Investing Your Life

Eph. 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

SEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR INVESTING YOUR LIFE: MATT. 25:14-30

Illustration:
Several years ago, Donald Trump said this in an interview: "I'll be 36 next year and I've done everything I can do. Sometimes I think it was a mistake to have raced through it all so fast. What's the next level up? The grass isn't always greener . . . I work, and I don't worry. How can you top that? . . . I protect myself as well as anybody can. I prepare for things but ultimately we all end up going . . . I don't believe in reincarnation, heaven, or hell. But we go someplace. Do you know? I cannot for the life of me figure out where.'"

That is a picture of a man who is so busy possessing this world he is making no preparations for the next. Before we point a finger, we ought to realize it's easy for us to do the same thing. The fact is — most people have absolutely no idea what life is all about.
There are three things you can do with your life: you can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it.

1. OWNERSHIP: V.14

Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

Everything I have belongs to God.

God made it all. You really own nothing. You didn't come into this world with anything and you're not going to take anything out of this world. What you have you simply get to use for 60, 70, 80, 90 years. It's God's. You just get to use it. God made man to manage his resources.

2. ALLOCATION: V.15

Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

God has given me some unique talents.

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;.” Rom. 12:6 

Notice the amount differs but everybody gets something. There is no such thing as a no-talent person. Everybody has at least one. You do have a talent. The Bible says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." (Romans 12:6) You're unique. God has given you gifts, talents, skills, abilities, experiences, personality traits, temperaments — all to make you, you. You're unique. There's nobody else like you in the world. He made you for a purpose.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY: V.19

Mat 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

The master had made an investment and wanted a return. God has made an investment in your life and he wants a return. 

God expects me to use my talents.

One day God will ask ME: What did you DO with what you were GIVEN? 

4. UTILIZATION: V.16

Mat 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

It is wrong for me to bury what God gave me.

·1st man doubled his talents. (vs. 16)
·2nd man doubled his talents. (vs. 17)
·3rd man buried his talents. (vs. 18)

Mat 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

The Master’s reaction: (vs. 26-27) “you wicked, lazy servant!”

5. MOTIVATION: V.25

Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

Fear keeps me from using my talent.

Why do we play it safe? It's really fear — Satan's favorite tactic. Satan has three kinds of fear: self-doubt, self-pity and self-consciousness. Any time you're sitting on your talent it's usually because of one of those three things.

Self-doubt — "I could never do that; I'm not qualified." It's the fear of failure. Do you remember when you were in school and the teacher asked a question you knew the answer to but you thought there might be a chance you'd be wrong so you didn't raise your hand?
Self-pity — "I've failed in the past so many times. I made an attempt at one time to get involved for God, to get involved in ministry and service, but I got burned or I burned out. So I'm never going to try again." That's like saying, "I ate at a restaurant once and it was bad food so I decided I'd never enter another restaurant." It doesn't make sense.
Self-consciousness — "What will other people think? If I give my life completely to God, will I become a fanatic?" The Bible says, "The fear of man brings a snare" (Proverbs 29:25) — it's a trap. We excuse ourselves from ministry by pointing to people who are more talented and saying, "Let them do it, God."

Fear causes me to make excuses for doing nothing. "Then the man who had received one talent came and said, 'Master, I knew you were a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered.'" (Matthew 25:24)

This guy prepared a speech. He says, "The reason why I didn't make any profit on my money is your fault!" He blames the master and passes the buck.

6. APPLICATION: V.28

Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

If I don’t use it, I’ll lose it!
This principle is true of anything in your life — time, money, effort, energy, talent or abilities. If you don't use it, you lose it. "The master says, 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents.'" (Matthew 25:28)

That doesn't seem fair! The rich get richer and the talented get more talented. But it is fair. God has the right to take away anything that I don't use for him. He gave it to me in the first place. He has the right to do that. I forfeit it if I don't use it.

It's a universal law: if I don't use my muscles I lose my muscles. If I don't use my mind, I lose it — it becomes mentally dull. If I don't use the opportunities God has given me in business, sports, ministry, whatever, I lose the opportunities. If I don't practice my talent, I lose my talent. Use it or lose it.

The way to invest my talents is through:

7. COMPENSATION: V.23

Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

God promises three rewards:

Affirmation — "Well done." I can't think of anything better than to stand before Jesus Christ and have him say, "Good job, Rick. Good job! You really tried!"
Promotion — He says, "I'm going to give you greater responsibility. You've been faithful with little things; I'll trust you with more." God can't trust many of us with great blessings because we're not faithful with the little.
Celebration — He says, "Come and share your master's happiness." The happiest people I know are those who are using what they have for God.

When God does an audit on your life — and it is coming — is it going to show a profit or a loss? A negative or positive? Is he going to say, "Well done!" or "Lazy servant!" What's it going to show? I shudder to think some of the excuses I will have to give for earlier in my life when I did nothing! I was basically living for myself.

To stand before a Savior with pierced hands and have him say, "Why did you never even make an attempt to get involved in a ministry? You were so busy doing your own thing!"

Conclusion:

If I use my talent wisely, I will be rewarded.

Illustration:
Imagine going to work one day and being greeted by your boss, who says, “Come by my office at 9:30. I’d like to talk to you about how you’re doing on the job.”

• This could be a nervous time for you as you think about what your supervisor might say. You wonder, How does my boss think I’ve been doing? Could there be a promotion with a pay increase? Or could I lose my job? Am I going to hear, “Well done” or “You’re done”?
• After this life is past, we will stand before our Lord. Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). 
• We want to hear the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). The challenge before us as followers of Christ is to serve Him with excellence.
• Based on the way I am living today, what kind of review will I get when I see Him?

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