The Blessing of Being Generous with Our Talent

Date Preached: January 27, 2020
From the Series: More Blessed
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs

Summary

Some might say, “I don’t have any talent.” Yet, God has given all of us different kinds and amounts of talent. Every one of you here this morning has a God-given talent or ability. Are you using it for His glory?

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples a parable in order to teach them about the blessing of being generous with the talents that the Lord had entrusted to them. We can experience the blessing of being generous with the talents that the Lord had entrusted to us.

Transcript

Below is an automated transcript of this message:

All right, let’s dig back into our series, “More Blessed.” If you would recall, we are in part three now of this series, based on the words of Jesus, where He says, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Do you believe that today? Have you experienced that today? That’s what we’re talking about. Jesus didn’t say it wasn’t a blessing to receive. We all know that it is; it’s wonderful to receive a gift. He says something surprising, though; when he says that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. That is the theme of this series. As we consider this, we start having to evaluate what God has given us that we can give to others and be generous.

They fall into three categories. One is our time. God’s given us all a certain amount of time. Another is our talent. He’s given us certain aptitudes, abilities and spiritual gifts; talents, and so we have that category. Finally, treasure; we have certain amounts of possessions and money. Time, talent and treasure are the three categories.

Last week, we talked about how we could experience the blessing of being generous with our time. Today, we’ll talk about experiencing the blessing of being generous with our talent. Pastor Stephen talked about using your talent on the worship team, but it could easily have been applied to using your talent in the Children’s Ministry team or on the guest services team. We have many other teams that are in our church. Are you being generous? Are you experiencing the blessing of being generous with your talent?

Have you seen the TV show, “America’s Got Talent?” Have you seen that show? A lot of different talents come on that show; sometimes the ones that come on there even surprise the judges. The judges wonder, oh my goodness, , what was that? Some may even scare them. I’ve never actually seen the show but I’ve seen the excerpts on Facebook; it’ll say the judges were amazed by a performance. Then, don’t you have to click on it? Don’t you have to find out what’s making the judges react like that? Then, you watch it and find out. We enjoy seeing other people use their talent. I would suggest that some of the things I see on “America’s Got Talent” might not be the most talented thing, but anyway, they’re doing their best, aren’t they?

Maybe, you’re here this morning, and you’re saying, “I don’t have a talent. I mean, I appreciate that other people do, but I don’t have a talent.” Is that true, really? I want you to think about that for a second, because I’m convinced that God made you for purpose. I’m convinced you’re not an accident. As I grow and understand the word of God and as I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I realize that all of us are here for a purpose. We’ve all been given various talents. We’ve been given those talents to use not just for ourselves, but for the glory of God. I’m convinced that you have a talent. Maybe you don’t know what it is yet, or maybe you’re afraid to use it.

As you listen to God’s Word today, I hope He moves you from where you are, believing that you don’t have a talent, you’re afraid to use it or you used to use it and now you don’t. Wherever you’re at today, I hope that we can all leave here today knowing this; God made you for a purpose. He wants you to use your gifts and your talents for His kingdom and His glory.

As we look in the gospel of Matthew today, Jesus told the disciples a parable in order to teach them about the blessing of being generous with the talents that God had entrusted to them. I believe that we can experience the same blessing of being generous with the talents that God entrusts to us.

How can we do this? How can we be generous with these talents and experience the blessing of God? As we look at the text, I think we’ll see three steps for experiencing the blessing of and being generous with the talents that God has entrusted to us. Are you ready; do you have your seat belts on? We’ve got a big reading. We’re gonna read the parable of the talents.

Let’s look at Matthew. We’re gonna be in chapter twenty-five, looking at verse fourteen and beginning there. Matthew 25:14-30 (ESV) 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. 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. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 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.’ 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.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ This is God’s Word.

How to experience the blessing of being generous with our talents:

1. Recognize God as the source of your talents.

Look at verse fourteen and fifteen. I would begin with explaining what a parable is. First of all, let’s talk about that.

Jesus says in verse fourteen, “ For it will be like…” So the story is getting ready to tell you another story; that’s what a parable is. We know what parallel lines are, right? They run beside each other without crossing their parallel. And, so, a parable is two stories, one that we recognize, that we understand. Jesus loves doing this. There are stories of the world. There are stories of things we don’t know and need to be explained to us; it is a parallel story that’s hidden and is the spiritual truth that’s running inside the story that only those who have ears to hear will hear. You must have spiritual ears to hear it.

Jesus is telling a story about a master, his three servants and giving them amounts of money. That’s the earthly story. The story above the story is what he’s really talking about. That’s what a parable is by saying, “it will be like a man…”

What is “it” that “will be like?” The Parable of the Talents is part of the Olivet Discourse which began in Matthew 24:3 (ESV) As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus had talked about how the temple was going to be destroyed and how different things were going to happen. The disciples asked when this was going to happen? You’re leaving but You’re coming back? Can you give us more detail?

He does in chapter 24 and now w in chapter 25. He’s still doing that so that’s where the parables at. This parable is Jesus still answering the question, “how will we recognize Your return? What will it be like?” He says, “it will be like a man who had three servants.” You understand the context of where the story is and Jesus’ return will be like this. It’s not just this earthly story; it’s the spiritual story. Let’s unpack some things about it.

Notice it’s in verse fourteen; this story talks about servants; servants could be translated stewards. Do you understand that word, “steward?” That’s not a word we use very often, right? A more modern word for steward would be manager. A manager doesn’t own the store. You know, if you’re working for a drug store, you’re working for a manager. The Taco Bell here in front of us has managers; they don’t own the store. There’s a franchise owner that owns it. The manager is hired to run it and to manage it for the owner. So, this is how this story goes; the master owns it. The master comes to these three individuals and they’re to be stewards. They’re to be faithful stewards, managing it until he returns.

Are you managing what God has given you? Are you understanding that He will return and ask you about that someday? This is what Jesus is teaching. Are you being faithful with that which He has given you? As I said earlier, Jesus does not ask you to be successful with what he has given you. He asks you to be faithful. In other words, He asks you to be generous with it, to invest it and to use it.

There are three servants in the story; he entrusts certain amounts of money to them; they were called talents. To one, he gave five talents; to another, he gave two and another he gave one, according to their ability, which he had also given them. He entrusted it to them; which means he gave it to them to do with as they would. He then left, saying, okay, here it is; let’s see if you’re faithful with it. I have told you what to do, so let’s see how you do with what you’ve been given.

Here’s that word talent; if it’s money, why are we talking about aptitudes, abilities and spiritual gifts? Let me give you the background. How many of you, who are here in the house, know that your pastor loves words? I love words. I like to take him apart. Do you love words? I love this word, which is the word of God; I love every word inside of it. I like to take a “knife and a fork and cut words up into little bitty pieces” and then chew on them until I get the meaning out.

Talent is a pretty rich word, and it begins in the Greek and has a Greek origin. (τάλαντον) It’s a precise measurement of silver gold around £7 An ancient unit of measurement for weighing gold and silver, usually formed in the shape of an ingot, weighing 75 pounds. Today, a talent of gold would be worth $1.2 million. Over time, the word “talent” came to mean an aptitude, skill or ability. And, so, he gave to the first servant, 5 times $1.2 million. I think that would be $6 million; I just did it in my head. Some of your better at math. This is not a little bit that is entrusted to them. He gave them all much; even the one he gave one talent was a lot. They had a lot given to all of them. He entrusted to them this amount.

The history of the word, although it began in Greek, it passes on to Latin, then to French and then to English. By the time it got to the English speakers, it longer meant an amount of money. It then meant on amount of ability to earn money. It still means a certain amount of something except now it has to do with an ability or a gift.

We can get even more particular about it. If we say someone’s “talented,” we are saying that they have a lot of a particular ability. That’s why we’re using it as the word has become because, I think, that was the point the whole time. It was never about money. It was always about this story above that. It’s the money story that we understand. But it’s more like everything God has given you; your time, talent and treasure, and what you are doing with it. I’m coming back some day to check on you to see what you did. Okay, so that’s the story. God is the source.

Listen to this from 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLT) “ 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” God is the source.

Have you come to the point where you believe you are the steward? You are the manager? You are the servant? God made me and everything I have is from Him. Have you come to that place? That’s the first step to experiencing the blessing of being generous with your talent. It’s first, to recognize He gave it to you. That’s the first step.

When God called Moses to go back to Egypt and lead His people out of bondage, he was 80 years old. He had tried once when he was 40 and he did it through violence and killed an Egyptian soldier. But then he ran away and he ran away in fear and hid in the wilderness. He’d become a shepherd. So his first 40 years was as a prince of Egypt. He tried to use his gifts in his own power. In his second 40 years, he hid his gifts, his leadership gifts. He became a shepherd. He used his leadership on sheep, and he became a shepherd in the wilderness. But one day, God set a a bush on fire as Moses was close to Mount Horeb. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.” And so he goes and as he approaches, he hears God speak.

You
might think, how does he know it’s God’s voice? Well, if you’ve ever experienced God speak, no one has to tell you it’s God. You will know. For many of you, He is speaking to you now. He’s talking to you through His word and He’ll speak to you in your spirit.

God said to Moses to not walk here with his shoes on; take them off because he was stepping on holy ground. God tells Moses to go back and set my people free; get them out of bondage. Moses says he has already tried that and he is afraid. He said he didn’t know what he was doing. He starts making excuses. (paraphrase) ”I don’t even know your name, God; everybody around here has been calling you this big long title. You’re the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that’s a lot. That’s a mouthful right there. God, I don’t know your name.” God tells Moses to tell the people, “I am.” My name is I am. Not I was. Not I will be. My name is, “I am that I am.”

Some have said this in Hebrew; it is ( ). We’re unclear about the exact pronunciation of it, but this was the name of God. He is eternally present, self existent. I am. So he revealed his name to Moses. Now, He tells Moses to go do it. Moses starts making more excuses. He says, (paraphrase) “they won’t believe me. I don’t have any credibility. I need a sign.” God says to him, “What is that in your hand?”

Do you hear that question today? Is your excuse that you don’t have a talent? What would you do for God? Here’s what God would ask you, “What’s in your hand?” Not what’s not in your hand. What is in your hand that you already have. That’s what he wantsto use because it gives Him great pleasure and glory to take the least of these and to do something wonderful, miraculous with it.

God asks Moses, “What is that in your hand?” “It is a shepherd’s staff,” he says. God says, “throw it down.” I don’t think it takes much faith to throw it down; I can throw anything down, but when Moses does, the staff turns into a serpent. The second step, the second request from God, took a little more faith; “take it by the tail and pick it back up.” That would take more faith to take it by the tail and pick it back up. When he does, it turns back into a staff. There is the credibility in the shepherd’s staff; God says, (paraphrase) “ I want you to shepherd my people. What you have right now is exactly what you need to answer my call. You’re missing nothing.”

Moses has so many excuses, and so do we. He says, (paraphrase), “I don’t talk good.” He says, “I’m not eloquent.” Now, God has been really patient, but at this point, the Scripture says he was a little frustrated. He was getting a little angry. He says, “who made man his mouth.” Who made you?

So here’s what I would ask you today. Who gave you your mouth? Who put that in your hand? Are you using what God’s already given you? Are you still sitting there, thinking, if He would just give me this, then I would serve Him. Are you working, serving and offering all that you have to God right where you are or are you waiting till you get from A to B? Once you get here, you will serve the Lord. May I say to you, you will never serve the Lord, because you will always be saying you’re trying to get there. Start now. What’s that in your hand? Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Will you recognize your source?

Here’s number two. . Here’s the second step.

2. Understand God’s principle of use.

We’re looking at verse 29 now; Jesus said, “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. ” It’s the “has, has not: principle of use, or, as we have named it, “use it or lose it.” You know the principal. It’s just like gravity; it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. If you step off of a roof, gravity works. It’s the same way with the principle of use. If you don’t use your bicep, it turns into one that looks just like this one right here. It’s all flabby. I can do a little bit with it, but it’s not what it used to be. . I’m getting older; I’m 61 years old. It takes a lot more effort to get it to do anything. If you don’t use it , you lose it. Everything you have, you have to work it out. You have to give it away. You have to put it into use and then it increases. If you don’t, you lose it.

I was talking to someone recently, and I found out that they were a trombone player, which is a much more complex thing to do because of that long thing you have to run back and forth and where to locate the notes.It’s based on the position of the length of your arm. I asked him, “how long did you play?” And he said, “well, I played from sixth grade to the end of high school. I said to him, “I bet you’re awesome.” He told me he was when he was in the band. I said, “You know, we’d like to have a brass section in our band when we get a bigger stage. We don’t actually have room for everything right now, but someday. You know I want more ways to praise the Lord. I want to praise a little with everything possible. He then said to me, “well, I’ve lost my embouchure.” How many people here have lost your embouchure? You don’t know if you’ve lost your embouchure or not. You didn’t know you had one. You didn’t know you had an embouchure. Only the brass players know what this is. It’s the little callous you develop on your lip from playing the horn. It’s a callous. You build upon your lips so you can blow a trombone and trumpet, etcetera.

So, I said to him, “Well, get it back.” He said, “It hurts” and I said, “I know, Get it back anyway because if you don’t use it, you lose it.” That’s the principle of use.

Here’s the New Living Translation of that same verse, Matthew 25:29 (NLT) “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” Use it or lose it. That’s the principle of use. That’s what Jesus is teaching here. It’s just like gravity. It’s just true. Let’s compare two types of stewards. This is in your Life on Life Discipleship manual. those of you that have gone through Life on Life are gonna recognize it. I’m going to go really quick.

The Faithful Steward The Slothful Steward Sense of Urgency/Initiative “Went at once” (v.16) No initiative/urgency “Dug in the ground” (v.18) Worked/risked talents “Traded with” (v.16) No work/effort “Hid talent” (v.18, 25) Increased/grew talents “Made more” (v.16) Full of excuses “Knew you to be hard” (v.24) Good manager “Good” (v.21, 23) Fearful not faithful “I was afraid” (v.25) Reliable/dependable worker “Faithful” (v.21, 23) Bad manager “Wicked..worthless” (v.26, 30) Does the little things “Faithful over little” (v.21, 23) Lazy unambitious slacker “Slothful” (v.26) Got promoted “Set over much” (v.21, 23) Lost all. Got Fired! “Take talent” (v.28)

Do you see the contrast between the two stewards; the faithful steward and the slothful steward. The faithful steward had a sense of urgency and initiative. He went at once. Did you see that in verse 16? He got on it. The master left and he was on it. Whereas this one showed no initiative note. He dug a hole in the ground; let me put it in the ground so I don’t lose it. I’ll get back to it later. The faithful steward put his talents at risk. What if somebody doesn’t like it? What if it doesn’t work or what if somebody laughs at me? No; he just put it out there. He put it out there. But this one hid his talent; he didn’t put any effort into it and we just hid it. This one increased his talent, making more. This one was full of excuses. He had a low image of God. He thought God was hard. He didn’t realize God was merciful. He had a low image of his master. This one was a good manager; the master said so. This one was fearful, not faithful. . He even says it; he says, “I was afraid.” This one was a reliable, , dependable worker. The slothful servant was a bad manager. The master said he was wicked and worthless. The faithful steward did the little things. He was faithful over a little.

I remember when I first went to work for Eckerd drugs. I was in high school; when I was 16, I worked at the Bristol Mall in Bristol, Virginia. I was a stock boy and a cashier; you know, entry level. And then, I went to college. I left the company, went to college and then got married. I found out you need money when you’re married. I called them up to see if they’d give me a job; Robin had got married while we were in college. I don’t recommend it necessarily, but God took care of us. She was still in college and I needed to get a job.

I went back to the people I knew; they gave me a job. At age 25, I became a district manager of twenty stores. I was the youngest district manager in the history of the company. But here’s what I did. I went to my uncle, who was the president of a bank, and I asked him, “What did you do to be the president of the bank? How did you get this far?” He told me, “when I came out of World War II after serving and for the U. S. Army in Germany, I came to the bank and they hired me as a teller. That’s the first job at the front. I stayed at the same bank and I worked and I also worked overtime. They promoted me.

My uncle was the president at that time when I met with him. He was president of the Bank of Virginia, which BB & T later bought out. When I asked him, “what was your secret?” He said, “I did the little things. If the man said, sweep, I swept. If he said, clean a toilet I cleaned a toilet. I did whatever he told me to do, I did it and they kept promoting me.”

A lot of people here, especially young people, you need to hear this. If you’re not faithful in the little things, you’ll never be faithful in the big things. If you’re not faithful with what you have now, you won’t be faithful with more. You may say, “I’d start spending more time if I had more time, if I had more money, if I had more talent, I’d use it for God.” No, you won’t. If you are not faithful with it now, you won’t be faithful with it then.

(back to chart) He was faithful in the little things. But this guy was a lazy, unambitious slacker; those are my words. Jesus’ words were slothful, which means very lazy, very slow moving, like a sloth. The faithful servant got promoted. The slothful servant got fired, didn’t he?

Then, something went strange with that parable. Notice the parable started out as a parable and then that spiritual part touched down at the end and it wasn’t a parable anymore. Did you notice this? I’ll get to that in just a second.

God wants you to be like a river, not a reservoir. He wants you to let your gifts flow; one hand open to God and one hand open to others. If you dam it up here, now you’re shaking your fist at God, you won’t receive anything. So you have to say, “God, come on, bless me, bless me, but not just for me because if you jam it up here now, you can only be a reservoir. But if you open both hands, one hand open to God and one hand open to others, you become like a river of blessing. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” . Paul says to take seriously the responsibility for being good stewards of your talents. Romans 12:6-8 (NLT) “6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” He’s not trying to give a list of every talent, but he’s saying, whatever you have, take it seriously. Use it for God’s glory.

John Maxwell says, “Stewardship is utilizing God-given abilities to manage God-given resources to accomplish God-ordained results.” Andrew Murray says, “The world asks, ‘What does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘How does he use it?”

What do you do with what God has given you? If this is true, and it is, that means that every decision is not only a spending decision, how you spend your time, talent and treasure, but it’s a spiritual decision, too. It’s not just a spending decision. It’s a spiritual decision. Will you use the talents God has given you? Or will you hide them in a hole in the backyard? What will you do with what God’s given you? Here’s the third step.

3. Live for God’s approval and blessing.

Notice that it says in verse 19 that the master returned to settle accounts. Some years ago, there was a revival with an evangelist named Billy Sunday. His most famous sermon was titled, “Payday.” Someday do you believe that there’s a payday? Someday there’s a day Jesus will return because that’s who the master is In the story. He was answering the question, “How will we know the signs? What it will be like when you return?” He’s the master and we are the servants. One day He will return and settle accounts. He will ask, “What did you do with what I gave you?” To the two who invested and were generous with their talents, He said, “ well done.” In other words, he gave them God’s approval. He said, “you’ve been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”

God’s promotion; nobody can stop it. If God promotes you and then He says, “enter into the joy of your master,” that’s God’s celebration. There’s gonna be a party, a wedding banquet celebration that’s going to greater than any that’s ever happened. God’s approval, God’s promotion, and God’s celebration are the three rewards given to the two faithful servants in this story.

Then there was the slothful servant. He said his master was hard reaping where he did not sow. He said he was afraid and hid what the master had given him. He had a wrong wrong view of God’s character. He had a wrong view of God’s justice. He had a wrong review of God’s expectation. The master responded as we read in verse 30. That’s where the parable changes on us and and the spiritual parable touches down into the real world, “30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” That’s a description in other places in the Gospel, where we know that Jesus is talking about a place of eternal existence called hell, where people who have rejected the gift of Jesus will spend eternity. This is where the parable touches down. It was no longer a parable.

There are two places of eternal existence after this life, one is eternity with Jesus, with the Father in a place called Heaven. The other is a place where you’ve rejected that; you got to choose, but you rejected that, and you get to spend eternity in the place where the other people who rejected that go.

I started thinking about it. These talents might be the greatest talent that the master has given, with the greatest weight. The greatest weighty gift, the heaviest gift is the gift of Christ and His love. I want to close with this thought. What did you do with Jesus is the question that will be at the heavenly accounting when the master returns. What’d you do with the gospel? Did you do with that? If you’re here today, too late, you’re hearing it now. You can’t set in and say you didn’t get it. You’re getting it now. It’s too late. Bar the doors and don’t let anybody out. You’re getting it right now. What are you gonna do with it?

John 3:16 says this, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.“ That’s the gift. What have you done with with Jesus? He’s not gonna ask you if you were a good person. He is going to ask you, “what did you do with my son, Jesus.” What will you say?

Galatians 1:10 (ESV) “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Who’s applause are you seeking? Someday I pray that every one of you, in my hearing, every one of you, that we’d be together on that day and we would hear these words, “well done, my good and faithful servant, you’ve been faithful with a little. I’m going to set you over much. Come into the joy and experience the joy of your master.” I pray not one of you leaves here this day without that future in front of you. May it be so in Jesus’ name.

Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for Jesus; that’s the greatest gift of all. That is the most weighty, the heaviest, the greatest gift of all. That’s Jesus. I pray for the person in the room. We want to use our talents. We want to use all our time, talent and treasure for you and for your glory. But the first step is, What do we do with Jesus? I’m praying for the person right now in the room that came in here far from God. You came in on a thread you came in seeking. Right where you’re at, right now, would you receive Him? You can do this right where you are. Jesus invites you to believe in Him, by faith; you can express it through prayer. You could pray with me right now. “Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner, but I believe You died on the cross for my sins, You paid for my sins, You rose from the grave and you live today, Lord, I believe that, and now, Lord, I invite You to come into my life. Forgive me of my sin and make me the person You want me to be. I give you my life. I want you to be my Lord and Savior. Make me a child of God. If you believe that right now in your heart, as you pray, the Lord will save you. That’s why He came. Others were here today. You’re a believer, you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but for some reason, of all the things He’s given you, you’re afraid and you’re holding back. Why are you doing that? You can do all things through. Christ. Would you confess right now? Whatever the Lord’s putting on your heart, whatever place He’s called you. You may have said, “wait ,” or you said, “no.” I’m sorry. I say, “yes.” My “yes” is on the table. I will do what You’ve called me to do. I will use what’s in my hand to serve You in Jesus’ name. Amen.