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We continue our series Here I am, Send me! with the sermon Risk. The Kingdom of God is founded upon the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus gave his life so that all of us would be his brothers and sisters as well as experience the incredible wonder of being a child of the living God. God’s intention is to partner with us to further his Kingdom on earth. God empowers our efforts to accomplish his goals for our world. Yet, our mission is always confronted with problems and obstacles, uncertainty and confusion, as well as fear and failure! Jesus answered these questions, not with an analytic thesis, but with ordinary, down-to-earth stories that were thoughtful and powerful. Matthew 25:22-30 is part of the Story of the Talents. This is the section of the story that focuses on the servant who received one talent and hid it. He returns it to his master as he has received it. This should be good, right? No, this servant has his one talent taken away and he is thrown into the outer darkness where there is weeping and grinding of teeth! Is Jesus trying to frighten us to do God’s work? (If he is, he is doing a great job!) Not at all! Jesus was trying to teach his disciples, his followers, and all of us a powerful lesson about serving God. This story confronts us with a simple choice. Are we going to live in the fear of self-protection, self-service, and self-focus? Or are we going to live in the powerful faith of serving our Master and joyfully risking everything because we have found this great treasure? These words also lead us to the choices that can infuse our lives with the possibilities that can only come from a partnership with God! Our most earnest prayer for you is that you will find the joy of our Master rather than the outer darkness of the despair of a meaningless existence as you read Matthew 25:22-30.


Matthew 25:22-30 – “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; 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 one bag of gold 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 gold 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 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NIV)