matter is you can't afford to live any kind of way you want because the master is coming back. You can't afford to do your thing because the master is coming back.

You can't afford to act like bad kids who act up when daddy's not home because daddy is coming back. I'm here to tell you that he has taken a journey, but it is not a one-way journey. It is a round-trip journey. He is coming back. He told his disciples in John 14, I'm going away because if I don't go away, I cannot fulfill in you the plan of the Heavenly Father. So I must leave the earth physically so that I can send the Holy Spirit who will abide with you while the kingdom message is preached and the gospel is spread throughout the world. He said, I've got to go away, but he said, I am coming back. In fact, in John 14, 3, he says, where I'm going, I'm going to prepare a place for my bride. I'm going to fix it up. I'm going to hook it up. And when I come back, he said, I will receive you to myself.

He is coming back. You need to understand that is a cardinal doctrine. That is a fundamental doctrine teaching of the church of Jesus Christ because it is rooted in the truth of Scripture. We don't serve some dead religious leader. You will not find Jesus' tomb anywhere here because he didn't stay in it. He borrowed Joseph's tomb. His family didn't buy a plot. Well, let's get Jesus a nice plot. They didn't buy a plot because he didn't need a plot. He was only going to need it for the weekend. You don't buy a place you only need for the weekend.

You rent that. And he had a friend, Joseph of Arimathea, who was touched by the message of Jesus. And Joseph came forward and said, I have a plot and I'll let him use it.

You all can borrow it. And they stuck his body in there. But the Bible says early that Sunday morning, the stone was rolled away from the entrance of Joseph's tomb. And when the folks showed up, they noticed that the stone was rolled away. And they noticed that when somebody went in to see what had happened, they didn't see his body.

They saw his grave clothing neatly folded. Jesus was so bad, he took his time leaving the tomb. You know, when you're the resurrection, you don't have to hurry out of town. Let me hurry up and get out of here.

No, no. That was the power of God that raised him up. So he didn't have to worry about anybody. When the father woke him up, he said, all right, this is borrowed. You know, when people let you use something, you're supposed to leave it in the condition that they gave it to you in. So he said, let me hook up Joseph's tomb.

I really appreciate this. And he folded, the Bible said they found the stuff neatly folded. Jesus tied it up and then he left the tomb. Told them, go tell my disciples and Peter to meet me in Galilee.

I want to see them. And the Bible tells us, the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that more than 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus alive after his resurrection. And it was proven that Jesus was alive. We don't serve a dead religious leader. In fact, Christianity is really not a religion.

In its essence, it's more a relationship with a living Savior. And we'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. Listen to the broadcast on demand anytime at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net.

There you'll also find a host of great resources in our online store, including books and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. Well, he left this earth 2000 years ago, but he will be coming back. How shall we now live in light of his future return? Here's Pastor Paul with the second half of today's message, making the most of what you have.

It's not about rules and regulations and do's and don'ts. It's about walking with the one who loved you so much that he died for you and was raised again on the third day and now says, I want you to walk with me and fulfill my plan and purpose for your life. So Jesus has gone away that we might do the will of God on earth over these centuries. But he said, I am coming back. And the greatest proof of that is his resurrection. He is alive. He is not dead. He is alive. We serve a risen Savior.

He's in the world today. And so, listen, because you know that according to the scriptures, that ought to regulate your mindset and your world view as you live your life. You live differently when you know that the one in charge is coming back. Well, for that matter, you do that on your job. If your supervisor is not dead on a certain day, your direct report not dead on a certain day, you don't lose your mind because you know they will be back at some point. You can't go in there and change all the rules and set up and you can't send out an inner office memo. All right, we're changing everything now. You can take lunch break as long as you want.

No, you can't because the boss is coming back. And so you regulate yourself. In fact, those of us who are really learning how to live by the principles of the word of God, we know that we work for God anyway. I said we know that we work for God anyway.

You all were a little slow on that when I had to say it again. We work for God anyway. So, listen, it's no big deal even whether the boss is there or not.

The one you really work for is with you all the time. So you want to answer to him with a clear conscience. But you act differently. You know when we were kids, if your parents went out once you were old enough to be home with your siblings without babysitters, you know what, you remember that speech your pastor would tell you, all right, I want you all to behave yourselves now. And sometimes they put like an older child who has the oldest sibling in charge. Sometimes they did that. Sometimes they just said all of you all behave yourself and hope for the best. But however your parents did it, you knew, you all knew that they were coming back.

And that should have made you dig yourself. Now, it didn't always do it. Because, you know, some of you all just act a fool and just, you know, get away with as much as you could for as long as you could. But once you heard that key in the door or once you heard the car pull up in the driveway, you knew business is about to pick up. If you're acting up, you're going to stop at that point because they wanted you to behave in a certain way. And they were coming back.

And it should have regulated the way you thought and the way you behaved. How much more if we understand that the one who has gone on a journey has said, I am coming again. I am coming again. Now, the fact that he has not yet come should not make you feel entitled to behaving and living and thinking and acting any kind of way. In fact, what you ought to be doing is looking at the signs. When you read your Bible and you realize that although he didn't tell us the day or the hour, and remember, we live in a day, a dangerous spiritual day, we live in a day where people love trying to come up with revelations. You got to watch some of these folk when they tell you, I got a revelation. Because if what they mean by that is I got an understanding of the truth that's already been here, that's fine. If what they mean though is I got a new word, you never heard it before because God just gave it to me and it can't be verified in the pages of Scripture, you need to leave that word with them.

I got to help you now discern. These are spiritually crazy days. And I've heard people say, I know when the Lord is coming back.

He has revealed to me when he's coming back. Or I studied enough things and I found the codes in the Bible. Your Bible isn't a book of codes. This isn't some mystery novel. It's the revelation of God's eternal truth. And he didn't give you codes, he gave you signs.

Here's what I mean. 2 Timothy 3, mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days. We don't know when he's coming, but we can mark the signs.

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, check. Lovers of money, check. Boastful, check. Proud, check. Abusive, check.

Disobedient to their parents, don't stop me, check. Ungrateful, check. Unholy, check. Without love, check. Unforgiving, check. Slanderous, check.

Without self-control, check. Brutal, check. Not lovers of the good, check. Treacherous, check.

Rash, check. Conceited, check. Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, check.

Having a form of godliness but denying its power. If those are signs of the last days, you better be living right. Because what that means is while we don't know when he's coming, we know his coming is soon. Now the last days technically started on the day of Pentecost, which was nearly 2,000 years ago.

And so if that ushered in the beginning of the last days, the last days' error, we don't know where in the last days' error we are, but we are closer to his return than ever before. You've heard me tell the story of the little boy watching his grandfather in his clock shop. Some of you have heard it, others haven't, plus I want to hear it again. The little boy was watching his grandfather in his clock shop, and his grandfather in fact had taught this lad how to tell time, at least the top of the hour, by the chimes. And so he would teach him how to count. And the little boy had gotten good, and he knew to count the chimes, and he could tell his grandfather what time it was. Grandfather decided to trick him one day, and so he set one of the clocks to chime 13 times. And he said, all right, this one's going to chime, and I want you to tell me what time it is. And the boy started listening, and it chimed 13 times. And his grandfather said, all right, now what time is it?

The little boy thought for a moment. He said, I don't know, but it's later than it's ever been before. And if you ask me when is Jesus coming, I'm going to tell you I don't know, but I will quickly add, but it's later than it's ever been before. He has gone on a journey, but he is on his way back. And according to 2 Timothy's list of signs, his return may very well be imminent. So Jesus has gone away, but he's coming back. That's the first thing I want you to grab hold of as we look at this parable. Jesus is the man in the parable who has gone on a journey.

Jesus has gone away, but he's coming back. The second thing I want you to understand as we lay a foundation for understanding this important parable is that we are the servants spoken of in the text. We are God's servants. That's the second point.

Jesus has gone away, but he's returning. That's the first point. Second is that we are God's servants. Look again at verse 14. It will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. He called his servants, his servants. We are God's servants. Now, I want you to meditate on that thought because if the Bible refers to us as servants, then we must understand our purpose then is to serve the interests of our master. We are servants.

We are bond slaves, if you will. We are those who are committed to serving the master. If we are God's servants, then that ought to tell you how we ought to be living our lives, with what worldview, with what focus we ought to live our lives. If you are a servant, your job then is to serve the interest of someone other than yourself. Think of servanthood just in general. If you're in a service-oriented job, you are providing a service for someone else. Your focus is to be the best interest of someone else. By definition, a servant is to serve, is to serve. That's your job, to take care of the best interest, to see to, to facilitate the best interest of someone other than yourself. Now, that's important for us to understand because we live in days where it is tough to find people who really have a mindset of excellent service and servanthood. It's tough. You know, the old saying, it's tough to find good help. But beyond that, it's tough to find people who have a servant orientation, people who are willing to really focus on someone else. It's bad when you go somewhere expecting service and you find someone who is only interested in looking out for him or herself.

It's bad when you go to a restaurant and the waiter doesn't want to wait. Thanks for being here for today's message, Making the Most of What You Have. For more information about Destined for Victory or to listen to any recent message on demand, stop by our website, pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net. And as you may know, Destined for Victory depends on your prayers and financial support to share the gospel all over the world through our media ministry. As you give today, we'll be happy to send you by request Pastor Paul's booklet, Trusting God in Scary Times. That's Trusting God in Scary Times, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. So call us at 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online or mail your gift. Your address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, our address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. We have people going around searching for fulfillment and we're searching among all the wrong things. So a lot of people think I'll be fulfilled once I switch careers.

You may or you may not. The deeper question is, when you get where you're going, where will you be and who sent you there? That's next time when Pastor Paul Shepherd continues his message, Making the Most of What You Have. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-14 06:41:20 / 2023-05-14 06:50:52 / 10

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