How to Gain a Few Pounds
“I don’t need anyone telling me how to do that…I’ve got it mastered!”
The parable of the pounds reminds us of the parable of the talents in Mt. 25, which we’ll study in a couple of weeks. But they are quite different from one another.
In the parable of the talents, each one was given a specific amount. One had 5, one had 2, and the other had 1. So it is w/ our gifts in the body of Christ. And each did something different with their talents, but all who used them were given the same reward, whether they earned 5 more or just 2 more.
But the parable of the pounds is different. Each of them was given the same exact deposit, 1 pound. And we’re only told about 3 of them.
Keys to unlocking this parable:
v. 12 The nobleman is a king…Jesus
v. 13 The 10 servants are us…Christians.
v. 13 “Occupy” means to do business.
[What does it mean when a lavatory on a plane says ‘occupied’? Somebody’s doing their business!]
When Jesus left this world and told us to occupy until He returns for us, that means more than just ‘stay here’. He means ‘take over for me until I return…continue the work I started!’ He’s not just saying ‘hold the fort’, He’s saying, ‘storm the fort!’
v. 14 The citizens are the lost of this world
And the pound that each of us is entrusted with is the gospel.
1 Thessalonians 2:4
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
1 Timothy 1:11
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
We may have differing gifts and abilities, but we all have the same gospel, and we are put in charge of distributing it. It’s a level playing field. It’s all about what you do with what you’ve got.
Ill.—acc’d to Ripley’s Believe it or Not: a plain bar of iron weighing 1 pound would be worth about $5…but the same bar could be made into horse shoes and be worth up to $50…made into needles it would amount to $500 worth…or as springs in fine Swiss watches--$5,000!
The raw material is not as important as how it is developed.
For this reason we should not have respect of persons. We should reach out to the poor as well as the rich, and put much effort into discipling them because they have the same potential in them, whether we can see it on the outside or not.
1. What the King Explained:
a. His future.
v. 11 Passover was a time of excitement as the Jews celebrated their deliverance from Egypt. And here comes Jesus now, approaching Jerusalem, and for what purpose? He’s here to set up His kingdom, right? No, He’s here to die!
b. His friends.
v. 13 He gave them 3 months wages and told them to occupy and do His business…He’s leaving, but He’s going to return, and it won’t be long!
c. His foes.
v. 14 His own received Him not. They rejected their King. Why does He call them His citizens? Because He was the rightful heir to the throne. But instead of the crown He deserved the world gave Him a cross.
2. What the King Expected:
a. Personal involvement.
v. 15 “Bigger and Better”
People today sit in church as onlookers, as if they are watching a show on tv. They are observers, or judges to a performance, but not really participants. [Super Bowl - millions who desperately need exercise watching a few who desperately need rest!]
Ill.—it’s like riding a bicycle. You can watch someone else do it, but you’ll never learn how unless you get on and try, fall down, and try again. The first time I rode a bike I was hit in the head by the bumper of a parked car! I tried again and hit a big rock w/ the front wheel…talk about a ‘full gainer’…the difficulty was a 3.9!
How did I learn to preach? By repeatedly standing up and making a fool of myself until I caught on a little!
Ill.—we criticize the apostle Peter for taking His eyes off Jesus and sinking in the water, but at least He got out of the boat…the others just sat and watched!
b. Personal investment.
vv. 16-21 This involves risk. When we share the gospel we are doing something unnatural and uncomfortable. We take on some liability and risk a lot. The odds are against them listening to what we have to say…especially if we don’t say it! And even when we do, we may have to share it with 10 before 1 receives it.
Ill.—Aesop’s fable of the old crow, thirsty, who came to a jug w/ only a little water in the bottom of it. His beak couldn’t quite reach the water, so what did he do? He started picking up pebbles one at a time, and dropping them into the jug. The water rose and finally all his efforts paid off!
3. What the King Exposed:
a. The significance of faithfulness.
v. 17 The best abilities are availability and dependability.
1 Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
We have some models of faithfulness in our midst tonite, who put many of the young folks to shame. They do more by 9 am than most do all day!
This teaches us that how we serve God today helps to determine our rank / reward in the millennial Kingdom.
b. The seriousness of failure.
vv. 20-26 This is all about the judgment seat of Christ which will follow the rapture trumpet.
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Our works will be tried by fire, whether they be gold or silver or wood, hay and stubble.
These 3 in tonite’s passage all stand before God and are judged according to their works…at the judgment seat of Christ. [rewards]
But there’s another group who arrive at the Great White Throne judgment:
v. 27 His enemies…those who rejected Him…they never accepted Him. Have you?
We live today in between verses 14 and 15…our King is absent. He’s given each of us a pound which is our salvation by the gospel. He gave it to you when you asked for it. But how did you know it was available? Was it because you saw a ‘honk if you love Jesus’ sticker? Did you watch a football game and see someone holding up a John 3:16 sign between the goal posts during an extra point?
No, each of us heard from someone else where they got their pound, and we can gain a pound of our own! That’s soulwinning: just 1 beggar telling another beggar where they found bread.
How many pounds are out there w/ your name on them? Have you gained a few more, or will the only salvation you will be associated with in heaven be your own? Will you stand at the judgment seat of Christ with only 1 pound in your hand, saying, “Here’s my salvation Lord!” [fire insurance] "Must I go, and empty handed?"
We are each entrusted with the weighty matter of carrying the gospel. But how well are we bearing the burden God has placed in our pack? Tonite’s message is a wake up call to all of us to gain a few pounds!
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