The Generous Life - June 16, 2019

The Generous Life

Week 7: Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The generous life is one that puts this truth into practice in every way. God’s good gifts are not given merely for us to enjoy. They are also meant to be used for a purpose, multiplied, and leveraged for kingdom benefit. This is true of every good gift including the gift of God’s saving grace - the good news that Jesus has dealt decisively with our sin and invited us to be a part of God’s family by faith. The treasure of the gospel is meant to be shared generously, not hoarded or buried in the ground until Christ returns. The same goes for our time, money, relationships, and opportunities. All of these come to us as gifts from God’s hand. And all of them are given with expectations for strategic investment and growth, keeping in view what God considers to be most valuable. Jesus promises us that one day we will be rewarded for thinking and living this way. “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Live the generous life now. Hear those words spoken over you by God himself on evaluation day.

Discussion Starter:

If you were loaned 100 years’ wages by a rich friend who asked you to manage his or her money for a time, what would your first reaction be?

Getting into the Text:

1.  (Matt 25:14) “For it will be like …” What does the “it” refer to here? See Matt 24:36-47, Matt 25:1, 13 and Matt 25:31-32 for some of the context surrounding this parable of the talents. Who does the master in the parable represent? Who do the servants represent? How does the time when the master is away relate to us today?

2.  (Matt 25:15) A talent is a large sum of money, equivalent to about 20 years’ wages for a day laborer. What does the money in this parable represent? What is Jesus communicating by using such large sums? What is the significance of the master entrusting different amounts to each servant?

3.  (Matt 25:16-23) What are the first two servants commended for? Given what money represents in this parable, what real life behavior is being commended here? How does this relate to living the generous life?

4.  (Matt 25:24-30) Why is the third servant condemned? Given what money represents here, what real life behavior is being condemned? What are some examples of what that might look like today?

5.  (2 Cor 5:18-6:1) In this passage Paul talks about the message of the gospel as something entrusted to believers. What does he mean in 6:1 when he encourages believers not to receive the grace of God in vain? How does this relate to the parable of the talents and living a generous life?

Application:

1.  Do you think of your knowledge of the gospel as a valuable gift to be stewarded? What steps is God calling you to take as you work to be a good and faithful steward of what he has blessed you with?

2.  Investors know that the level of risk is closely related to the potential for reward. When it comes to living the generous life with God’s resources, what does your investment portfolio look like? Is Jesus an aggressive investor or a more conservative one? Ask the Lord for guidance as you examine your own kingdom investment strategy.