Friday, February 19, 2010

Matthew 25:14-30 A Study Worth Your Time

Hillside’s Got Talent! (Hillside Community Church Canton, GA)

Matthew 25:14-30
14."Again, it will be like a man going on a journey propertwho called his servants and entrusted his property to them.15.To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16.The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.17.So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.18.But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money (talent).19."After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.20.The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'21."His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Come and share your master's happiness!'22."The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'23."His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Come and share your master's happiness!'24."Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25.So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'26."His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?27. Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28." 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.29.For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”30. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

The three servants represent all of mankind. The master is Jesus. The property entrusted is the Word of God and our natural & spiritual gifts.

Please pay close attention to the bold words and read just those bold words please and relate them to the gifts/knowledge that you have been blessed with. Let’s go back & read just the bold words.

The exciting part of this parable is that everyone has a talent! There was no servant who did not have some ability to multiply what his master had given him. All of us are gifted to do unique things that God would desire us to do. Another exciting part of this parable is that we are only accountable “each according to his ability”. You are only required to do something with what God has given you, not someone else.

The sad part of this parable is the man who was afraid/too lazy to use what God had given him. This might also look like the person who does not think they have been gifted by God and have nothing to multiply so they watch others use their talents and never tap into their own out of fear to step out or fear that maybe they just aren’t talented. “I have nothing special to give.” But God’s word says each of us have some gift that we have been entrusted with and we will be judged on what we do with it. He also was just plain lazy. The first two servants went to work immediately. This servant did not do anything, as the master pointed out, he did not even bother to give the money to the bankers. He was not interested in working for his master. Maybe he just didn’t want to be bothered?

It is important to note that the wicked & lazy servant did not lose any of what he was entrusted with. He gave back to Jesus exactly what was given to him. Many of us receive from the Lord and then hide what we receive inside of us. It becomes our own personal treasure & instead of sharing or multiplying what we receive we hide it inside of us.

We should carefully note the outcome of faithful service, and of unfaithful service, in this parable. Faithful service led to increased responsibilities in the kingdom of heaven, and eternal joy in the presence of the Master, Jesus Christ. Unfaithful service led to condemnation, the removal of one’s stewardship,- Bob Deffinbaugh Shall we reference King Saul?

“For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Matthew 25:29; see also 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 19:26).

How is it that the one “who does not have” has something taken from him? How can you take something away from a person who has nothing? The one “who does not have” but yet does “have” (because what he has is taken away) is the one who has his master’s money, but has made no profit from it. The third servant has no profit, no gain, to give his master, so his talent is taken away and given to the one who went to work with his master’s money and made great gains for him.

We find this same principle stated in connection with the parable of the soils (Matthew 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18). The soil which produces no grain (in other instances, no fruit, or no profit) is bad soil. Only the soil that produces a crop is “good” soil. And so it is that those who over time work with what they are entrusted, in order to make a profit for their master, are rewarded for their faithfulness. Those who are unfaithful lose not only their reward, but their stewardship. - Bob Deffinbaugh

What kind of profit is God looking for from us?

1. Evangelism I think we could all agree that the salvation of lost souls is a profit for the kingdom.
2. Edification or spiritual growth is also profitable for the kingdom of heaven.

3. Exaltation bringing glory to God. For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:20). So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die (Philippians 1:20).

Our Lord’s teaching in the parable of the talents is that God expects profit that is the product of our labors. He provides the money and the ability, but we are expected to work hard with what He has given us, for the profit of the kingdom. In our parable, money is given to us to use, to work with, not just to give back.

What if the church were to be scrutinized as a business? The first question one would ask is, “How much profit did it make?” We are so used to thinking in “non-profit” terms that we are almost shocked to hear such a question raised. Yet is this not what our Lord is teaching us in this parable? God expects a profit, and He holds us accountable for what we have done with what He has entrusted to us.
Pressing this matter just a little further, if the church were to be considered a business and every member were to be viewed as an employee, how many of us should reasonably expect to “keep our jobs”? Each one of us needs to ask the question, “Just what is it that I am doing that is kingdom work?” “Just what is it that I am doing for Christ and His kingdom that is “profitable”? This is a sobering question.- Bob Deffinbaugh

This whole matter of “profit” expands the teaching of our Lord in Matthew 6:
19 “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
What is it that you want Him to find you doing when He returns?.- Bob Deffinbaugh

As the parable of the talents shows, God abhors indifference and an attitude that says it's not worth trying. God honors those who use their talents and gifts for doing good. Those who are faithful with even a little are entrusted with more! But those who neglect or squander what God has entrusted to them will lose what they have. There is an important lesson here for us. No one can stand still for long in the Christian life. We either get more or we lose what we have. We either advance towards God or we slip back. -

A Sample of Sharing LOVE.

Layla & Kevin Palmer- The Lettered Cottage Blogspot

Never underestimate the power of a smile, a friendly word, or even the smallest act of kindness- each one has the potential to completely change your day!

Me and my husband, Kevin, witnessed this truth firsthand on a chilly winter night, two December's ago.We were going through an extremely rough time financially. Neither of us could land a job and we were two months behind on our bills, going on three. It was terrifying.

I have vivid memories of the two of us lying in bed at night, jumping every time we heard a sound because we thought it was the repo man coming to take the truck we were leasing. It was also a very depressing time.

It seemed like all of our options were so negative...sell the house, file for bankruptcy, run away with our tails between our legs, etc.We prayed every day, but the stress of the situation was definitely clouding our creative view, making it nearly impossible for us to snap out of our funk and figure out a way to get back on our feet.

Then all of a sudden, something unexpected happened and changed our mindsets. As weird as this sounds, we experienced an incredibly inspiring moment of clarity in the drive-thru at Krystal.

It was Christmas Eve, and although we both knew our ten dollars would go a lot further at the grocery store than it would at a fast food restaurant, we were feeling extra sorry for ourselves on this particular night. So we decided to drown our sorrows in a sack full of cheese Krystals, instead of on a small bag of groceries that could potentially last us all week.

After placing our order, we pulled up to the drive-thru window to collect and pay for our greasy goods. The woman working the register handed Kevin our food, but when he tried to give her our debit card, she just looked at him and said, "you can just take it".

We weren't quite sure how to respond, but our expressions must have said it all, because after a few seconds of silence she went on to explain that our order had already been paid for by the driver of the car in front of us. We looked up just in time to see the car she was referring to turn the corner and drive out of view. We didn't recognize the car, and had no idea who the driver was, or why she had paid for our meal.

The lady in the drive-thru window went on to say,"She just said to tell you Merry Christmas". And then, with a friendly smile, she thanked us for choosing Krystal and proceeded to close her little doors so that she could help the next customer in line.

We slowly pulled away from the window, still unable to fully accept that we didn't have to pay for our food. To be honest, I think we were both sort of waiting for Ashton Kutcher to slam his hands on the hood of our car and tell us we got punked. But Ashton never made an appearance, and as we drove out of the parking lot, we finally began to process and appreciate what had just happened.

As we drove back home, tears of joy streamed down our smiling cheeks, and our hearts overflowed with a renewed sense of hope.

That one selfless and random act of kindness completely changed our outlook.

When we got back to the house, we went into the living room and talked. I mean really, really talked. And for the first time in a long time, our conversation was positive. Our experience in the drive-thru at Krystal was a great reminder that giving, and adding value to the lives of others is one of our deepest and truest purposes in life.

Simple acts of kindness can change someone’s entire day.

Sharing your time, your talents and your knowledge can change someone’s entire life. And although life may throw you a crazy curve ball now and then, what's important is to remember is that giving, and living with an open heart, can lead to a wealth of love, hope and inspiration.

Today, Kevin and I continue to chase our dreams, and because of our choice, we still find it challenging to make all of our ends meet. But ever since that magical Christmas Eve night in '08, we have found that the more positively we think and act, the easier is it to deal with life's wild pitches. Why? Because true peace and happiness can be found in providing peace and happiness to others.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you," Luke 6:38. ****End of Layla's post.*****

Just as it is in the process of discovering God’s will for our lives it is the same with our spiritual gifts. We just need to be faithful with what we do have and if we are and we are willing and obedient as the Bible says then our stewardship will increase. Sometimes we desire so much to do great things in the church but we need to recognize that what we start out with is what we need to be faithful to and God will increase and bless us so that we can gain more. As we multiply what gifts/talents we already do have, he will give us more. If we do not use what we have it is quite likely that we may lose it. Just sharing openly with people how God moves and works in your life is evangelism. It can be so simple to spread God’s word. So many people even in the church are so lonely. Walk around the church and hug people, say hello, get to know those parked in the pews. Chances are they probably need a smile and an uplifting word. That is edifying and sharing God’s love with others. Build those up around you! Let the lady with the screaming kids behind you in the line at the store go in front of you. Can you imagine how shocked she would be if that happened? How grateful? Sharing His goodness, love, mercy and kindness is something that ANYONE can do, right? If you aren’t sure what your gifts are…..start there and then be praying about it. God will lead you in the right direction but your first steps of willingness & obedience to these basic character traits of God himself are HUGE advances for profit in the kingdom of heaven. People will remember these acts and remember that you are a faithful follower and recognize these as a benefit of serving God.

This was the bible study I put together for our ladies study which of course is good for men too but I only do the ladies study. Hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Matthew 11:28-30 Mary & Martha Study Conclusion

Resting With Jesus

Matthew 11: 28-30.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
1. "In Jewish literature a 'yoke' represents the sum-total of
obligations which, according to the teaching of the rabbis,
a person must take upon himself." - William Hendriksen
(Matthew, New Testament Commentary) i.e., servitude.
2. Jesus is therefore expecting those who desire the rest He
offers to:
a. Accept His teachings.
b. Accept whatever obligations He would lay upon you.
c. Our yoke is the plan for our lives from God.
“seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) We are called to do what God asks us to do regardless of the cost and trust that God will cover us.
The word yoke could easily be replaced with the plans that I have for you. Let’s read the scripture and replace the words. (Re read) Does that make sense?
Come. Be obedient to the plans that I have for you. Learn from Me. You will find rest.


1. Jesus is offering rest for our souls!
2. Souls which have been burdened by:
a. The guilt of sin, which separates from God (i.e., legal
b. The side effects of sin, such as anxiety, depression, fear
and doubt (i.e., emotional guilt)
c. To remove anxiety, Jesus offers peace to calm the
troubled heart.


1. That we observe all that He commanded - Mt 28:19-20
2. That we abide in His doctrine (teaching) - Jn 8:31

1. John, who was a disciple for over fifty years, said: "His
commandments are not grievous" - 1Jn 5:3
2. What helps lighten our burden is the strength Jesus Himself
gives - Php 2:12-13; 4:13
-- Certainly the burden Jesus places upon us is lighter than the
burden sin lays upon us!

In The Quiet Place
Sometimes, no matter what is going on we just need to stop and get to a quiet place with Jesus. Doing things on our own does not bring us rest. Working about does not bring peace. Only Jesus can offer us the peace that passes all understanding.”The world’s offering of joy, hope and love is fleeting, temporary, and dangerously unstable…but it can put on a good show in the short term. It can offer peaceful settings and rituals to conjure up peaceful thoughts… but not true soul contentedness. The peace that flows despite circumstances can only be found through Jesus being with us.”- Lysa TerKeurst. Whatever you need….. it can only be filled by your sweet Savior. Does taking time to get quiet and alone sound unreasonable and/or undoable? If so then that rest will never be found. Remember Martha? Jesus said she made the wrong decision to continue to labor without first feeding her soul. It can be done but it is a conscious decision to take the time to COME TO JESUS. Will you let Him lead you instead of the world? Will you make time to spend with your Lord and Savior? Will you just say “even though” I have too much already “I will come” trusting that you will cover me. “I will come” knowing that you will give me the grace, help and ability to still do all of the things that I need to do because I put You first Jesus. Or will we say “I just don’t have any more time.” after all, Jesus will understand how busy I am and I do go to church a couple of times a week. Let us reference back to Martha again.

Scriptures we need to know deep within for this lesson in statement form.
. I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. (Isaiah 54:14)
. I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4 & 1Peter 1:16)
. I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 2:5)
. I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25)
. I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood (Ephesians 1:7)
. I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11)
. It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galations 2:20)
. I am complete in Him. Who is the Head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10)

We all want peace and to rest in Jesus don’t we? Then we need to trust in what the scriptures tell us and let Him lead us and not us live and then make room for Jesus. We live for Jesus and He makes room for the rest. It is a prioritized order that will work in our lives if we trust it.

Who do you trust? Distrust manifests itself in 2 ways. 1. A persistent ailing heart. Meaning a heavy heart and a feeling of this isn't how life was supposed to be. Isn't there supposed to be some joy?
Distrust manifestation #2. A spewing mind. You mind spews with every kind of worry, fear, insecurity, anxieties, vain imagination. You trace where your mind spews and you will find the areas where you distrust God.- Beth Moore

This lesson is the final piece to the Abundant Life for Women study. If we put Jesus first all the needs will be met. We have to make the conscious decision to praise every day, to pray every day, to talk to the Lord every day. Also, we know by his word he does not want us to labor without being spirit fed. We know he does not want us heavy laden (anxious, worried, upset) therefore we have to make the conscious decision to take care of our spirit, mind and body. Nobody keeps us from taking care of ourselves except for our own personal choices to not do so. If Jesus is first in your life He will honor that and the time you take to care for you soul, mind and body will be blessed and he will cover you. Everything will still get done, I promise. Trust in God’s word. At the end of the year God dropped the Mary/Martha bomb on me from our last Bible Study that I posted on An Abundant Life for Women and God showed me that my husband was my Mary and I was angry and blaming him for my inability to exercise because I was always too busy taking care of kids and doing housework. God showed me that the lack in my life was my own fault and nobody else's. I chose to believe that I had to do all the work first and then if any time was left take care of my needs to exercise or read a good book. Take a bubble bath? Hah!! Looking at the Mary Martha study with the revelation God gave me showed me that so many of us ladies deny our needs spiritually, emotionally and physically because we are laboring about and then get angry with our husbands because they do not do enough around the house. And let's be realistic..... most of them don't. BUT, God showed me that it was I who made the choice to deny my needs. Since the study I have exercised every single day. I do an hour or more on the treadmill. I do my crunches and some other form of free weights/leg exercises. This takes up at least 2 hours a day. NEVER would I have taken the time to do that before! Too much to do. Well, I chose to believe God and I chose to believe Jesus when he told Martha she was making the wrong decision. Guess what? God honors his word, my husband without my asking has started doing things around the house. Not much but he works tons of hours but he never used to do anything before and now he does. He takes time to play with the kids more and make sure they do some chores too. He likes his happy wife and he wants to keep me that way. The kids like the happy mom and they want to keep me that way. You see, they are making up some of the work I did because they all like happy and healthy mom. I also believe God nudges them.... Jesus wants us to live an abundant joyful life and I believe after doing this that when we believe and just on blind faith do what we should God covers us. I take the time now that I need for me and my house is still in order. The kids are fine, everyone is fine and momma is FINE. I can NEVER blame my husband EVER again for any lack I experience and I am ashamed that I ever did so. I hope this was a blessing to you like it was me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Long Time No Read

Hello blog world! Popping in for a quick hello. My mom has had critical health issues and I have been spending each and every day with her at the hospital. We thought for sure this was it for her. Truly there was not much hope and it was last Friday that I cried my eyes out so hard that the next morning they were so puffed up and swollen it looked like my husband had beat the poo out of me. If the cops had shown up at our home for any random reason surely they would have taken Mike away for spousal abuse ha ha. Anyhoo, the very next day their pastor came and prayed over mom. Now, I have had my pastor there too and I know that my church was praying during all services for mom and many friends and family were praying but it all came to a peak when their pastor showed up. Pastor Ryan prayed over mom and joked with her and he proclaimed many things loudly and boldly before he prayed. I remember sitting in my chair and thinking I have never seen someone who actually believed wholeheartedly what they were about to pray would happen. He displayed some major faith.

Well, dad said he could feel the holy spirit when pastor prayed. I'll be honest..... I didn't feel a thing. I have had stinky attitude a little bit about all this. My mom is the greatest person in the world and I am sick of her having to suffer...... enough of that. So, we went about our day still hoping for the best but the prognosis was pretty much death for her. She was actually better when we left that evening and when I walked in the very next morning do you know what?

Mom was fully alert which hadn't happened for over a week, had the ability to speak clearly and normally which hadn't happened in over a week, was in her right mind which hadn't happened in over a week, had all normal vitals, had all her color back and looked like there wasn't a thing wrong with her, she wanted to eat and ate well which she hadn't been eating more than 3 teaspoons per meal before. Let's say shall we that a miracle was performed? Mom is coming home this week. I was sure she was never going to leave the hospital in any way other than the funeral car. Miracles are crazy cool people.

I do want to say that mom has major health issues. Dad and I go through this stuff all the time and this time was different. It was the worst and her heart had to be shocked back 3 times the previous Saturday. Lots of screaming...... it is painful for a defibrillator to go off. She was screaming, I was screaming, Dad was screaming for Jesus to come. The freaking nurse was crying. Do you ever see a nurse cry? UM, NO. It was that bad. God healed her. Amazing. Just amazing.

So, I haven't had time to blog and I have had a stinky attitude. I'll be honest, I have prayed for mom but hardly at all in 2 weeks. I honestly believe there is some spiritual warfare going on in the ole mind and if anyone has the inclination I would love some prayer. Still losing weight too. Got me some shin splints and boy do they hurt. I need new running shoes. I don't suppose God would just drop some great running shoes out of the sky? No, I didn't think so either. Well, Kat and Danielle, if you read this I have been meaning to email you both but I haven't been home in what feels like forever...... so can I just say "hey" to you both and I am thinking of you. Tasha, Lord have mercy I have been meaning to email you since the first of Jan. to see how your family Christmas went. I am a stinky friend sometimes.....but I think you know how absent minded I am lol. Love y'all.