Rabbi Schneider - Don't Waste Your Life
Now on last week's introduction to this message I began by reading from the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 11-15. And what we read there is that Paul said that everyone builds his life on something. Paul said, "Some people build their life on gold, silver and precious metals". Paul went on to say, "Other people build their life on wood, straw and worthless things". And he said, "At the end of our lives what we've built our life on", what do I mean by what we've built our life on? I mean the things that you think, your thoughts are things that you build your life on. When you dwell on something you're building your life on that thing, because "as a man thinketh, so he is".
What you say, you build your life on. Because your words beloved one, will cause your life to go in a certain trajectory. So the way you talk is building your life. Remember James told us the story about a big ship. This things huge, yet James said, "the direction of the ship is determined by the small rudder". And he said, "So it is my friends with your tongue". That by what you say it's gonna steer the direction of your life, even as the rudder of a ship steers a large ship. And let me ask you a question as we're talking about building our life and our works being tested. Listen to this, who determines what you say? Is somebody else making you say what you say? Is your mom making you say what you say? Are your friends making you say what you say or are you choosing to say what you say? Let me ask another way, do you have the power to determine what you're gonna say and how you talk? Do I have the power to hold my tongue and do I have the power to speak? I have the power.
Now I know that there are certain situations where someone's maybe being tortured. You know they're being forced to say something, we're not talking about that. We're talking about normal life. I have the power to determine whether I'm gonna speak a word of anger, or whether I'm gonna hold my anger. I have the power to gossip or not to gossip. I have the power to forgive or to ask forgiveness. I have the power to bless someone, affirm someone, encourage someone. I have the power to pick up the phone and to reach out to build a relationship. I have the power to determine whether I'm gonna tell somebody about Jesus or pray for them or not.
The point that I'm making beloved one is this, a lot of times we're passive. We're not taking responsibility for our life. We're just living our lives on auto pilot. We're letting the river carry us, being passive, rather than understanding that God is gonna hold us accountable for what we do. You see in this section of scripture that I just paraphrased for you, Paul says, "Everybody builds their life on something". Either they're building it with precious stones of gold and silver, or they're building with wood, hay and stubble. And at the end of our life, Paul said, "Our works will be tested". Some will be rewarded and others are gonna suffer loss. And what they have even will be taken away, because they didn't even use the talent that God gave them.
Now I continued last week by reading another parable from the book of Matthew. I read in the book of Matthew beloved one, in chapter 25, verse 14-27, how Jesus shared a story about a man who went on a journey. And before he went on a journey he gave one man five talents, another man another amount of talents and another man only one talent. And then Yeshua came back to settle accounts with the one that he had given the talents to, with the ones he had given the talents to. First he came to the one who had five talents. The man says, "Lord you gave me five talents. I multiplied them. I put them to use and now look, I've taken the five and I've turned them into ten". And the master said, "Well done my good and faithful servant. Now you're gonna be given ten and I want you now to enter into my joy and rest".
And then there was one that had three talents. Same thing happened, the man that had three talents came and said, "Master look. I took what you gave me and I multiplied it and I doubled it". And the Lord said, "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master". And the Lord gave him more. But then there was the one that thought he didn't have anything to do. He said, "You know what you gave me one talent. I was afraid. I didn't do anything with it, but here is the one talent you gave me". Jesus said to him, He said, "You wicked, lazy slave". Yeshua went on to say, "When people live like this, even what they have will be taken away".
I want to make a few points here. Number one, God has given everyone talents. Not everybody has the same amount of talents. A talent is the ability, or the gifting that He's given us to be a blessing and to extend His kingdom on the earth. Some obviously have been given greater music abilities, some have better speaking abilities, some have more money for education. Everybody has been given a different amount of talents and often times we don't determine the amount of talents that we're born with. God determines that.
But hear this my beloved friend, you determine what you do with those talents and that's the point that I was making earlier. You're the one that determines who you're gonna speak to, what you're gonna say. You're the one who determines whether you're gonna hold your temper or not. You're the one who determines whether you're gonna show love or not. You see you're in much more control then you're being responsible for. So many of us are living our lives irresponsibly. We're not recognizing that Jesus said, "Every idol word that we speak we're gonna give an account for".
I'm trying to stress beloved one, that you and I often times are just coasting through life without realizing that God is gonna hold us responsible. He's gonna hold us responsible for what we think about, what we say, how we spend our money, how we're acting, for the relationships we have, for the places we choose to go to. You and I are gonna stand before Him in what the scripture calls, The Great White Throne Judgment and we're gonna be held accountable. When I say the scripture calls The Great White Throne Judgment, it simply says we're gonna stand before His throne great and small and everyone's gonna give an account.
Now, I want to continue this theme. We've learned that we've all been given talents, that we can't always control the amount of talents we're given, but what we can control is what we do with the talents we've been given. And that's what the Lord's expecting. Now hear this very important point. Do you know that it's possible, listen to me, it's possible for somebody that's been given two talents to get to the end of their life and have more fruit to give to the Lord then the person that's been given a hundred talents? Because the person that's given two talents may multiply themselves a hundredfold and the person that's given a hundred talents might completely waste their life and only have one talent to show.
So at the end of the day what's important is not how many talents you've been given, but what you do with the talents you've been given. That's why Jesus said, "At the end of the age many that are first will be last and many that were last will be first". You see whether you're given a platform ministry like me, or simply a dishwasher loving God and being a witness, the pay is the same as long as you're in the will of God. What's important is not what you've been given, but what you do with what you've been given and let me say it again, judgment is very real. Jesus' last words were these, "Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to each one", get it church, "according to what he has done".
Not what God's done, but what you've done. I want you to take responsibility. I want you to wake up every morning and realize you're responsible before God. From the time that you get out of bed in the morning, to the time you fall asleep at night God is holding you responsible. He's holding you responsible for every thought that you choose to dwell on, every spirit that you communicate to people, because a lot of our communication is non verbal. It's not what we say, but it's the spirit that we're giving off. He's holding us responsible for all of it. God's given us a will. This should bring us joy, because it gives us an opportunity, listen now, to love Him.
You see you and I can love God. We can choose to love Him by choosing carefully, again the things we say, the thoughts that we think, the relationships we cultivate, how we use the gifts and talents He's given us. We can love God. You see you're extremely powerful, because you can love God and you can move His heart. See the Bible says, "God's eyes are looking to and fro across the earth looking for someone that will be wholly devoted to Him, to show Himself strong on behalf of that one". God loves you and He's looking for you and I to love Him back. Now to show you what extravagant love looked like, I brought you to the story of Mary of Bethany. She was one that loved Jesus extravagantly. She was an example of one that bore fruit a hundredfold.
Jesus said, "Some will bear fruit thirty fold, some sixty, some hundred". We all want to bear fruit a hundredfold. She loved Him with her whole heart. She had a hundredfold fruit, that's why Jesus said, "What she did is gonna be written about her forever and for all time, all the nations are gonna know". What did she do? She had this costly jar of perfume. It was worth a year's worth of wages, three hundred denaarii, which the scripture tells us it was worth, was approximately a years worth of wages. It could have been used for so many things, but instead what she did, she broke it and anointed Jesus with it. In the one account we see that she anointed Jesus' head with it and then in the other account in the book of John, we see that she anointed Jesus' feet with it.
Last time I read the account from the book of Mark. Let me read now about this account from the book of John. Hear the word of God. "Jesus therefore six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They made him a supper there:and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, who was intending to betray him, said, why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denaarii and given to the poor people? Now he said this not because he was concerned about the poor; but because he was a thief, and he had the money box, he use to pilfer and put the money, take the money for himself. Therefore Jesus said, let her alone so that she may keep it for the day of my burial for you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have me".
We read in the book of Mark concerning the same account that many when they saw Mary anointing Him were indignant. They thought it was a waste of money, but Jesus said, "Leave her alone, because what she's done is gonna be told to the whole world until I come again, all the nations are gonna know about it". I want to just take a look at this for a second. First of all I said that Mary's gift was extravagant, a whole year's worth of wages. People didn't understand it, they thought it was a waste. Why was it extravagant? It was extravagant beloved one, hear me now child of God, for two reasons. Number one, because she gave this extravagant gift, listen to me, not because she was compelled to do it by somebody else, not because somebody manipulated her, not because some preacher put pressure on her, but she gave it beloved one, because listen to me, she wanted to.
No one was compelling her to. She gave it all that, you see her gift represented her entire life, her whole heart. She gave that, listen to me, because she wanted to. That's why the Bible says, "Don't give under compulsion, but give to God with a joyful heart". Secondly beloved, it was extravagant, hear me now, because she gave, hear me, without regard to the cost. She didn't think about, "Oh what am I gonna do for money when I give this gift to the Lord"? She was so in love with Him. She was so moved. She was so compelled for her love for Him, that she gave herself completely through this gift, listen now, without regard for the cost.
I love this next point. As we read this here, we read that when she, when she anointed Jesus' feet after pouring the perfume on His feet, she took her hair and wiped His feet with her hair. You know what I love about that? The Bible says, "When she did that the fragrance got all over the entire house". Think about this, this fragrance, which was symbolic of Mary's love, it filled the whole house. Everyone smelled it. It was all over Mary too. As Mary loved Jesus, this anointing of love not just came upon Jesus, but it came on Mary. They were bound together in this beautiful fragrance of love and the love beloved one, filled the entire house.
And Jesus said, "You know what? This extravagant, supernatural display of love, it's gonna be told through the whole world until I come again", Jesus said. It's written about in the gospels. Jesus looked at Andrew, He said, "You know what Andrew? They're gonna forget about you. You know what Bartholomew? No one's gonna be talking much about you. Thaddeus they're not even gonna remember you. But Mary they're gonna be talking about her until I come again".
You see my friends there were those that scorned at this gift, but there was something they didn't realize, you see they accused Mary of wasting the money, the money that it cost to buy this perfume. But you see what these ones that scoffed didn't realize is that everybody waste their life on something. What about you? Are you gonna waste your life on yourself, living self indulgently, spending your time, your talent and your treasure on the things of the world, on self consumption or will you my dear child of God friend, will you waste your life on Jesus? Let's be like Mary. Let's give Him everything. I'd rather beloved, be wasted for Jesus, then waste my life on the things of the world. You may say, "Yes that's what I want to do". But you know what the Lord says? "Many have said yes, but many of those that have said yes have not followed through and really done it". If you mean business with God I encourage you get on your knees and give Him your entire life this second.