Top Ten Teachings: #9 Assaying Assets

Assaying Assets

Matthew 25:14-30

Last week, someone rang my doorbell to buy my 1992 Saturn. He was driving through town picking up junk cars, and saw my beater! When he found out that it still ran, his face changed – “oh, it’s one of THOSE – still gets about 40 miles a gallon?” I just grinned and said goodbye. He saw value where many people just see nothing of worth. Know Who Else does that?

Every Christian Can BANK on Two Truths:

* Keeping Kingdom Business ~ Matthew 25:14-23

  • 14/18 the setup; reminder from last week: ONE talent is worth 16½ YEARS of labor;
  • 19 this is NOT chump change; an accounting NEEDS to be made
  • 20/21 similar situations; using what God gives you for HIS purposes is the POINT!
  • 22/23 notice the two rewards: 1) increased responsibility; 2) share in the Master’s happiness!

* Consequence of Kingdom Contempt ~ Matthew 25:24-30

  • 24 John MacArthur quote: “That slave represents the professing Christian whose limited knowledge of God leads him to conclude that He is distant, uncaring, unjust, and undependable. Instead of judging themselves in light of God’s inerrant Word, such people judge God in the light of their own perverted perceptions. They not only justify themselves but do so at God’s expense.”
  • 25 size/weight of what he buried: about 75 pounds of pure gold
  • 26/27 Master answers the servant’s slander: If you REALLY thought I was that bad, you’d have put it in the bank! We tend to hear God based on how we VIEW Him; HOW DO YOU SEE GOD?
  • 28/29 this is NOT “take from the poor and give to the rich” This is “faithful people pick up the slack of unfaithful” 30 “into the darkness” – away from God (cf. 1 John 1:5 – God is light with no darkness)

Make no mistake: God HAS gifted you with all kinds of “talents” – and you are expected to use them. How will you use what you’ve been given for the Kingdom’s sake?

Top Ten Teachings: #10 The Unsettled Servant

The Unsettled Servant

Matt. 18:23-35

As I was preparing to plan out our year of study, I received a request for us to look at the Parables of Jesus. I figured I’d condense this down to the Top Ten. Number Ten deals with forgiveness…

Notice The Pattern of Prayer in the Parable

* Forgive Us Our Debts ~ Matt. 18:23-27

  • 23 setup: vs 21 how many times to forgive?
  • 24 talent=6000 days’ wages; today, ONE talent is worth 657,120; multiplied out, 10,000 is 6 BILLION 571 Million 200 Thousand; it would take 200,000 YEARS of labor – 60MILLION days!
  • 25 UNPAYABLE debt; selling the family wouldn’t make it up
  • 26 NO, he wouldn’t. He’s not going to live 60Million days
  • 27 this MUST have been someone overseeing some kind of public work project

* AS We Forgive Our Debtors ~ Matt. 18:28-31

  • 28 3 months pay; yet he DEMANDED?
  • 29 “his fellow servant” they have the same authority: NADA
  • 30 the forgiven refused to forgive; chose to punish instead
  • 31 Other servants are watching!

* And Lead Us ~ Matt. 18:32-35

  • 32 the servant presumed upon the King’s mercy
  • 33 shouldn’t we extend what we receive?
  • 34 “until he should pay back” how would that be possible?
  • 35 The King models the example, and holds us to it

When we struggle to forgive, it’s often because we’re personally offended: how DARE that other person hurt us! But we’re not in any position of power to lord over anyone else: we aren’t to forgive because it’s “nice” – we’re to forgive because we KNOW what it means to be forgiven! Spread it around!

Easter: On To Emmaus

On To Emmaus

Luke 24:13-31

I know a couple, that when they travel, have radically different experiences of the same trip. She sees every wild animal in a 5 mile radius, and points it out, while he can stare right at a bear and only see the spots on the windshield.
It’s amazing what we see – and what we don’t see – as we go through life…

On Life’s Journey, We Can Be

* Slow To See ~ Luke 24:13-19

  • 13/16 What keeps you from recognizing Jesus on your journey?
  • 17/19 Notice: they knew ABOUT Him… but missed SEEING Him!

* Slow Of Heart ~ Luke 24:20-27

  • 20/21 they thought they knew what Jesus was all about
  • 22/24 and they’ve heard about other people seeing Him
  • 25/27 Jesus WANTS to show us HIMSELF; are we “slow of heart?”

* Shown To Grow ~ Luke 24:28-31

  • 28/30 When did they finally recognize Jesus? In an act of WORSHIP
  • 31 God opened their eyes; will He open ours to see Him today?

Is just a glimpse enough?

Reformed Thoughts 6

In 2019, I was asked to preach a number of sermons from Christian history for the Revived Thoughts podcast. I enjoyed preaching these historic insights from great preachers of the past, and the hosts of the podcast have supplied me with another sermon to preach, this one in March of 2021.

The sixth sermon I voiced is from John Wesley, founder of Methodism, and a very hard working English minister. This sermon was probably preached in the late 1700’s, called Faith at Home. With so much emphasis on the importance of the education of children, this sermon would have been popular during the Christian Homeschooling movement of the 1980’s. I hope you’re blessed as you listen to this podcast.

I hope you’ll go over to Revived Thoughts, and give it (and the other excellent sermons) a listen! God bless you as you seek to deepen your faith.

Palm Sunday: Ain’t No Rock

Ain’t No Rock

Luke 19:37-44

Palm Sunday always reminds me of one of my favorite praise songs: Ain’t No Rock by LaMarquis Jefferson.

When Jesus Shows Up, There’s A Response

* Those Who Can See, SHOUT ~ Luke 19:37-40

  • 37 setup: Jesus was riding into down, His disciples were following; they began to shout, keeping in mind all the amazing things they’d seen Him do: WHAT’S NEXT?
  • 38 “We’re seeing the Messiah RIGHT NOW!” Thank you Lord!
  • 39 the Pharisees didn’t want it quiet: they didn’t want anyone saying the Messiah had come – Messiah was a POLITICAL figure in their eyes, and they didn’t want to have the Romans come quash a revolt
  • 40 we are MADE to praise in a universe that is MADE for praise: the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1); the angels shout for joy (Job 38:7); the mountains sing (Isa.44:23); the sea and the earth praises (Ps.69:34); DO YOUR PART

* Those Who Won’t See, DOUBT ~ Luke 19:41-44

  • 41/2 It hurts Jesus when we don’t see Him; He is FOR us – we miss it too often; WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR GOD TO OPEN YOUR EYES?
  • 43/4 Jesus warns Jerusalem that they’re going to come under attack (cf. Mat 24) because they didn’t recognize their “time of visitation” God Himself walks into town – ISN’T THAT A BIG DEAL?

The point isn’t to PREVENT the rocks from crying out – the point is to not let anything take YOUR place in Praising God!

Practical Christianity: Trusting In Trials

Trusting In Trials

James 5:1-12

Got my second COVID shot Wednesday – they warned I wouldn’t feel good after. Thursday, I had to write a sermon about having patience while suffering.

Very funny, Lord, very funny…

Strategy for Staying Power In Suffering

* Can’t Manage Misery with Money ~ James 5:1-6

  • 1/3 Misery IS coming; wealth is NOT permanent fix; having it isn’t the problem; HOARDING it is
  • 4 how we use our wealth is a Kingdom issue: notice the Lord listens to worker’s cries
  • 5/6 self-indulgence is the problem; how can we determine this today? Does our participation (or our tacit approval) make us complicit in acts for which we will be judged?

* Can Parry Problems with Patience ~ James 5:7-12

  • 7 face trouble with PATIENCE; patience yields valuable results
  • 8/9 you too, be like the farmer waiting for the crop to come in (is this too on-the-nose for us??); grumbling: one result of lack of patience
  • 10/11 2nd example: prophets~Lord used their LIVES to show His work
  • 12 (cf Mat.5:34) don’t swear because you don’t have the power to back it up; you can’t change one hair on your head, let alone heaven or earth or any other thing: we take God’s rightful place when we do this

the suffering we face isn’t worth leaning on: Trust God in the MIDST of trials, knowing He’s working out for His good will. We may not LIKE it at the time – but God does, in fact, know us better than we know ourselves. He’s got this; let Him show you!

Reformed Thoughts Podcast 5

In 2019, I was asked to preach a number of sermons from Christian history for the Revived Thoughts podcast. I enjoyed preaching these historic insights from great preachers of the past, and the hosts of the podcast have supplied me with another sermon to preach, this one in January of 2021.

The fifth sermon I voiced is the oldest sermon I’ve ever preached, from a missionary from Ireland named Boniface. This sermon was probably preached in the 700’s, called Faith and Works of Love. We don’t often hear sermons with this format anymore; it’s almost more of a list of “don’t forget this important things!” I hope you’re blessed as you listen to this podcast.

I hope you’ll go over to Revived Thoughts, and give it (and the other excellent sermons) a listen! God bless you as you seek to deepen your faith.

Revived Thoughts Podcast 4

In 2019, I was asked to preach a number of sermons from Christian history for the Revived Thoughts podcast. I enjoyed preaching these historic insights from great preachers of the past, and the hosts of the podcast have supplied me with another sermon to preach in November of 2020.

The fourth sermon I voiced is from a minister named Horatius Bonary, a Scottish preacher from the 1800’s. His sermon is called Apostolic Sighs. I was really tempted to preach this with a Scottish accent, but didn’t want to take away from the sermon itself; I hope you’re blessed as you listen to this podcast.

I hope you’ll go over to Revived Thoughts, and give it (and the other excellent sermons) a listen! God bless you as you seek to deepen your faith.

Revived Thoughts Podcast 3

In 2019, I was asked to preach a number of sermons from Christian history for the Revived Thoughts podcast.

It really was a devotional experience for me. I preached two sermons from a minister named J.C. Ryle who lived in the 1800’s. Working through those sermons, and preaching them encouraged me greatly. In February 2020, Joel and Troy, the young men who host this podcast, asked me to preach another sermon from history.

The third sermon I voiced is from a minister named Christmas Evans, born in the mid 1700’s, called The Triumph of Calvary. Written in a very imaginative style, this was a challenge to preach: I hope you’re blessed as you listen to this podcast.

I hope you’ll go over to Revived Thoughts, and give it (and the other excellent sermons) a listen! God bless you as you seek to deepen your faith.

Practical Christianity: Chasing Tomorrow

Chasing Tomorrow

James 4:13-17
Determining tomorrow is more than just knowing theory: we had a detour on our main highway – it “sort” of got you where you wanted to go… if you didn’t mind going WAY out of your way…

In the Race to Chase Tomorrow, Don’t Take These Detours:

* determination doesn’t dictate deeds ~ James 4:13

  • Looking to the future is fine, but don’t forget Who holds the future

* control is counterfeit ~ James 4:14

  • they’ve missed the point; they’re mist! WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL (prov 16:9 – Lord determines the outcome)

* pretense of personal power ~ James 4:16

  • boasting: to imply you’re more full of life than you are; truth be told, you’re full of SOMETHING… but it isn’t life!

* flip side of sin ~ James 4:17

  • not just doing bad; NOT doing known good

* the Lord leads on the RIGHT ROAD To Tomorrow: ~ James 4:15

  • let’s reaffirm: the Lord IS in control

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath… Job 7:6-7Our life IS the breath of God; let the Lord lead IN and through us.


Pastor Ed Backell

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