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Use It or Lose It

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Have you ever heard that expression --- Use it or lose it...
No one wants to give someone something to have it sit on a shelf! TRUE???
Most of us are not forward enough to say we will take it back. LOL
It is actually a principle of science however —
The BRAIN - in our youth we develop certain abilities that our brain becomes sharpened at - as adults we often can do these functions in pilot mode as our brain has honed the skill in such a way that it just goes automatically into action when using those skills.
If we cease however to use those skills, it is proven that the brain begins to deteriorate and become less sharp.
As we age, the more sedentary and less engaged we allow ourselves to become - the greater the brain loss. In fact, it is proven that it is better for SENIORS to be active and engaged to maintain youthfulness and brain functionality.
The sedentary retiree that sits at home and watches TV all day becomes more and more inactive...
USE IT or LOSE IT --- the same goes for muscle function - if not used and exercised it atrophies.
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NOW - here is another example of USE IT OR LOSE IT
Every year over 1 BILLION DOLLARS goes unused in gift cards!!! Can you imagine that - 1 BILLION! and many gift cards have expiration dates on them so if you don’t use it in a certain time frame - you lose it!!!
RETAILERS have this figured out that in pre-selling their merchandise they make money when it is never claimed.
How about when GOD BLESSES us and we fail to USE IT!!!
He gives us dreams, ideas, abilities so not only our lives are blessed, but the Kingdom of God and the COMMUNITY OF FAITH is blessed as well!!
Well, there is a principle that Jesus taught about in Scripture…
Matthew 25:14–28 NKJV
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
matt 25.
The word TALENT here refers to actual money - but there is a principle that exists because ABILITY is how we MAKE MONEY!!! These were given according to their ability.

1. God Invests Ability Into Our Lives

God has invested “talents” or abilities into EACH OF OUR LIVES!!!
There is not one here that does not possess some ability!
Cook
Clean
Build
Manage
Teach
Music
etc.
Many of those talents are your ability to supply for your family and needs. You use those giftings to make money.
God who made you and created you formed you with special abilities and gifts to be used in this world, but His desire was for us to USE THEM!!!
No investment should ever be taken lightly!
Investment of time, money, resources to train are all done sacrificially.
Our world goes around through investors helping others get established and making new businesses which mutually benefit both of them.
How many have watched the TV SHOW SHARK TANK?
Investors find an area of interest and entrepreneurs who have a drive to accomplish a new business, sell a product, use a honed skill to expand and multiply...
If the product or business interests them or benefits them — THEY INVEST --- not only money, but their knowledge and name to help.
Think of that for a second! BECAUSE GOD INVESTED IN YOU so HE COULD USE YOU TO HELP BUILD HIS KINGDOM!
That is right --- He gave you abilities, monies/resources, talents, knowledge, etc
HE GAVE YOU HIS NAME!!! and AUTHORITY
Ephesians 4:7 NLT
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:2 NLT
2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 10:19 NLT
19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.

2. God Has Expectation on His Investment

YEs, I just said that - God expects to see a return on His investment. He wants us to do something with those abilities He has given into our lives.
YEs, I just said that - God expects to see a return on His investment. He wants us to do something with those abilities He has given into our lives.
God knows that the COmmunity of Faith needed those gifts...
God knows that in order to reach the lost those gifts would be needed...
God has an expectation that what has been invested will be utilized to make a greater return in the Kingdom...
What is a greater return in the Kingdom of God --- the salvation of the lost, the discipleship of the believer and the strengthening of the Community of Faith!
IN other words - GOd wants us to USE IT!!! Use what He has given us.
Matthew 25:14 NLT
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
ENTRUSTED THEM...
Let me call out some today who are using their talents for the Kingdom...
Right now, even as we speak, a young man from our church is using his ability to wire up and do the electrical components on our church remodel. This talent that supplies for his family is being offered up to Jesus for use in the Kingdom of God.
Our General Contractor is also using his talents to help build the church in managing the project and sub contractors.
In a couple of weeks, another gentlemen from our church will donate his time to install all the flooring - a talent invested in his life given back to the Kingdom of God.
The fire alarm system was orchestrated and coordinated by a gentleman in our church who works in fire suppression systems and had connections - again - invested into the Kingdom of God
We have another lady in our church who is preparing to use her artistic talent to create backdrops for our Halloween outreach this year...
How about our musicians that use their abilities each week in our praise service or our children’s teachers...
Every week we have people investing the talents given to them by the Lord to further the Kingdom of God.
No investment is too small — the Servants in this story had different levels entrusted to them, based on where they were at the moment.
Sometimes the investment is time, other time ability, sometimes it is literal finances to resource what is needed!
The key is that the investment was given to be used!!!!
I think the most important verse of this parable is
Matthew 25:26 NLT
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,
Matthew 25:26–27 NLT
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
To DO NOTHING with what I have invested into your life is to have a total disregard for the investor!!!!
Jesus is saying that the Lord wants you to USE WHAT HE HAS PUT IN YOUR HANDS FOR HIS KINGDOM...
Jesus words here, not mine...

3. God Rewards/Punishes the Handling of His Investment

This may be hard for some to swallow, but it is a principle that Jesus lays down here...
To those who take God’s investment in their lives seriously and turn around and use that investment in time, ability, and finances — God demonstrates He will pour more into their lives in the same to make them more productive in the Kingdom and in return that also brings blessing into their lives...
For those who refuse to utilize what God has invested into our lives --- they will lose it and even potentially their own soul!
OUR SALVATION is an INVESTMENT of the LORD IN OUR LIVES - purchased by the BLOOD OF JESUS, and GOD expects us to be about the KINGDOM WORK so others too might be saved...
USE IT OR LOSE IT He is CLEARLY SAYING IN THIS PASSAGE...
He looked at the servant who did nothing with his investment but hoarde it and bury it in the ground as SELFISH!
You took my wealth and riches and hid them....
Are we hiding our salvation?
Are we burying the gift of the Kingdom of GOd and the Gospel of Christ
Are we so selfish that we cannot partake of the COMMUNITY OF FAITH to help grow the KINGDOM ---
There is great reward for those who use their God given abilities, their time and their finances… for those who bury them He speaks of having them stripped away!
matt 25.28
Matthew 25:28–30 NLT
28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
However, those servants who USED THEIR TALENTS --- THEY WERE INCREASED IN THEIR LIVES
Do you want to see the increase of the Lord in your abilities, time, and finances!!! Be a good steward of what He as given you --- it is a Biblical principle that if we USE THEM FOR HIS GLORY they WILL BE INCREASED for HIS GLORY in our lives.
You may wonder why some have more ability and resources than you might seem to have — it is because God knows WHO will take what they have and USE IT FOR HIS GLORY and then He keeps increasing it...
If you are found to be that trustworthy servant, He will do the same in your life.

Conclusion

SO is God a big mean guy???
NO
Jesus taught us this to help us realize how important it is to God that we recognize our abilities and resources, and often our abilities are what we use to RESOURCE OUR LIVES were not given to us solely for us, but because the greater picture is that
those who are lost in sin be found!!!
Luke 19:10 NLT
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Jesus came for this purpose --- HE wants us to make this OUR PURPOSE AS WELL
We are not really investing our abilities, time, resources into the Kingdom of God, we are being
STEWARDS OF WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY INVESTED INTO US....
To bury those things in the ground hidden away from benefiting the KINGDOM OF GOD is to be selfish with what God has entrusted to us...
He wants us to USE IT or we will LOSE IT...
Can I challenge you as the body of Christ today to invest what God has invested in you back into the Kingdom???
WITH IT comes a promise of BLESSING, MULTIPLICATION IN OUR LIVES, and ETERNAL REWARD
USE IT OR LOSE IT - the CHOICE IS YOURS!
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