Thursday, July 28, 2011

Much Is Expected!

For unto whomsoever much is given,
of him shall be much required:
and to whom men have committed much,
of him they will ask the more.”
LUKE 12:48

What do a shoemaker, a baseball player, and a teenage English boy have in common.

William Carey, a shoemaker by trade, spent 41 years as a missionary in India and is considered the “Father of Modern Missions.” At the time of his death in 1834, he had seen the Bible translated into 40 languages and invested a lifetime in the people of India.

One of the greatest athletes of his time, Billy Sunday gave up professional baseball with the Chicago White Stockings and, as a result, impacted this nation in an incredible way. During his lifetime he preached to over 100 million people and won over 1 million people to Christ.

At the age of fifteen, a young Hudson Taylor placed his trust in Christ, and almost immediately God burdened his heart for the people of China. He served in China for 51 years and was instrumental in bringing 800 missionaries to the nation, founding 125 schools and bringing about the conversion of 18,000 Chinese. Additionally, Hudson is credited with inspiring the widest evangelistic effort since the Apostle Paul.
So what did these men have in common? They used the talents God gave them to accomplish the task to which they were assigned.

In Luke 12, we find Jesus teaching the crowds through a series of parables that deal with his Second Coming. Throughout these passages we find the themes of being prepared, Christian stewardship, and the ever-anticipation of his return. But we also find a very important principal: “To whom much is given, much is required!” Or as one commentator wrote, “privilege brings responsibility and that responsibility entails accountability.”

At FBC Jackson, our music and worship ministry has been given much: wonderful resources, the privilege of sharing with thousands each week, and the opportunity to impact thousands of lives. More importantly, all of us in this ministry have been given much. God has gifted each of us musically and placed a desire in our hearts to sing…or else you wouldn’t be part of this ministry! So my question is not, “How has God gifted you?” The bigger question is “Will you faithfully use the gifts he HAS given you?” Scripture teaches that God assigns responsibilities to each of us based on the resources and the talents He has given us. For those in this room he has assigned us the responsibility of leading our church family in worship each week. The question is: Will we be faithful in using our gifts to accomplish the task to which we’ve been assigned?

You see, Jesus is coming again! And when He does, Scripture teaches us that He will reward us based on how we’ve carried out the responsibilities that were assigned to us. Scripture is very clear: God has gifted you and He expects you to use it.

The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini, known as the “Father of Modern Violin Technique” willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa, Italy on condition that it must never be played. The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic. For us, our unwillingness to faithfully serve may soon destroy our capacity to minister.

May we be found faithful for the gifts God has given us!

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