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Acts of Talents

Acts of Harvest   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The submission of the self to the will of God, in thanksgiving and service.

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Title: Acts of Talents
What this is all about: You have a responsibility to the ministry of Jesus Christ
What I want you to know: You will be held responsible for your role in the ministry of Jesus Christ
What you need to do: Respond with faith to the call that you have been given to the ministry of Jesus Christ
How you need to do this: Recognize the gifts that have been given to you and use them.
Series: Acts of Harvest
Text: ,
Date: February 11, 2018
Pastor Mike Ellis
Introduction:
- Today we are going to continue our journey through the book of Acts through the lens of harvesting.
- This theme comes from the words of Jesus Christ found in .
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
- We are now six weeks into this study, and we should have learned some things that change our lives.
1 John 3:16 CSB
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
- Starting with the very idea that you have been called to be workers of the harvest.
- The second lesson was that you need to be prepared to respond when the Holy Spirit says to do so.
- The third lesson was that your devotion needs to be only to God and His work.
- The fourth lesson was about being bold for the Lord, and how this can only be accomplished through a courageous faith.
- Last week the lesson was in unity, and the absolute necessity of being of one heart and one mind.
- We saw this unity through some people of the church selling some of their extra land and homes for those that were in need.
- The whole point was to be crucifying one self for the greater good of all.
- Today we will continue the thought of crucifying self, but we will do so with service to God and His church through ministry using the gifts that have been given to you.
Read
Acts 6:1–7 CSB
In those days, as the disciples were increasing in number, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution. The Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, “It would not be right for us to give up preaching the word of God to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch. They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly in number, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.

1. Talents Noticed

- There was church in Dallas Texas that was at war with itself.
- The church was about to split when the truth was finally revealed.
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
- A church leader had received a smaller slice of ham than a child that was sitting next to him.
- Can you imagine what the press would have done with that story?
- “The hamstrung preacher”
- “The pork bellied deacon”
- “The three little pigs that stayed home”
- We find a similar setting here in the book of Acts.
- Just last week we read of a church that was united, so what happened.
- The church was growing, and growing churches will have some struggles.
- Struggles that if not handled quickly and correctly will cause a blow up.
- For the Jerusalem church as with almost all church issues the problem was internal.
- Blaming outside sources will only get you so far, sooner or later you have to recognize the reflection in front of you.
- The real problems are within.

- Charles Spurgeon once said “that if you find a perfect church don’t join”
- For the Jerusalem Church, the problem was some griping church members.
- At this point it had been about 5 years since the day of Pentecost and a lot was happening.
- People were getting saved, they were coming to services, there was great excitement.
- And then, the complaints.
- Here we have some grumbling going on.
- This word grumble is best described when Israel was complaining against Moses while in the desert.
- The compliant was that the Greek-speaking Jews felt neglected when it came to the portions given to the widows
- They were suspicious of the Aramaic-speaking Jews
- They were making claims that their widows were getting ripped off, and that they were not getting the support they needed.
- We have no way of knowing if the accusations were true, but they were put out there for all to see and hear.
- The apostles had to do something and do it quickly.

- They recognized they should not do all the work themselves
- There response was for the church to choose among themselves people who could help.
- The church chose 7 men that fit the description given by the apostles and take note here that they chose 7 Greek-speaking men to oversee this work.

2. Talents Used

- We see in our verses how these men responded.
- They went right to work, doing what was asked of them.
- They were to serve food to the church members, and make sure that no one was shorted of any amount.
- It is here that we find the mention of the word diakonia which is Greek for deacon.
- This means servant or helper to the pastor, and servant or helper to the church.
- The servants that were appointed used their God given talents to minister to the church.
- All throughout Scripture we can find great examples of people just like you stepping up and into the role that was given to them.
- Noah and building the ark
Deuteronomy 32:6 CSB
Is this how you repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father and Creator? Didn’t he make you and sustain you?
- Jacobs son Joseph and his many roles in his life
- The Levites taking the role as priests
- Solomon building the temple
- Ezekiel being a watchman
- Jesus Christ dying on the cross
- Ray Miner and ...
- Kent Hatling and ...
-You and ...
- All of this work was done through the using of the gifts that were given.
- If you want to use your God given talents, then ask Him, get on your knees and pray that He opens the doors to be used, but you better go through the door.
- You cannot live your life just peaking in at the other side, you must walk through.

3. Talents Rewarded

Matthew 25:14–30 CSB
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ “The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. “ ‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
- The Bible uses rewards—as a motivation for service
- While the greatest motivation is love for Jesus
- Rewards are used and we should be concerned about them
-Jesus gives the Parable of the Talents in
-This parable has a simple message:
*True and false disciples will be distinguished by how they invest the resources that Christ has given them
-True disciples will serve Jesus
*they will use the resources that Jesus has given them
-False disciples will not serve Jesus
*they will not use the resources that Jesus has given them
-Those who use their resources will receive eternal reward
-Those who don’t use their resources will receive eternal judgment

-Jesus doesn’t call everyone to pastor a church
-Jesus doesn’t call everyone to foreign missions
-But he does call everyone to service
-He gives us all resources
*gifts *talents *opportunities to use them
-He expects us to use those resources in serving him
-You don’t hear many lessons like this today
-It seems that the common thought is
(1) God calls preachers—and gifts them to do ministry
(2) God calls missionaries—and gifts them to do ministry
(3) And everybody else was free to do what they wanted to do
(4) God called missionaries—to do ministry
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 CSB
Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
(5) And everybody else was free to do what they wanted to do
-You are OK—so long as you showed up to church
-You are OK—so long as you put some money in the offering plate
-That’s just the way it is, God gifted some people for ministry and not others
-That’s not the message of scripture nor has it ever been the message of scripture
-Let’s work through these verses in Matthew
-We will start with receiving the resources (vv. )
Matthew 25:14–15 CSB
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately
-A man goes on a journey
-Most likely a wealthy man
*he has slaves
*he commands those slaves to take care of his assets while he’s gone
-To one slave, he gives 5 talents “according to his ability”
-To another slave, he gives 2 talents “according to his ability”
-To another slave, he gives 1 talent “according to his ability”
-There is some debate as to the value of a talent
-For the sake of this sermon we will give a talent the value of $10,000
-Why differing amounts to the slaves
-Simply put “In the kingdom of Christ not all are created equal” (Bruner, Churchbook, 902)
-The man knew his slaves
-He knew they had differing abilities
-He didn’t give to them more than they could do
-He didn’t demand of them more than they could do
-To whom much was given—much was required
-To whom less was given—less was required

-But the master still demanded faithfulness
*faithfulness with what he had given them
-The servants were to invest their resources as best they could
-God has gifted every one of us for ministry
-All God expects is that we use our gifting to serve him
*God has given us assets
*He expects us to discover those assets
*He expects us to use those assets
*If we use those assets faithfully, he is pleased
-We began with receiving resources (vv. 14-15)
1 Chronicles 29:14 CSB
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand.
-We move on to investing resources (vv. )
Matthew 25:16–18 CSB
the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
Matthew 16–18 CSB
The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and tested him, asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. The disciples reached the other shore, and they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They were discussing among themselves, “We didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you collected? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many large baskets you collected? Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?” Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the leaven in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” Then he gave the disciples orders to tell no one that he was the Messiah. From then on Jesus began to point out to his disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned and told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified. Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.” When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” So the disciples asked him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” “Elijah is coming and will restore everything,” he replied. “But I tell you: Elijah has already come, and they didn’t recognize him. On the contrary, they did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist. When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed. Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” “Because of your little faith,” he told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” As they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.” And they were deeply distressed. When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said. When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes? From their sons or from strangers?” “From strangers,” he said. “Then the sons are free,” Jesus told him. “But, so we won’t offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you.” At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “So who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child and had him stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in my name welcomes me. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes. If your hand or your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire. “See to it that you don’t despise one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If someone has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go and search for the stray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over that sheep more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish. “If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church. If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven. “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed ten thousand talents was brought before him. Since he did not have the money to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. “At this, the servant fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything.’ Then the master of that servant had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. “That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’ “At this, his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he wasn’t willing. Instead, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. When the other servants saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”
-The master goes on his trip
-He leaves his servants behind to invest his resources
-The one with 5 talents, gained 5 more talents he doubled his master’s money
-The one with 2 talents, gained 2 more talents he doubled his master’s money
-The one with 1 talent did nothing with his master’s money
*he dug a hole
*he hid it in the ground
*he waited for his master’s return
-Digging a hole and hiding money--was a common thing in New Testament times
-It was a way of protecting money—keeping it safe, it would be like us putting it under our mattress.
-It was not a way for growing money—or investing for gain “Keeping it in this way meant that there was no possibility of loss, but it also meant that there was no possibility of gain” (Morris, p. 628)
-In reality, the slave did nothing with what the master had given him
-He was a worthless slave
-He had opportunity—and he failed to use it
-After a long time “the master” returns
-He delayed his coming—just like Jesus has delayed his coming
-He expected his servants to be faithful—just like Jesus expects us to be faithful
-He holds his servants accountable for what they’ve done
-Accountability is a good thing—it forces us to work hard—and continue to work hard.
-It keeps us in the realm of reality and allows others to speak into our lives.
-We should be accountable to men and women
-But most of all, we are accountable to God

-We will stand one day before Jesus Christ
*give account of what we have done with the resources we have been given
*with the resources we have been given
-God’s expectations are not unreasonable
-He knows who we are
-He knows what he’s made us to be
-He assigns “work and opportunity according to our abilities” (Wiersbe, p. 92)
-But he expects us to be faithful with what he’s given
-We move on to settling accounts (vv. )
Matthew 25:20–23 CSB
The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’
*receiving rewards from the one who gave the resources
-The master praises the first servant “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (v. 21)

-The servant had been entrusted with 5 talents, he gained 5 more
-He had invested the 5 talents wisely
-He would be rewarded with more
-The master praises the second servant “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (v. 23)
-The servant had been entrusted with 2 talents, he gained 2 more
-He had invested the 2 talents wisely
-He would be rewarded with more
-The master gives the very same praise to both servants
-He knew they had different abilities
*the one doubled his assets, from $50,000 to $100,000
*the other doubled his assets, from $20,000 to $40,000
-All the master demanded was that they be faithful with what they had
Romans 12:1 CSB
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.
-God knows we have differing abilities
-He has made us to be different
-He has given us different assets and opportunities
*God’s not going to judge me for the assets and opportunities that Fred Creason has
*God’s not going to judge me for the assets and opportunities that Ray Miner has
*God’s going to judge me based on the assets and opportunities that he has given me
*God’s going to judge you based on the assets and opportunities that he has given you
-God knows who we are
-But he demands that we be faithful with what we have
-We continue with settling accounts (vv.)
Matthew 25:24–30 CSB
“The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. “ ‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
*receiving judgment from the one who gave the resources
-At last, the third servant approaches the master
-He was given one talent
-He still had the talent
-He dug it up and brought it to his master. “I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours” (v. 25)
-He had not done evil with the money
-He had done nothing with the money “But by doing nothing, he was committing sin” (Wiersbe, p. 92)
-The master is angry
-He condemns the “wicked and lazy” slave (v. 26)
-He shares his expectations (v. 27) “You ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival, I would have received my money back with interest”
-The master’s expectations weren’t unreasonable
*a trip to the bank
*a few assessments here and there, to make sure that things were going well

-The return might not have been great but it would have been something and it would have showed that the servant cared about his master
-The master takes the talent away and gives it to the servant with 10 talents (v. 28)
-He throws the “worthless slave” into “outer darkness” (v. 30) “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
-Some would say that this doesn’t describe hell
-But the text implies otherwise
-The servant experiences eternal judgment
“complete and final rejection” (Morris, p. 632)
“eternally separated from God” (Barbieri, p. 80)
-Works don’t save you
*and Jesus isn’t saying that they do
-But true believers will work for Jesus they will use the resources that God has given them
-You don’t have to be hostile to Jesus to be the enemy of Jesus
2 Corinthians 8:5 CSB
and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us by God’s will.
-If you’re not working for Jesus, most likely, you don’t belong to Jesus
-If you’re not using your resources for Jesus, the gifts and opportunities that God has given to you, most likely, you don’t belong to Jesus
-You may be part of the church community
-You may be part of Christ’s visible kingdom
-You may not be part of Christ’s true kingdom
Conclusion:
You have abilities that were given to you by God to do the things of God
You have the responsibility to learn what they are.
You have a call that has been placed on your life to use the abilities, gifts, or talents in such a way that pleases God.
I personally cannot imagine a better way to end the time of judgment with hearing the words from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “well done good and faithful servant, well done”
That is the reward I seek.
What about you?

Romans 6:19 CSB
I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.

To the service of God

1 Corinthians 15:58 CSB
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

To a life of self-denial

Luke 14:33 CSB
In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

To martyrdom

Daniel 3:28 CSB
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued his servants who trusted in him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Rewards of self-giving

Matthew 10:39 CSB
Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it.

The giving of thanks

Psalm 50:23 CSB
Whoever sacrifices a thank offering honors me, and whoever orders his conduct, I will show him the salvation of God.”
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