Faithful In a Few Things (Matthew 25.14-24)
Faithful in a Few Things
Text: Matthew 25:14-24
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (08/27/06)
INTRODUCTION: Retell Parable Briefly.
Introduce subject of faithfulness.
The Bible has much to say about Faithfulness.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
There are many examples of faithful men & women in the Bible.
LOOK UP & READ Hebrews 11:6-10, 17-31, 32-38A
Faithfulness is one of the great requirements of the Christian life!
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
We may not be the best parent, friend, witness, teacher etc. in all the world, but we can be faithful.
Glamour is not Greatness
Let it never be forgotten that glamour is not greatness; applause is not fame; prominence is not eminence. The man of the hour is not apt to be the man of the ages. A stone may sparkle, but that does not make it a diamond; people may have money, but that does not make them a success.
It is what the unimportant people do that really counts and determines the course of history. The greatest forces in the universe are never spectacular. Summer showers are more effective than hurricanes, but they get no publicity. The world would soon die but for the fidelity, loyalty, and consecration of those whose names are unhonored and unsung. - James R. Sizoo
Bits & Pieces, June 22, 1995, p. 11.
We will look today at the Definition, the Dispensation and the Dividends of Faithfulness as seen in the life of the Good & Faithful Servant of Matt 25.
I. The Definition of Faithfulness
A full definition of faithfulness takes into account several ideas
A. Reliability & Dependability
In the transaction of business.
In the execution of commands.
In the discharge of official duties.
The faithful person is one who will get the job done.
Psalms 15:4 …. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
Someone once asked James J. Corbett, at that time heavyweight champion of the world, what was the most important thing a man must do to become a champion. He replied, “Fight one more round.”
The Duke of Wellington said that the British soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo were not any braver than Napoleon’s soldiers—but they were brave for five minutes longer.
That is about it for the Christian.
Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
B. Earned Confidence
This is very similar to the first aspect of the definition of faithfulness. The difference being that one is what you are, the second is what others come to know you to be.
Your faithfulness may go unnoticed in some area of life, but never by God!
The faithful person develops a reputation as being trustworthy, believable and credible.
In other words they have a track record. What’s yours?
Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
There is a final element that is essential to a full definition, without it everything else collapses.
C. The Backbone of Belief
“Faith-Full” or Full-of-Faith!!
We are talking about one who trusts simply and fully in the promises of God.
There is a traceable and unmistakable link between Faith & Faithfulness.
What you do is important (The Act of Faithfulness). But your actions flow out of a core system of beliefs. (The Foundation of Faithfulness).
ILLUS: What I believe about God impacts how I live my life. What I believe about time and eternity, the afterlife will make a marked difference in how I spend my time.
What I believe about Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Church etc. etc. all have practical implications – Every doctrine of God’s Word ought to inspire faithfulness in some area of my Christian life.
ILLUS: Conversely – We have people conducting suicide missions, plotting terrorist activities and flying planes into buildings in recent years, because of a nefarious belief system.
II. The Dispensation of Faithfulness
“thou hast been faithful over a few things”
Not “ALL” responsibility, but an “AREA” of responsibility.
No matter how small we think our role, we should understand that it is a matter of utmost importance and eternal significance.
God has given each of us a stewardship, or administration over a few things, it is not much.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
It is not a burdensome thing to serve God faithfully in the few things he has entrusted to us!
What are they?
A. Our Individual Life
LOOK UP & READ John 21:18-22 (EXPLAIN)
2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
BUSYBODY – Self-appointed expert in the affairs of another.
With that in mind consider the following…
For Believers – Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
For Unsaved – Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
B. Our Calling
“Called to be saints”
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Called to be servants
Called to specific ministry.
1. Ekklessia – “called out” assembly – We are an assembly of the Called.
Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
2. Specific Life’s Vocation – Pastor, Missionary etc.
C. Spiritual Gifts
Rom 12:3-9; I Cor 12:1-11, 27-31; Eph 4:7-16
1. Spiritual gifts are God-given abilities to minister or serve.
2. Spiritual gifts are given to believers by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11)
Every believer has a gift or “Gift-Mix”
3. The giving of a spiritual gift is an act of God's grace (the major part of the word which is translated "gifts" is the New Testament word for "grace," compare Rom.12:6 and 1 Pet. 4:10).
2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
III. The Dividends of Faithfulness
In many ways faithfulness is it’s own reward. The joy of a job well done, a good and restful sleep at night, the quiet confidence that God will see us through a difficult situation.
In addition, there are significant rewards for the faithful believer reserved for eternity.
A. Proclamation of the Master’s Approval
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”
This commendation was both personal and sincere.
B. Promotion to the Master’s Appointment
Psalms 75:6-7 6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
“I will make thee ruler over many things:”
1. From Servant to Ruler
2. From a few things to many things.
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
C. Participation in the Master’s Delight
“enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
“We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking $1,000 bill and laying it on the table— ‘Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.’ But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $l,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, ‘Get lost.’ Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It’s done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.”.