Rabbi Schneider - God Blessed You: Now What?
Let's begin with the scripture today. I'm gonna be reading now from the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter number thirteen, verses number eleven through fifteen. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but beloved the word of God abides forever. Hear the word of God. "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive reward. If any man's work is burned up he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so through fire".
What we learn from this beloved one, is that you and I have the potential first of all, listen to me, to waste our lives. What Paul is saying here is what you and I do matters. What we do matters. Why am I saying this? Because I think too many of us are living our lives passively. We're not consciously aware that we're accountable to the Lord for every word we speak, every thought we dwell on, every decision we make, how we treat our spouse, or how we treat our friends, how we relate to our neighbors and employers, how we relate to the people on the road, how we relate to the people in the grocery store and all the other places we're going for our retail business. Everything that you do, listen to me, matters, all of it. Jesus said not even giving a cup of cold water to somebody in His name will go without a reward.
I want you to hear me today. Some of us just think that whatever will be will be. Beloved, that is not entirely Biblical. God does have a plan. There is something called predestination which is a Biblical word, but you can't carry the context of predestination to the extreme. And by the way if anybody questions whether predestination is a Biblical word, just look it up in a Bible concordance. You will see it there a number of times. There is an element of God's sovereignty, predestination is part of the divine plan. But listen, the other half of the equation is that you and I have a free will and that you and I are accountable and responsible to God.
You see one of the things that makes you and I unique as human beings is the fact that we have a will. That's why the scripture says, "Whosoever will". You and I have a will and God is going to hold us responsible for what we choose. The Torah says this, "Behold I have put before you life and death. Choose life that you might live". Let me say it again, we just read through the book of 1 Corinthians and what the Lord says. He has given us a life and with the life that He has given us we can build on it through our choices, through what we choose again to think about it, to do. And if we choose the right things and if we overcome by choosing the right things, we're gonna be building with gold and stone and precious metals. And at Jesus' appearing we're gonna be rewarded.
On the other hand beloved ones, if we don't live responsibly, if we don't take accountability for our lives what's gonna happen is we're gonna get to the end of our lives, listen, the Bible says we're gonna suffer loss. In fact Jesus said concerning the same phenomenon, even what He has given us will be taken away. Listen to me my dear brother and listen to me my dear sister, you have the potential, listen to me, to waste your life. Let me say it another way church, hear me. You and I can get to the end of our lives, hear me now, because it's a sobering word, without having reached our potential. You see whether you and I reach a potential, it's up to us. Let me continue this context for you by reading another scripture here. We're gonna be reading now from the book of Matthew chapter twenty five, verse fourteen through seventeen. What we're gonna find here is this, that we're born into this world with a certain amount of talent.
Now what is a talent? A talent basically is the ability that God has given us to be a blessing. A talent is the ability that we have to be a blessing and each one of us has been given a certain amount of talents. The important thing you're gonna find here is not how many talents you were gifted with, but rather church, what we do with the gifts and talents that we have. And let me say to you if you're watching today and you haven't committed your life to Jesus, you may be very gifted.
In fact I was just watching the show Little Big Shots the other night. Maybe you have seen the show Little Big Shots, Steve Harvey hosts the show and he takes these little kids with extraordinary talents. There was this little boy. I don't know how old he was. He looked like he was about eight, nine years old. I don't know exactly. This guy played the piano, listen to me, like Mozart and Beethoven. It was unbelievable. He had already played at Carnegie Hall several times. I mean to watch this kid play, it was obvious and stunning that what he had was a supernatural gifting from heaven. I mean how could this kid at this age play the piano like that? He not only had the talent, but he had the desire to learn. This was a gift from God.
Well you know there's many people that have supernatural gifts from God, but unfortunately many that have been given gifts from God don't use their gifting for the one that gave it to them. See the Bible says, "From Him and through Him and to Him should be all things". But unfortunately Father gives many of us gives, but rather than using the gifts that He's given to us for Him we waste it on ourselves and our own pleasure. And so what you're gonna see as I read this next parable that Jesus told, is that everybody's been given gifts. Not everybody's been given the same amount of gifts, but at the end of the day church what's important is not how many talents you've been given, not the bigness of the gift you've been given, what's gonna be important at the last day is what you did with what God gave you.
Let's read now from the book of Matthew and I'm gonna be reading from chapter number twenty five, verse fourteen through seventeen. Hear the word of God. Jesus said, "For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money". In other words, he didn't do anything with it at all.
"Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.' But his master answered, and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest".
Again, let me refresh what I said. What we find here is that the talents represent the ability that God has given us to bless others, to build His kingdom. Now hear me, we read here and discover that God determines the amount of talents that any man or woman receives. God determines the amount of talent one is born with, but you my dear friend determine what you do with those talents. Man determines the increase. God determines the amount of talent given, but listen my friend, you determine the increase. You see God has given us a commission to multiply what He's given us. In fact in the book of Matthew chapter thirteen verse eight, along the same line Jesus said this, He said, "Some multiply a hundred fold, some sixty and some thirty".
Here's the point, many of you that are listening to me right now, in your heart you're saying to the Father, "Father God I want to bring you a hundred fold". We just got done reading. Jesus said, "Some will take what I've given them and they'll multiply, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred fold". And all of you who love Jesus right now are thinking, "Yes Lord I want to be one of those that do it a hundred fold". But let me tell you my friend, just because in your heart you want to multiply a hundred fold, it doesn't mean that you'll do it.
You see Jesus said to His disciples, "Watch and pray". They wanted to watch and pray, but what did they do? They fell asleep. Jesus said, "Listen, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". Here me when I say, my dear friend, just because we want to multiply what God's given us a hundred fold, it doesn't mean we're gonna do it. If you're gonna multiply what God's given you sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, or a hundred fold, you're gonna have to make a conscious decision right now to sell out to Jesus; to let go of everything and completely surrender your life to God to do His will. There's only an hour left. You and I don't have a long time. Jesus is coming back soon, or you and I are gonna slip into eternity soon. We can't put this off.
If you truly in your spirit, my dear friend, want a hundred fold fruit, my dear beloved brother or sister, you have to make a decision right now. You have to get on your knees right now and truly give yourself to God and say, "Father God whatever it's gonna cost me. Whatever the price is. You have Your permission to do what you want with my life and I Father God want you to gain a hundred fold fruitfulness from me".
I remember a story that really moved me. I remember hearing Mike Bickle tell the story and he talked about how he was in Egypt. And the Lord gave him a commission to do something. And Mike Bickle was on his knees. He said, "Lord, yes I'll do it". And the Lord spoke back to him clearly and said this to him. He said, "Mike, many have said that they would do it, but none did. Many said they would do it when I gave them this commission, but none of them fully obeyed Me and followed through". The point beloved child of God, that I'm trying to make is you have a choice. You're in control of your will. Don't pass off on God what only you can do.
Too many of us just say, "Well whatever God wills, whatever God wants". Sometimes it's not about what God wills or what God wants. It's about my friend, what you and I will choose to do and sometimes we have to pay a hard cost. That's what sacrifice often times is all about. Hear me when I say once again, there's only one hour left. I want to continue on this theme and I want to build on it another level, because we're talking about in order to have a hundred fold fruit we must completely sell out. I mean we've got to be willing to say, "God whatever You want to do with my life, I give You permission. Father by Your grace I need to obey. I choose to obey. No matter how hard it is, no matter what the cost, Father God I have to do it". You know Jesus said, "If we lose our life for His sake we'll find it".
So hear me when I say now, we're talking about extravagant love. Only those who extravagantly love Him will have the hundred fold fruit at the end of our life. Let's take a look at a prophetic picture of what extravagant love looks like as we read now from the book of Mark, chapter fourteen verse one through nine, about Mary of Bethany.
"Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; for they were saying, 'Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of people.' While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, 'Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor'. And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, 'Let her alone. Why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have ME. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her'".
Now I'm gonna get into this next week. I'm gonna look at what actually happened here and why was this act of Mary taking this costly vial of perfume and anointing Jesus body a prophetic shadow of what it means to you and I to love Jesus extravagantly, because if we're gonna bear a hundred fold fruit beloved, we're gonna have to, listen now, give Him our whole life. And when Mary anointed Him with oil, beloved, what that was symbolic of was her giving Him her entire life. This is an hour, beloved, that we can't be lukewarm. As the world is becoming muddled, as the cultural moral climate is getting muddy, now more than ever before God needs His chosen ones to shine brightly. And the Bible says, "Many will fall away", in the book of Daniel, "During this last age".
Many people's love will grow cold. But Jesus also said, "Those that lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever". You see church, God wants to use you and me to win many to righteousness. He wants us to bear fruit a hundred fold. Now hear me when I say to you, maybe you're watching today and you've never given your life to Jesus. God wants you to use your life for Him. Even as Mary took that costly vial of perfume and was accused of wasting it, Jesus said, "No, no, no, she is gonna be remembered forever for what she did".
I want to say to you, someone that's watching today, you may have never given your life to Jesus. Don't waste your life on the pleasures of the world, or upon yourself. Do what Mary did. Give your whole life to Jesus and He will make something beautiful and wonderful out of you and He'll use you beloved, to glorify His name for Himself on the earth. And when He comes again or when you die, you're gonna have a great reward. Jesus' last words in the Bible were these, "Behold I come quickly". You're gonna meet Him soon, either at a second coming or by death. Don't waste your life beloved. Jesus loves you and He's coming back for you.