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Doxology : “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”
Call to worship
For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
Hymn No 339: “Christ whose glory fills the skies” (Tune 409)
Invocation and the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Correctional Centres Chaplaincy
Hymn No 615: “Let your heart be broken”
Scripture Reading Exodus 20:1-17
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
Declaration of pardoning
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. (Psalm 66:17-19)
Hymn No 307: “All praise to our redeeming Lord”
Offering and Dedication
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.
(1 Corinthians 16:2)
Remaining seated we sing 365
Hymn 365: 1, 2, 3, 5.
Prayer for others
Scripture Reading Matthew 25:14-30
· Partners in the Gospel (Philippians 1 – the church in Philippi shared in the mission effort of Paul)
· Members of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4 – Christ is the Head and we are the members. Christ apportioned to us all gifts. He appointed those who would equip the members of Christ’s body to do works of service. Only when the members of the body work together and every one does its little bit, the body matures to the full measure of Christ so they live to the honour of God resisting and surviving the attacks of the evil.
The Scripture this morning continues along the same line. We picked this theme with our conference of Wednesday in mind: we want to know what the principles of God’s Word is so we can effectively operate as God’s Church in this crooked and evil world. Further, we need to know that employing the gifts of every member of the church is not a new model cooked up by the ministers or session. It is a model as old as the Scriptures. It is not some optional extra for some long-winded Christians who love being tortured in some deed of religious masochism. On the contrary, for every member of the body of Christ in the daily work of the Kingdom of God is the most natural act of dedication. In fact, it is the sign of a healthy church. Any church where some members do not pull their weight reflects signs of some sickness which will eventually render the whole church ailing.
Let’s look at this portion of God’s Word in Matthew 25:14-30. Our Lord Jesus Christ is telling a parable. It is about a man of noble birth who went away to a distant country and who entrusted his property to his servants. He comes back and demand accountability from them. He applies certain principles in exercising his lordship over his servants, and they respond to his lordship.
8 The owner
8 24:45 – the Master, the one who is in control and to whom everything belongs.
8 25:1 – the Groom, who is about to marry the bride.
8 Luke 19:12 – a man of noble birth who was about to receive the kingship.
Going on a journey: to journey away from one’s home or home country, implying for a considerable period of time and at quite a distance.
Called: to urgently invite someone to accept responsibilities for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does the calling.
8 Jesus Christ:
• King and Lord over his Church
• Will return one day
8 The owners property
Property: 8 Servants: The original refers to something like “his very own” – it’s emphatic. In other words, those over which he has personal lordship. Servant: one who is a slave in the sense of becoming the property of an owner because his owner bought him. He now does not belong to himself, but his purpose in life is to live for the master who bought him.
8 Talents: That which emphatically belongs to him. There is no change for confusion as to whom the talents or property belongs.
8 Entrust: to hand over to or to convey something to someone, particularly a right or an authority. It is not give it away. It is to delegate and assign interim authority over what does not belong to the recipient. A good translation is to refer to stewardship.
8 Jesus Christ:
• His Church family
• Dominion (stewardship)
8 The owner entrusts
8 Ability: Justice – according to his ability.
8 Not in equal parts: Everyone receives as the master saw fit. Everyone has stewardship over that portion assigned to him, to his ability, not above what he is able to manage.
8 Parity: Responsibility is the same: to put the Masters money to work. We share the same responsibility; the grade differs according to the gifts awarded.
8 The Stewardship
– 8 To put what belongs to the Master to work
Never did anyone of these servants see the talents given to them as their own. They considered it as belonging to the Master. That’s precisely correct. So should we.
– 8 To guard – actively
Two immediately went and put to work the money of their master. They were successful, as the investment doubled. The guarded their masters investment positively and actively.
– 8 To guard – passively
One guarded to money passively. He knew it did not belong to him, but to the Master. He took no chances and dug a hole in ground to preserve and secure what did not belong to him. This in itself sounds very noble, but it missed the intention of the Master. The Master wanted it to grow. The investment is too precious to not grow with interest.
8 The accounts settled
– 8 The Master returned to his property
– 8 Servants gave account
– 8 The Master rewarded the faithful
– 8 They knew
– 8 Greater responsibility
– 8 Happiness with the Master
– 8 The Master rewarded the unfaithful
– 8 He knew
– 8 Exclusion from kingdom
– 8 Weeping and gnashing of teeth
• 8 The Church belongs to Jesus Christ
• 8 Christ will return - accounts will be settled
• 8 The corporate body will give account
• 8 Each member in this body will give account
• 8 We know - you know
• 8 What will the Master say?
On Wednesday night we will meet. Come and help us to help to develop your talents to the honour of the Master.