Archive for the ‘Matthew 25’ Category

Gifts, Talents, & Investments

Who doesn’t like a gift?

Something you didn’t have to work for, shop for, or even expect?

What about talent?

Do you have a talent? What is the definition of talent? Can mopping the floor be a talent?

And there’s the place where gifts and talents meet.

A gift can be something given to someone without expectation of receiving something in payment or it can be a natural ability or talent. A talent can be a natural aptitude or skill or a form of money.

Take a moment to read Matthew 25:14-30.

And this is where so many of us start getting confused. Or jealous. Or angry. Or any multitude of emotions.

(Watch this video!)

Regardless of how we feel, if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have been given at least one gift. Sure, it might seem like a small one, but it was purposefully chosen for us individually by God Himself.

Don’t forget: The word is spelled compariSON. We just pronounce it compariSIN. If we are gauging ourselves against the example Jesus left, we’re focused on the right things. However, if we’re only seeing everyone else’s gifts, we’re falling into sin (confusion, jealousy, anger, etc.).

There was no random selection. No placing of gifts into gift bags and then just handing random bags to whomever was next in line.

Each gift was given to the receiver on purpose for His purpose.

It isn’t a question of whether you have a gift or not. It’s a question of whether you’ve recognized what you’ve been given and if you’re using it for Him.

What is your gift?

(Watch this video!)

I don’t want to get caught putting limits on God, but I have a feeling He didn’t give you the gift of dodgeball. Looks like that one’s already being handled pretty well. Or something like that.

Are you into art? Guess what? Not an accident.

People seem drawn to you? You always have a car full of friends? Not an accident.

Are you a planner? Details are important? Yep. That’s on purpose too.

Clutter drives you crazy? Um, could you be my shadow? Kidding, kind of. Not an accident.

Those odd things that make you different, make you YOU, well, God put them in you on purpose for HIS purpose.

You have a unique calling and gift. It isn’t supposed to look like the one the person beside you has. It isn’t supposed to look like your mom’s, or your dad’s, or your youth leader’s. Stop comparing yourself to them!

They didn’t give you the gift. Someone way more important did. Ask HIM what you’re supposed to do with the talents.

Bury them? Burn them? Or invest them?

Jesus In Disguise

‘For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ Matthew 25:42-43

Sometimes we just want to blend in. Not to be recognized, to stand out, to have any attention drawn to us.

Have you ever thought about wearing a disguise? A costume of sorts. Like celebrities do so they can go out into public without being devoured by fans.

Oftentimes things aren’t as they seem. They are disguised. Covered up.

Where did you see Jesus today? He revealed Himself to you. 

In the person we chose not to make eye contact with. In the person who needed a hand up. In the person who sat with nothing to eat while everyone else was having lunch.

Did you see Him or were you blinded by His disguise?

There is great analogy in Brandon Heath’s story of how “Jesus in Disguise” was written. 

photo credit: Feans via photopin cc

Stop Shushing and Start Serving

Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy one us!”

“Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. 

But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Matthew 20:30-31 NLT

Two men society saw as broken.

According to my Google dictionary, here are the first two basic definitions of broken:

1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order.
“a broken arm”
2.(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing. “he went to his grave a broken man”

The crowd following Jesus probably viewed these two men as exactly that. Their loss of vision made them broken physically and the fact that they were on the roadside should have compounded that to also make them mentally broken.

Broken men, crying out to Jesus from the side of the road, and probably creating a scene.

How embarrassing.

Isn’t it bad enough that they had fallen on bad times, but now they had to go and draw attention to themselves. Someone that low, that bad off, trying to get Jesus’ attention.

How shameful.

So, the crowd did what any respectful follower of Jesus would do.

“Shhh. Don’t bother him now. This is Jesus. He’s too big a deal to be bothering with this…with you. Hush now and be respectful.”

Two men crying out to Jesus and the Christ followers, Christians, shushed them.

This wasn’t a one time occurrence in scripture. Do you think it still happens today?

I wonder how many times people walk into our services and they don’t look like us, or dress right, or use acceptable language, and we shush them because they’re making in scene in God’s house.

I wonder how many times someone comes in our doors with a need we could meet, immediately, but our bulletin dictates a schedule. So, we shush a need for now and make intentions to get back to it after we worship. I’ve fallen into that trap myself, and guess what I usually forget about after service?

I wonder. What would Jesus do in these situations?

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him. Matthew 20:32-34

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy. Nothing could stop Him from becoming our sacrifice. Yet even when His religious followers tried to shush the broken men, Jesus Himself stopped and asked what they wanted Him to do for them.

I ask students that question a lot. When someone comes and tells me something, I respond with, “Ok, and what would you like me to do?”

Let me tell you, it’s obvious that kids haven’t been asked this before. The look of confusion on their face is almost comical. And it happens every time I ask the question. I always have to explain what I mean.

“Here’s what you told me (and I repeat what they said). Now, I need to know. What exactly are you asking me to do in response? How are you expecting me to meet your need?”

I have an idea that if no one has asked my students this type of question before, then the same is probably true for their parents.

When is the last time you truly looked at the broken person right in your path and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Let me be transparent here. I never intended for this post on shushing the broken men to go this direction. I really intended to focus on the broken men, but apparently something else needed to said to someone today. Maybe just me.

However, I’ve been one of those broken men.

No, I’m not blind. Physically, or even more importantly, spiritually. My salvation is secure.

But while crying out for Jesus I’ve been shushed by some of the most religious people in the crowd. 


Folks, Jesus didn’t come to heal the healthy. He didn’t come, and won’t return expecting, to find a church full of perfect people, putting on a perfect service, without the need for a Savior. 

I think He expects to find us out on street ministering to the very ones our flesh wants to shush. 

Stop shushing and start serving. 

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Matthew 25:40 NLT

Until then, I’m going to keep crying out. Lord, here’s my Broken Hallelujah.

photo credit: uochi. via photopin cc