“LIMITED BUT USEFUL” By Pastor YAU
Text: Matthew 25:24-28 August 26, 2007.
1) About Albert Einstein: Suzanne Block, a musician from
2) About you and me: Do we sometimes lament our limitations? We all have abilities, but we are also afflicted with inability and limitations. Some of us are tempted to use our limitations as excuses for not doing the things God has enabled us to do. Just because God doesn’t give you the gift to speak in public or sing a solo in a choir doesn’t mean you can sit on the sideline of life or church or community and do nothing. We can pray for others. We can show kindness and love to those who are lonely and weak. We can visit the sick in hospitals or their homes. We also can share with people how God works in your life. The limit of opportunities is your imagination.
THE QUEST OF ABILITIES:
1) It is human nature: Ever since the beginning of human history, men, and women, wanted to pursue abilities even those they may never have. Just look at the inner desire of Eve, the very first woman on earth. One of the reasons Eve was tempted to eat the forbidden fruit was she wanted to have the ability God has: the ability to know good from evil. (Genesis 3:5) Down through history, men seek to acquire abilities to do things they want to do, to achieve goals they want to achieve and to make things happen the way they want them to happen. Men want to be all able or all powerful. But history proves otherwise. This may explain why the movie “Superman” is so ever popular to people of all age. We all want to be like the Superman
2) It has never happened: For some unknown reasons, God did not allow this to happen. He never gives anyone all the abilities he wants so he can do all things his way. Instead, He allows each of us to have some abilities but not all we want. He did this for a purpose: He wants us to accomplish His purpose in our lives and He has provided us sufficient abilities to do that. If anyone could have all the abilities to do all things, he or she may be too proud to elevate his/her position as high as God and could become useless in God’s Kingdom like the bright morning star. (Isaiah 14:12)
3) It is for our own good: God inspired Paul, the Apostle, to tell us His plan for us as human beings in this world in Romans 12:3. The Bible says, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of your self with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” What do you think you would become if you have all the abilities to do all things your way while others have all the limitations? It is for this reason God sets in each life abilities and limitation according to His grace and our faith. This is the most fair and balance way for all of us to function in this world.
4) It promotes cooperation: Following the reason in Romans 12:3, God continues to let us know how He likes to see that we all work together for the good of His church. In 12:4-5 it says, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” Cooperation among all the members, be it at home, in school, at church or in any other place, is the key to build up each other and together we build the church. When everyone has something to give, it promotes a strong sense of belonging and that is what God wants to see we work in His church.
LITTLE CAN BE USEFUL: (Ref: Matt. 25:24-28) Teachings from the parable of Jesus.
1) The Master knows the best: In this parable, Jesus specified clearly that the master entrusted his property to his servants with different amounts of money “according to his ability.” (25:14-15)This is a very important statement. No man knows the ability of the servants better than their master who deals with them day in and day out. Each of them has their different talents and receives from the master different amount of trust. If a human master knows the ability of his servants, how much more will you think God knows each one of us and will give us His trust according to our different ability? There is no need to complain, to compare or to feel inferior because someone else may have more talents and trust than you have.
2) The Master expects result: By receiving trusts from their master, the servants knew their responsibility: to make a profit from the trusts they received. The trusts were properties of the master. It was not their money. They were entrusted the money to make a profit like everyone else. The one with the smallest trust got rebuked and punished not because he didn’t make as much as other servants but because he “hid and buried” the trusts, never used them to profit the master as it was expected. We see the lesson here that when God entrusts us with talents, He expects us to make good use of it to benefit His Kingdom. Any one who for any reason did not make good use of the trust fails the intention of God and his responsibility and will be punished.
3) The Master refused the blame: This third servant did not just betray the trust of his master he blamed his master as heartless and cruel. (25:24) Here we see the typical phenomena: someone fails his duties and he blames on others. This happened in the days of Jesus and it happens even today. Those who are sluggards always find someone or something to blame. Instead of confess their sins they try to blame on others. We see many otherwise talented Christians who either refuse to or neglect their responsibility to serve the Lord in His church will blame on anyone and anything else for their failure. But God will not take their complaint or accepts their excuses.
4) The Master exercised judgment: Some people who are sloppy in fulfilling their duties think that they can get away from it and in some cases they do. But our God is a just God and will not treat the guilty as not guilty. (Exodus 34:7) Refusing to fulfill the command of God in wasting His talents is guilty of contempt of the Almighty God. The judgment imposed on this lazy and evil servant is serious and lasting. Christians should be serious of God’s judgment on our willful refusal of diligent use of God’s trusts: talents, resource and opportunities. To be given trusts is a privilege. To hide or bury God’s trust is guilty of contempt of God and deserves punishments.