God Rewards the Diligent
Topic: blessing Scripture: Matthew 25:14
God Rewards the Diligent
Slugger vs Sluggard
Overcoming Spiritual Sluggishness
Hopelessness produces Sluggishness
(Video of ants bringing food to colony)
We have already examined the ant and have learned that they are diligent workers. They are constantly moving, scouting, gathering food all for the well-being of the colony. Their diligent labor during the spring and summer months will have a huge payoff in the cooler months to come.
That’s what we want to talk about today. There are rewards for being a diligent worker.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Diligent- characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort
We will experience much greater success in life if we understand that consistent diligent effort builds godly character and leads to more frequent successful experiences.
This scripture is excellently portrayed in the parable of the talents.
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
Jesus is telling this parable to teach a lesson about being a diligent worker. At the same time this parable has a parallel meaningbecause Jesus is the one who is “going away on a journey.” He is about to ascend to Heaven, and He is entrusting His discipleswith His prized possession aka the church or the bride of Christ. We are His possession because He has purchased us with His blood.
One of the things, He tells Peter is that
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
Jesus had entrusted the care of His flock into the care of His disciples. In addition, He had commissioned them Go therefore and make disciples of all nations
To accomplish this great task, He gives “talents” as He sees fit to do so. When He returns, He will be expecting a great return from that which was given.
Now going back to our story we find the word talent as a unit of measurement. A talent in weight is right around 75 pounds and a talent in currency is 75 pounds of silver.
If one denarius was what a man could earn in a day, he would need to work 6,000 days to earn one talent. A biblical talent was enough money that a man who owned it could be considered rich. Even if you were entrusted with 1 talent, you were entrusted with a large sum of money. This speaks a great deal of the trust that the Master has for his servants.
A few things to note is that all three servants received something, and they were all expected to do something with what was given to them. The talents were given to them by their master as they were His to give; these talents were not earned.
Along with giving the talents came an expectation that they would begin to work with what they had been given.
16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.
Notice the first two were diligent workers. They set out immediately to put the talents to work. They realized the importance of the matter and wasted no time, immediately they began trading.
Just to give a few examples of what that looks like.
If they were carpenters, then they used their talents to purchase wood and build things like furniture to sell. If they were silversmith, they purchased silver and made things like jewelry and eating utensils. If they were bakers, then they used the talents to purchase what they needed to bake goods. Etc.…
You get the idea. They took the talents that were given to them and used it to produce a profit that was equal to what they had received.
This is a good picture of what diligence looks like. It is a good thing to be industrious with your hands. It is wise to use what you have, resources and time, to bring about an even greater return. Then we come to servant #3
18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.
This is the opposite of diligence. This fellow worked long enough to dig a hole but then threw his master’s money in it and that was the end of his work.
Unfortunately, there are many people who do nothing with what God has entrusted to them. There are many reasons for this: Laziness, Insubordination, Fear of failure, don’t know where to start, excuses
As I mentioned before, everyone has been given something to contribute. The amounts that are given may differ, but the master gives according to our abilities. If He gives one talent, then He is expecting for you to earn an additional talent to what He has given.
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘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.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘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.’
- You Will Gain God’s Approval
Many of us are longing for words of affirmation from a father or mother, here we have the principle which brings about affirmation from our heavenly father.
Work diligently with what has been given to you, both spiritually and physically, and you too will hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Note that with both servants the result was the same. The master says the words well done good and faithful servant. Though the servant with two talents did not earn as much as the one with five talents, he received the same words of affirmation.
- What have you done with that which has been entrusted to you?
- The gift of salvation
- Knowledge of the word
- The gift of the Holy Spirit
- The resources
- You Will Have Abundance
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Proverbs 12:27 Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
1 Thessalonians 3:10 If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
- You Will Be Given More.
I have seen this evident in my life on many different occasions. (Flipping burgers, pipe yard laborer, home builder laborer, shipbuilding laborer, drafter, 3d ship designer, pastor (eternal reward))
There are jobs to be had, go out and get one start somewhere. Do something!
- You Are More Likely to Be Promoted
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
There is a promise to those who are skillful in their work. Meaning be diligent to become better ` at what you do.
These are the just some of the promises for those who are diligent. However, we will now turn our focus to the next group of people.
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’
Where the other two came and cheerfully brought to their master the fruits of their hands, this third servant brings excuses. He has done nothing with what has been entrusted to him. He instead hid it in the ground because of fear.
He was not diligent therefore:
- He will not get the affirmation from his master,
- he will not have abundance,
- he will not be trusted with more,
- he will not be promoted.
Instead, he will be punished
26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!