Luke 12:41-44
A Wise and Faithful Servant

Jesus spent a lot of time talking about serving God.  In fact, I
suppose if we were to sort all of the words of Jesus into categories,
we would find that He spend more time teaching people to serve God
than He did teaching people that they needed to be saved.

Why would that be the case? I don’t think that is because salvation
is not important for it is the most important act a person will ever
do. I think it is the case because salvation is a decision that only
needs to be made once, but surrender and service to God is a decision
that must be made daily.

In this Scripture, Jesus offers only two options for the Christian
life.  Either be wise and faithful or be lazy and unfaithful.

Let me share some thoughts with you about being used by God.

I. The giants of the Bible were nobodies until they chose to be used
     of God.
    A. We think of the great giants of the faith.  Without exception,
        they were nobodies until God used them.
        1. Noah - We have no knowledge of who or what Noah was until
            God called him into His service.
        2. Abraham - Abraham was just another Arabian until God
            called him.
        3. Esther was just another orphaned girl.
        4. Ruth was a Moabites, cursed by God as one of Israel’s
        5. David was a mere shepherd boy, the least of the sons in a
            large family.
        6. Matthew was a tax collector, obsessed with making money.
        7. Nathaniel was just a man goofing off under a fig tree.
        8. John and James were a couple of short-tempered young men.
        9. Paul was just another Jewish hater of the Christian way.
   B. And so it goes, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Barnabas, Silas,
       Timothy, Titus—all nobodies until they were made somebody by
   C. Get this - even people who appeared to be somewhat before they
       were used of God were still nobodies until God used them.
        1. Maybe some of them had money, had power, had position.
        2. I’m sorry to tell you that all of that means nothing in the
            scope of eternity.
            a. This is what some people just don’t get.
            b. Once you’re dead…

                (1) …you might as well have been homeless as to have
                    lived in a mansion.
                (2) …you might as well have been penniless as to have
                    a fortune.
                (3) …you might as well have lived in isolation as to
                     have the world know your name.
        3. Everybody is nobody until God uses you for His glory.

II. There are two ways you can be used of God.
    A. One way is to be passively used by God.
        1. To be passively used is to be used like a carpenter uses a
            nail or a baker uses a skillet.
        2. God will use every human being in one way or the other;
            but those passively used of God have no desire to be used
            and make no choice to be used.
        3. This is what Paul wrote about in Romans 9.

Romans 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the
clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto
honour, and another unto dishonour?
22  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and
to make his power known, endured with much
longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to

            a. Saved and fitted for heaven or lost and cast into
                hell, every human being will be used by God.
            b. God will use every person for He is God, the Creator
                of every human being, and He will be glorified in
                everyone and everything He has created.
        4. The Bible gives us examples of those God passively used.
            a. Pharaoh was passively used by God.
                (1) Before Moses ever got to Egypt, God told him
                     Pharaoh would be a problem.

Exodus 3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt
will not  let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite
Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the
midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

                    (a) God did not say He made Pharaoh that way.
                    (b) This man and his family had been making
                         choices long before Moses got there!
                    (c) And he continued to make the same kind of
                         choices after Moses arrived.

Exodus 5:23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak
in thy name, he hath done evil to this people;
neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

                (2) God’s reply was that it was going to get even

Exodus 7:4 Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,
that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring
forth mine armies, and my people the children
of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great

                (3) But in the end, Pharaoh would literally drive the
                     Jews out of his land.

Exodus 6:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now
shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for
with a strong hand shall he let them go, and
with a strong hand shall he drive them out of
his land.

                (4) Indeed, God told Pharaoh that he had been given
                     his position so that he could be an unwilling
                     object lesson the world!

Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have
I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power;
and that my name may be declared throughout all
the earth.

            b. Nebuchadnezzar was passively used of God to show that
                God sets up and takes down kings.
                (1) Nebuchadnezzar, by his own testimony, was a hard-
                     hearted, arrogant man.
                (2) Daniel 4 details his own encounter with God.
                     (a) \\#Daniel 4:4-18\\ Nebuchadnezzar had a
                          dream which troubled him.
                           i. He knew it had some kind of
                               significance but could not find anyone
                                to explain it to him.
                          ii. So he called in Daniel.
                     (b) \\#Daniel 4:19-27\\ Daniel explains the
                          dream is God warning Nebuchadnezzar to turn
                          from his pride or God would remove his
                     (c) \\#Daniel 4:28-33\\ Nebuchadnezzar didn’t
                          listen and one year later he was afflicted
                          with a madness which caused his kingdom to
                          be removed from him.
                     (d) Nebuchadnezzar was turned loose into the
                          fields like an animal until his fingernails
                          were like claws and his hair matted to his
                          back like feathers.
                     (e) \\#Daniel 4:34\\ After seven years, God gave
                          Nebuchadnezzar enough sense to repent,
                          which he did.
                     (f) Once he did, his reasoning returned to him
                          and God even gave him back his kingdom.
                     (g) God’s point had been proven.
                           i. God sets up kings and tears them down.
                          ii. \\#Dan 4:35-37\\ But Nebuchadnezzar
                               decided he never wanted to be
                               passively used by God again do he made
                               the choice to follow God.
    B. The other way is to be actively used by God.
        1. To be actively used of God is nothing like being passively
        2. To be actively used of God means it is your \\desire\\ and
            \\choice\\ that God would use you.
            a. I find it interesting that not very many people in the
                Bible were seeking to be used of God when God first
                offered to them that opportunity.
                (1) Moses was tending his sheep - no thoughts of
                     being used by God.  At first, he even resisted
                     being used.
                (2) David was visiting his brothers on the front
                     lines - no thought of being used by God.
                (3) Paul thought he was being used of God when God
                     offered him the opportunity to serve.
            b. I would think that if God can take a person who has
                no real desire to serve and uses him greatly, those
                who really want to be used ought to be miles ahead in
                the game.
            c. In fact, the Bible says God is looking for someone who
                wants to be used.

2Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to
and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew
himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart
is perfect toward him….

        3. To those traits of desire and choice, you must also add
            \\availability\\ faithfulness.
            a. It has been my case to meet some people who claimed to
                want God to use them but then they were always too
                busy with other things to be used.
                (1) God afforded them the opportunity knock on
                (2) God offered them a Sunday school class…
                (3) God showed them a need they could do…
                (4) You will never be used of God if all you have is
                     desire but no time.
            b. And again, I have met some who were quick to take
               responsibilities but seldom, if ever, finish them.

1Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in
stewards, that a man be found faithful.

III. It is not the size of the task that God gives but the size of
      your determination that impresses God.
    A. Without doubt, big works impress people, but I am not so
        certain they impress God.
        1. I am not against a big work.  I have a desire to so more
            for God than I have so far accomplished.
        2. However, I have come to understand that it is not the size
            of what I do but the devotion I give to it that is
            important to God.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of
small things? for they shall rejoice….

Job 8:7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy
latter end should greatly increase.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the
shining light, that shineth more and more unto
the perfect day.

    B. Truths about Big and Small Works.
        1. God has more small works than big ones.
        2. Typically, God can make a smaller work more pure than a
            bigger work (mostly through one-on-one training).
        3. If you operate a smaller work correctly, God can always
            built it into a bigger work.
        4. If you don’t give yourself wholly to doing the small work,
            you wouldn’t give yourself wholly to a big one.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is
least is faithful also in much: and he that is
unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

IV. \\#Luke 12:41-44\\ The servant that does what he or she can with
     what he or she has is promised a reward and a rule by the Lord.
     A. \\#41\\ Peter actually asked the Lord if the things Jesus was
        teaching were for the apostles only or for everyone.
     B. Jesus’ answer is that anyone who is faithful when the Lord
         returns (and those disciples are long since gone) will be
         made a ruler over all.
         1. I don’t do what I do because of a future reward.
         2. I do what I do because I want to serve Him today.
         3. But it doesn’t hurt to know that one day, God is going to
             reward us for serving Him.

The Green Pond Baptist Church may be a small church and our VBS may be a small
church, but it is what God has built in this place to date and I think it
deserves the best its people can give it.
Will you be a good and faithful servant?

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