Stepping up through the grace and gifts of God
I. Living out the KINGDOM of HEAVEN now. (v.14-30)
A. God ENTRUSTS what is His to US. (v.14-15)
B. Different GIFTS for different PEOPLE. (v.15; I Cor. 12;7,11)
C. Their RESPONSE and REWARD. (v.16-30)
D. What MADE the DIFFERENCE? (v.24-25)
Jesus was known for the stories he told. Today we look at the “Parable of the Talents”, a reminder that God entrusts those who follow Him with gifts given through and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to use for the growth and support of His kingdom until the day He makes all things new.
1. Kid’s question: What do you think God wants you to do when you grow up?
2. What parts of this parable make you wonder? What questions come to your mind? Are there parts that make you feel uncomfortable?
II. CLARIFYING our PICTURE of God. (Job 42:5)
A. A “HARD” God leads to FEAR. (v.25)
B. A God of GRACE leads to JOY. (v.21,23; Rom. 5:1-2)
C. Freedom to SERVE, even in RISKY ways. (v.16-17,27; Deut 31:8; Matt.28:18-20)
A.W. Tozer writes, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So much of the way we view the world, and from that the way we act as we live in the world, flows out of who we conceive God to be. It’s an important picture that shapes our lives, and so it’s a question we should be clear on.
3. How would you describe the mental picture that you have of God? Where did that come from?
4. As you look at your own life what fruit do you see that flows out of your mental image of God? As you trace back your own fears, how do they give you insight to your perspective on who God is?
5. When has God called you to do something that was a challenge or a risk for you? What was that like?
III. Faithfully USING what you have been GIVEN. (I Pet. 4:10-11)
A. START with KNOWING who God is. (v.24; 2 Pet. 1:3, 3:18)
B. DISCERN and USE what you have been GIVEN. (v.21,23,27; Rom. 12:6-8)
C. Be FAITHFUL with a FEW things. (v.21,23; Lk. 16:10)
D. Let GRACE set you FREE. (v.21,23; Gal. 5:1)
We’ve seen the call of Christ, and how the we work with the Spirit in our own growth, but we are also called to serve outwardly, as a way of showing the love and care of God for the world. We’ve been given gifts to share with the world. Where do we start?
6. What gift or gifts do you think God might have given you? What are specific ways you can seek to use those?
7. Do you compare yourself and your gifts with others? Are you willing to be faithful with what you have been given, regardless of the “status”? How would that look this week?
8. Would you say that you live with a freedom that comes from knowing Christ? Why or why not?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. … For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech.”
— A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)