We only have to be faithful in the little we are given. The Lord shall give rule over many things. And investing what we have with His motivation and grace and love (Philippians 2:12-16; Matthew 25:15-24)

Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Peter Westera
Sermon 12434
6:30 PM on 1/1/2023

P. Pete Westera –

Wow! That’s a good word, isn’t it. Remember those old messages in the 70’s? P. Stevens would be preaching
and someone would go, wow! What a great weekend. What a great couple of days. Spent a lot
of hours in church in the last twelve hours. That’s a good thing. And I just want to talk about with
you I want to talk about two things. Motivation and action. Doing. It’s a good time for this
message because it’s the end of the year and so many people have accomplished such great
things in this church. So many hours. So much volunteering. So much love. So much effort. So
many hard things were accomplished. And also, it’s a good message because some of us have
new year’s resolutions. So motivation, getting it accomplished is a great subject.

I am so proud of this church. I really am. I am so proud of this church. I just love this church. I’m
part of a business network. And every year they give out an award for doing good things.
Volunteering or helping or fixing some community center. Great things. I’m not mocking it. I’m
happy about it. Last year, the winner was a company that had probably 150 employees and they
were able to muster up 300 volunteer hours. I was very impressed but I said, boy. Don’t ever
step foot in this church cause that’s nothing. That’s nothing here in this room alone. In this
church, that is nothing. There are people here that do that on their own and more. Hundreds of
hours a year laying down their life. Why? How is that possible? So, let’s pray. I’ll preach, read
some verses and we’ll just be thankful to God for what he has done in us. (Prayer).

Philippians 2, the go to verse for motivation. I just want to go over it with you. I love it so much. It’s
never been more clear to me. These words have never been more clear to me. It all makes
totally sense to me. That doesn’t happen very often. I’m like, wow! This is truth. This is truth.
You’re reading it and saying this is true. It’s truth in two ways. I know it to be. I don’t understand
it totally, but also it’s truth because I’ve experienced it. I’ve experienced it. We read it on the
heels of this incredible section in our Bibles. Chapter 2 where Christ is lowering himself and
being the humble servant and being the obedient, humble servant and then being exalted.
And then Paul as he always does changes course. He goes from Christ to us. And he says in
vs. 12. “Wherefore.”

That word is good. Wherefore. Because it means the previous verses are
important. Because of what Jesus has done, it only makes sense. vs. 12. I love that because
we’re talking about something very serious. We’re talking about what motivates a human being.
I have found that most of my motivation can be very flawed if it comes from any other source
than God. I can do a lot of things for money. I can do a lot of things to impress people. I can do a
lot of things in the presence of Paul, but Paul is saying, no, no, no. Not you guys.

In my absence, something has happened. You did this not for the wrong reasons. You did what
you did on your own. You were obedient. Obedient. This wonderful word that we love that
nobody else likes. Christians love the word obedience. Kids don’t like obedience and the world
does not like obedience but we love that word. “Work out your own salvation with fear and
trembling.” Wow, it’s like you know such a beautiful sentence to us because we know it has
nothing to do with our salvation. It is God telling us the key to our life as Christians.

God is saying go back. Think back. Look back on what Christ has done. Meditate in every possible way
on the great accomplishment of Calvary. Think about that. Your salvation. And realize that I
accomplished it. I worked it out. I caused it. I performed it. And you carry it into completion. You
do what I did now. Finish it. Work it out. Appropriate. Accomplish. This is bringing into
conclusion the original idea that Jesus Christ had as he hung on the cross. His image of me and
you fully embracing grace in our life. The new man operating to its fullest extent because of
what he did. Work it out. The energy in that word. The effort in that word gets credited back to
what Jesus Christ has done.

And we do this with fear and trembling. I love that little word. With awe and trembling in the
sense that there’s nothing in me that can accomplish this. Just with shaking hands and awe and
respect, we will work out what God has done. And that’s the Body of Christ. We are here
working out what Christ has done in me. It sounds so easy. Let’s just do this guys.

Let’s just work out what God has done. Let’s start the new year with that in mind. Let’s give credit for what
has been done in Christ.
But there is a problem. There is a problem. The problem is my will and to do. My motivation and
my ability to execute. I don’t have it. I don’t have it. It’s been ruined. It got destroyed at the Fall.
Nothing in me has the ability to accomplish what God wants us to do. It cannot happen. I am
ruined for his work on my own. I cannot survive a day, a week. I can find motivation from
different areas for the time being. I can steal motivation from the wrong source. I can have a
great work ethic. I can be works orientated. I can love the praise of men. It will get you by so far
but I have been ruined for this. There is nothing naturally in me that will gravitate to the working
out of God in me. It cannot be done by me. So, there’s bad news there. Really bad news. But
then of course God goes on with the great news in vs. 13.

That word again is familiar to us. ENERGEO. It’s Philippians 1 comes to mind. This kind of power that
God gives. God giving power to me. I remember being a Christian and having no power. I
remember that painfully. Well, I just remember not able to change one thing in my life. Whatever
sin was there, it was never going to change. Whatever personality flaws. Whatever flesh was
reigning, I had zero power to get anything done. Let’s stand serving or laying down your life or
picking up your cross or being a Body member or loving kids or getting on a plane. No.

But there is a beautiful promise. God knows this about us. We’re useless to him on our own. He
knows we need him and he is giving us a beautiful promise. And he is saying I’m going to work
something in you. I’m going to give you power to achieve your goal. An effective energy is going
to come from me. I will be your source. You will turn to me. You will learn about me and as a
result, something will change in you and you will find yourself doing things you never thought in
a million years you could ever do. That’s the reality of a servant in the Body of Christ. We get it
wrong sometimes but overall we are just drinking from him and his power. The Holy Spirit day
by day operating in my life active, energizing, helping me, finding a way for me. Carrying us.
Producing in us thoughts we never thought we could think. Energy we never thought we had.
Words we never knew. It’s being produced by him. And I am a thousand percent convinced he is
the source. He is the source of our church. And I love it.

And what is it he gives us? He gives us the ability, vs. 13. Isn’t that like an unbelievable
promise? This verse scared me. It use to scare me a little bit because I was always thinking
about the things that I couldn’t get done when you are in your flesh or you are grumpy or lazy
and you don’t want to do what you want to do. Where do I get the motivation from? What does it
mean that God empowers me and gives me the energy and says I will be your motivation and I
will make it happen for you. I will be your activity. I will accomplish it in you.

I think when we think of the word “motivation” there is only one word and that is love. Love is the
great motivator. We know this. God who humbled himself and hangs on that cross for us and
expresses his love for us, he gives me love. And we find it. We find it in him over and over
again. We are looking at him and what do we see? We see love. And his love towards me
becomes the will, the motivation. And we’re saying, wow! I am so ready. Let’s go. Let’s do this.
Let’s take a nap and do this again. I cannot run out. It is bottomless. It’s endless. It keeps
coming more and more love from which I derive all the motivation. Sometimes, I catch myself
wrong. I get it all messed up. I am so good at messing it up. But I just go back to the source. Go
back to Jesus. Find love. I know that love will turn into motivation and God can use me if I can
just drink from his love. And God can make it happen.

Then what is the ability, what is the doing of it? What does that come from? How does God give
us the ability to do, to execute, to get results. How do I get from A to B? That’s grace. Grace. It’s
always grace. God’s grace gives me the ability to accomplish it. Grace because if I mess it up
it’s okay but also grace for what he has done for me. Somehow, I have the confidence to
accomplish the work of God because of his grace. I’m free. There’s joy in my heart. There’s
liberty. What do we got to do Lord? I come to you with nothing. I come to you only with your love
and I stand in confidence with freedom in my heart, with joy in my heart, with peace in my heart to say, okay. Let’s do this. I am covered by your grace. You have made me something amazing
by your grace. And based on your grace, I can do it. You will sustain me throughout. You will get
it done.

And all I can think about is Body members, people. So many people. So many names. People
that have figured this out. There’s something that happens around here. People do things for a
long time around here. Have you noticed it. Decades is nothing. Honestly, decades is – P. Love
has been doing teen ministry for 50 years. Do you think he did it from his own strength? Do you
think he got the motivation because he wanted to please people? Do you think he has the
discipline? That he’s Iron Man that can do that day after day and year after year, decade after
decade? No, somewhere along the line he grabbed ahold of something big. Love. Grace. And
he said okay, let’s go. Our source, our power from him, Jesus Christ. It’s coming. It’s flowing. It’s
happening. And we are doing it. And you are doing it. And so many beautiful people are doing it.
And it’s such a privilege.

Is there some kind of passivity in it? Is there some kind of inactivity by me and there’s no
discipline and no thought at all. Just going to happen automatically? No. The finished work is
not passive in anyway whatsoever both from his perspective and my perspective. I’m embracing
it. I’m going for it. I’m seeking it. I want it. I want it to feed me. He is leading me. He is causing
me. He is growing grace in me. He is equipping us. He is putting his law in my mind. I’m
constantly being fed by him and something happens. Something happens. You sit there one day
and you say, you know what? I’m going to do this. I’m going to serve in the nursery. I’m going to
go to Budapest. I’m going to teach in the Bible college. I’m going to work with P. Barry in the
school. I’m going to switch light bulbs for Scotty.

And we’re going to do it with a smile on our face and we’re going to love it. We’re going to love
every minute of it. There will be bad days and it will be hard. And yes, I got to keep going to
Jesus. That’s the disicpline part. I got to keep going to Jesus. It’s not finding my strength. It’s
keep finding his strength. I keep finding his energy and his love and his grace.

I keep responding to him. I keep responding with faith obedience. I keep taking a hold of God. We are
partnering with God on a great mission. The mission is his kingdom, his work, his heart towards
people. His love. His grace. This is no small feat. This is not something simple. It’s the beautiful
work of the Body of Christ. A most important work. The most important work. I don’t know what
you’ve done this year. God bless you in what you’ve done. But if you served, if you laid down
your life, then that is the most important part of what you’ve done. Nothing else matters. In the
future, nothing else really matters. We just serve him. We love him and he loves us. And we in
return serve.

I love the rest of this because Paul goes in vs. 14, “do all things without murmuring and
disputing.” I love he immediately goes, he just confidently says you can do all things. Do all
things. Just do it. Are you kidding me? Do you understand what Jesus did? Do you understand
how much he lowered himself. Do you understand what he accomplished on the cross in you?
Do you understand who you really are?

This is me down here. This is my reality of myself. This is what I think of myself and then there’s
God’s reality of me. That’s the new man. In the new man, I can do all things. I got a grasp God’s
vision of me. I got to understand what he accomplished in me and he goes on, vs. 14. I like that
word “disputing.” Complaining. Questioning. Don’t question so much. If you question a lot, it’s a
bad sign. It’s a bad sign. If you’re complaining a lot, it’s a bad sign. If you’re doing the ministry –
and I have; I’m guilty – and I’m questioning too much and I’m complaining too much, you’re
getting it from the wrong source. You’re veering off course and you’re looking within and that’s
when the complaining comes in. That’s when the questioning comes.

And this is such a beautiful verse, vs. 15. That’s the servant of God. Meghan Ackerman. That’s
describing Meghan Ackerman or Krysta. Or Marsha Davis or Bruce Sargeant or Sam Horton or
Seth Horton. Or all of these people who are simply doing their little jobs and serving God and
loving the Body and doing their things and maybe insignificantly in the background, in the basement. Being a teacher in the high school or sweeping the parking lot or whatever is
happening. Don’t underestimate who you are. You are the blameless, the harmless, the sons of
God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation amongst whom you shine as
lights. As lights.

The word “lights,” I looked it up. It’s PHOSTER. It means both the light itself, the light bulb or the
fixture and what it produces. The light that is shining. Both things, same word. This is the perfect
description of a servant. A servant is or a servant does what he has to do by being what he
ought to be. We are just doing what God always designed me to do. He always set it up this
way. We were always supposed to be in the new man operating in the Body, laying down our
lives and shining light. Shining light.

I think yesterday I read a little article, “The Luminaries of 2022” was the title of some article in
some newspaper on some ap. I immediately thought of this verse. They have no idea. They
have no idea. Those guys are not even blinking. They’re not even alive. There’s nothing going
through these people. I mean God bless them. I don’t even know who they were talking about,
most of them. Do you want to see some light? Come to the nursery. I’ll show you some light.
Shining brightly. Blameless. Harmless. Without rebuke. Shining on the Body. Shining in the
kingdom of God. Loving Jesus. Getting the motivation. Getting the will to fulfill the job that is at
hand. This is Body life. This is what has happened here this last year. This is what will continue
to happen here. We are the light shining.

If we are not shining who is? Who is? Nobody is shining this light. This is a secret light, a hidden
light. Very, very bright. I was teaching somewhere on campus. I did nursery over here. I think it
was the nursery. I said it’s funny that Herod never saw the star. He never figured it out. He didn’t
know. He’s clueless. Some gigantic star shining somewhere and he’s like not interested. He
doesn’t get it. I was blind to it. You were blind to it. The shining light of a Body member. It’s
beautiful. It’s beautiful. Holding forth, holding forth the Word. Can you believe it? That’s what we
are doing. We are the ones holding forth the Word to the world.

And again, if we are not doing it, who’s doing it? Netflix is not doing it. YouTube is not doing it.
The business world is not doing it. It is us servants, beautiful Body members. They are holding
forth the Word to our kids, to each other. They are holding forth the Word to a lost world. We are
the ones holding forth the Word. vs. 16b. Paul Anrulonis. He helps me so much. You have not
run in vain. You have not labored in vain. No, not one minute was lost. A lot of time is wasted on
this planet but not time serving the Body. Not time holding forth the Word. Not time shining. That
is time that is eternal. It will never be in vain. It will always mean something. We are the ones
who will be remembered in eternity for serving. For serving.

I’m just so happy about it. I’m just so overjoyed about it. The word “joy” is mentioned a couples
in these verses, and Paul is saying, do you get it? vs. 18. Yes, I am psyched about it. I am
pumped up about it. Pray for me. In two days, I go back to Samarkan for the third time in a year.
And I am pumped. I am pumped. Let’s go. Jesus is with me. You’re going to pray for me. I know
you will and God’s going to move. I can’t believe I have such confidence about going but I
believe it to be true. God will use us. God will do it. P. Schaller goes to Finland and some others
are traveling also. We go with this in mind. The servants of God, full of Jesus, full of God, full of
grace shining brightly. Flawed as could be. Imperfect. Unbelievably imperfect. Nothing is
straight. Nothing looks right except Jesus in me. That’s enough and that’s all I need. That’s all I

So, I just want to thank the Body of Christ. And all those precious servants. It’s the norm here.
It’s the norm. People serve quietly for many, many years. And I am so proud of you. I’m so
proud of everybody. This was a difficult weekend. This weekend and last weekend was a difficult
weekend for the youth ministry because you had to give up like beautiful services: New Year’s
Eve service, Christmas Eve service and operate in the nursery or the children’s ministry.
Nobody complained. Nobody said a word. I didn’t hear one whimper of a word. We had a
meeting and I said we got to get this done and everybody said okay. Let’s do it.

And I just pray that God honors these people. I pray God pours his blessings on every servant
in this room and in this church. That they will see themselves the light that they are, the holding
forth that they are doing. That they see themselves where the motivation is coming from and
where the activity is happening from. I just am – I have a list of names and this is scary because
there is always somebody missing. I just want to thank Jerry Caron and Jennifer and Jimmy
Buckley and Nick Gibbs, the Delgatto family, Josh Johnson. Some of these names are young
people and they are doing it. I mean they are doing it.

They are serving. Ice Cream. In the nursery we have Tara Arsenol. I mean she’s rock solid. Rock solid girl. Helping us for I don’t know how long now, every single Sunday night I think. And we have Ebony and Marsha Davis
and Bruce and Colleen and Susan Carr. More names. Nathan with the junior teens. Bella. Colby
Dunbar. Nicky Cooper. Debbie Colby. Debbie’s like – Debbie and Nicky probably 15 years. I
don’t know. Just like no big deal. Let’s just click on another year. Let’s just do it all over again.
Like it’s nothing.

In my office, I have Jamie Zucker. She’s amazing. Sam and Seth. They’re just like, I feel like I
could give everything to them and retire. You know, so many other names. In the high school, I
work under P. Barry. That work for Scott. So many names that work on the usher team and
security. How about security? Have you noticed security in the last couple years? I mean they’re
stepping us. It is noticeable. Feeling pretty safe around here. They are not fooling around. All
the preachers in the Bible college. All the servants, all the secretaries. P. Taggart’s office. Cross
the board everywhere. Wow! Let’s serve God this year.

Let’s do it again. Let’s stand here a year from now and say, wow! Are you kidding me right now? I can’t believe what God did. I can’t believe what was accomplished. It cannot be done except he does it in us. And I’m so proud.
And last but not least P. Love. I don’t know where he is but I call him the Godfather of youth!
And you know, just so incredible. His faithfulness. We love him so much. He has no concept of
ever quitting anything. He’s just going to keep doing it and keep doing it and keep doing it. I call
him Chief. I think we should call him Chief that runs with kids or something. You know, he is an
amazing man. He is just a hero to us. I have figured out how he did it. I figured it out. I know
where he got his motivation. I know it. It’s from Jesus. Praise the Lord! Amen.

P. Schaller –

Okay. How did the words to that song go? Is this on? Sebastian? P. Phil, you want
to say those words that Jasmine just sang. Wasn’t that a good song? I tried and tried to what?
Rectify my hopeless situation. I bought the lie I still have work to do. Is that good? I bought the
lie that I still have work to do, huh? Wow. Boy. Okay, you may be seated. You look confused!
So, Matthew 25. One short message. Thank you, P. Pete. He did a great job just building us up and
telling us what we are celebrating here at the new year and looking back on our past year and
also years actually of God’s work by his grace in our hearts. It reminds me of this parable in Mt.
25. Many of you know it, but we also learn we don’t know as we ought to know so we’re going to
review it here for a few minutes.

Chapter 25:14, (Prayer). vs. 15-18. maybe as we come into the new year, we want to have a
little check on this. Have I buried my talent? That’s a good question. Have I buried my talent? I
have only one but have I buried my talent? It might be that I have buried my talent. Probably the
ones sitting here, you haven’t. You look to me like ones who have invested your five talents or
your two talents or your one talent. Everybody has at least one. God gave you life. God gave
you the freedom to choose. God gave you a mind and a heart. God gave you a measure of
faith. We all have something. It might not be much. It’s one but it’s enough. Invest it. Use it.
But we know how it reads here. vs. 16. We read that already. vs. 17-19. the day of reckoning,
huh? Oh, wow! Check. Kind of an investigation to find out how it’s going. I gave you life. By the
way, I’ve been very refreshed by last night and this morning on this theme of thanksgiving and
how much that we have because of God’s grace towards us.

I want to continue on that theme in the coming weeks and months. It’s powerful, isn’t it? Wow! What God has given us, it’s so good. vs. 19. I gave you life. I gave it to you. You disappeared on me. Where have you gone? I gave
you grace. I healed you of your leprosy. Where are the other nine? What are we doing with what
it is we have? vs. 20. this is at the reckoning. And by the way, I really love life. Life was a lot of
fun. I had five. I gained five more. Wow! You gave and I invested it. You gave to me and I got it.
And here we have more, Lord. I think many of us can say we are living our lives in some way
beyond ourselves. Like P. Pete taught us tonight. God has made us willing and he put it in our

But I don’t think it happened the first day of Bible school or the first day I came to church or the
first day I was saved. I don’t know how it happens. Nobody knows how Christ grows in us. Hi, P.
Larry. Good to have you here tonight. No one knows how this develops in us but it does. It’s a
walk of faith.

Jesus says here you’ve been faithful over a few things. Look at vs. 21. Wait a minute. He had
five talents and he’s been faithful over a few things. Wait a minute. He had two talents. You are
faithful over a few things. You had one talent. Okay. What does God require of us? Maybe I
ought to write it down. In every case, he said “few things.” I wonder if you can make a list. You
are faithful over a few things. Let’s put down three. You are faithful over three things in your life.
Three things. That’s all. You are faithful over a few but I give you a lot more.

Look at vs. 21. Let’s write that down. Many things will happen to you. Many things. You will have
authority over many things. Maybe we could say many days, many weeks, many months, many
circumstances. Maybe we could say you are a ruler in life. You are like a king. Maybe Jesus is
saying you’ve been faithful over a few things but I’m giving you something that is not even equal
but I am impressed with your faith. I am enjoying your trust. I am recognizing that you are
trusting in me. We’re almost done with the message here tonight. I think you are thinking with
me and recognizing that something is being said here. Maybe we could just make a little
exercise. What are a few things that we are faithful over? The few things that we did. Maybe just
a couple things.

You know the New Year’s resolutions. What are the most common ones like you can google it. I
got it in my manilla folder here. But I’m not even going to bother to look at it. I did but it’s – you
can make them up. What are people deciding about the coming year? How they want to change
their life and they want to save a little more money or travel more or read a book more. Read
more. Be quiet. Have quiet time more or lose weight is a common one. Maybe exercise more
and many of these things. And that’s fine. Praise the Lord. Go at it. You can.

But Jesus is saying when I give you something, all you need is be faithful in a few things and I,
Christ, I will make you ruler over many things. Maybe even over my physical body. I have
authority over my body. How about in relationships? How about authority in the things that you
do at work? Or authority in your – I don’t know what it means exactly. I’m just saying, kind of
playing with it a little bit and working the text a little bit and helping you think about it. And seeing
what is Jesus really saying? He’s saying if you just show up with me and you just trust in me in a
few things, fundamental things. Like look unto me and put your trust in me, Proverbs 3:1. How about
that? We can put that down here. Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. It’s not hard. It’s
a few things. I gave you five but the five, two and one, that’s not important. Whether there is 35
or 46 or 52 or 3 or 1. Those numbers are not the point. The point is what did I do with what I got,
isn’t it? What did I do?

I trusted. Another one is maybe I just obeyed. I acted on what he said. I acted on it. Like he said
it and I heard him and acted on it and it happened. Let’s finish here with a sad story. We got the
good one with two talents in vs. 22-23. I didn’t give you a lot. I gave you two talents but you took
it and invested it. And you’ve been faithful over a few things. I’ll make you ruler over many
things. I also think it has an eschatological meaning. In the Millennial reign, we are the saints of
God who have taken our things that we had and with a few things, a few things, like an attitude
we were just in the game with God. That was all that it took, wasn’t it? That was all. It didn’t take
much. Just his Holy Spirit filling us.

His Holy Spirit speaking to us. Going to the church and listening to what God has to say to my heart. A few things that made a big difference. A big effect. A few things.
Then the one that had the one. This is good. Listen. vs.24. This is a loaded verse here. Let’s
make a short list here. “You are a hard man.” What’s wrong with that statement? It’s not true. It’s
a lie. You are a hard man. That’s the natural man talking about God. The natural man doesn’t
know God so he says it’s hard. He’s a hard man. He’s a hard master. No, he isn’t. That’s one of
the few things that we have that we are believing. He’s not hard. He is generous, kind,
compassionate, gracious, wise. He’s my counselor. He’s my friend. He’s my Savior.

But the people tonight that are burying their one talent are people that are believing in a lie
about God. They are afraid of him. It says that in vs. 25. The second thing in vs. 24 that’s wrong,
he said I knew that you are a hard man reaping where you have not sown. Wait a minute.
Reaping where? Where he has not sown. That’s also a lie. God sows the seed and reaps. He
sows the seed and he reaps. He is not reaping where he has not sown. That’s not true. God is
not reaping where he has not sown.

This guy that buried his talent doesn’t understand. Doesn’t understand what this is. He doesn’t
understand the Spirit. He doesn’t have the mind. He doesn’t have the heart. He doesn’t
understand what is going on. He doesn’t want to maybe. If he wanted, Jesus could change his
heart, couldn’t he? Jesus could give him a better understanding. You have to invest your talent
to reap. You have to get in the game. No, I’m taking another approach. I’m not in the game. I
don’t want to play the game. I am afraid. That’s what he said. I was afraid.

I think we all know the feeling. I think we know what it is. I’m out of here. I’m checking out. I don’t
want to show up. I’m getting out the back door. How about the people that say I never chose to
be born. Have you ever heard anyone say that? I didn’t choose to come into this world. It’s such
an arrogant statement. I mean, do you think that God should have checked with you? Like who
are you? Why are you believing such a thing or saying such a thing? It’s ridiculous in the mind of
God’s reality that he would check with you. That you are so important. That you would have a
word on that? That he would respect you even before you existed? That you are primary in this
whole thing. We aren’t. That’s why we should be faithful in a few things. And one of them is the
respect that we have for what we are in. We respect this life.

When a Jew in the book of Leviticus – and I’m going to finish here – when a Jew in Leviticus
when he would come to the house of God, he would bring an offering. The reason he did is
because he was afraid of God. He was afraid maybe he had done something wrong. He wanted
to make sure. He would bring like a peace offering because he’s afraid that maybe something
bad would happen to him. That God would judge him. He’s under the law. And under the law
makes us feel very guilty. When we are under the law, we are afraid of God. We are afraid that
maybe he would judge me. So, they would bring an offering just to enter the space where God
was. It’s like coming to the house.

I’m coming to the house of God and I better bring an offering
with me and not come empty handed. I would never want something bad to happen to me. I
don’t want him to destroy me. I’m afraid of him. I need a peace offering. It’s interesting.
So, many people think this way in life. They bury their talent. They say I never chose to be here.
I don’t want to be in it. I want to stay away from the house of God. I’m playing it as a game. I
don’t know him. I do not know him. One of the things about our life is that we are taking a risk.
We are saying I’m investing the five talents. I’m taking the risk. I have two talents. I’m going to
take a risk. I’m going to spend it out. I’m going to invest it. I’m going to do something about it. I’m
not disappearing. The guy with the one talent said I got to play it safe.

I got to get out of the game so to speak. I got to bury my talent because he’s hard. And also he reaps where he does
not sow. Eeek! Eeek! On both counts. Jesus said I’ll use your own words when he judged him.
I’ll use your own words. You never got it. You never understood me. We are those by God’s
grace who take our talent and we are in the game and it doesn’t take much. You start by faith.
You start to become a hearer. God ministers to your heart. You carry it home.

The Holy Spirit – I remember years ago up in Maine, I was totally new. I was only weeks in this
church. I was from New York. Totally out of my climate, out of my family, out of my friends. I
didn’t know anybody. I was there and P. Stevens water baptized me. When I went home, I was
laying in bed totally on fire for God. Totally ministered to. I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited about
Jesus Christ. I was so alive to Christ in my heart. I’m laying there in bed thinking, where am I?
I’m in Wiscasset, Maine. I have no idea who these people are. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m
hitchhiking around. I don’t own a car. I’m hitchhiking around from one town to another.
And the police brought me into custody because I was hitchhiking in one time. They said, where
are you coming from? A church down on Route 1.

They said we got to call down there. Do you know anybody down there? I said, no. I don’t know anybody. They said we’ll call and find out if you are telling us the truth. They think I’m a criminal, okay. I look like one so anyway. They
called Dr. Steven’s wife Barbara and put her on the phone. I just said I’m in – the police have
taken me here to the police station because I’m hitchhiking and they want to know was I really at
the church and I was. One of those kinds of stories.

I just say it to say we don’t know what’s going on many times in our lives. We don’t know. But we
have a few things we’re going to be good at. We’re going to trust him. There’s a few things we’re
going to learn and build our life on and that’s who he is and what he said. We’re going to get in
the game and we’re going to see God minister to us and put our heart on fire. And open up our
hearts and minds to what he says and what he does and he gets a lot of pleasure out of us
goofing around. We might be goofing around but we’re serious about it, huh? We might have a
good time but we’re – we might take an air gun and shoot t-shirts into the crowd last night! We
got something going on in our hearts that we are serious about. Many of us are kind of at the
other end of the journey and we’re saying with all of our hearts to everybody, if you got five,
invest them. If you got two, invest them. If you got one, use it. Invest it. And the Lord Jesus will
take care of you in your life. All of us. Okay. Amen. Let’s pray.


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