Parables: The Parable of the Talents Study Guide

This past weekend, we continued our “Parables” series as Pastor Doug took us through the Parable of the Talents found in Luke 19:11–27. In this message, we discovered how we can be good stewards of all God has entrusted us with and embody whole-life generosity.

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


For the Note Takers

You Were Created for a Divine Purpose (Matthew 25:14): Jesus is on a mission, and He invites us to join Him; He invites us to “follow Me” and be part of an amazing work. We can share in the redemption and joy of God. This is the greater purpose for which we were created—to exalt Him, enjoy a relationship with Him, and share Him with others. But in addition to the greater purpose, we each have a specific place and purpose that gives our lives significant value and makes us a valuable part of the kingdom of God. So often; however, we let fear, distraction, or laziness thwart our purpose.

You Are a Steward, Not an Owner (Matthew 25:14–15): As believers, we need to view ourselves as stewards, not owners. This will make a huge difference in the way we interact with the world around us. How so? Because those who are of the world think like owners; they believe everything they have and have been given belongs to them. With the ownership mentality comes entitlement, a sense of control, pride, and the desire to amass more for oneself. Owners hold on to things; they are not open-handed. We are not supposed to be owners; we are stewards. Everything we have, everything in our care, everything we’ve been given, everything we’ve earned, it all comes from God and belongs to God.

As stewards, we need to take a very different approach to the things entrusted to us. A steward mentality is one of responsibility, gratitude, and awe that God, the owner of all, believes in us enough to entrust us with all we have.

Have you ever felt the weight of responsibility? What has God put in your hands? How are you stewarding it?

Take What You’ve Been Given and Work with All Your Heart (Matthew 25:16–17): In this parable, the workers were given five, two, and one talents . . . This is equivalent to around $7.5 million, $3 million, and $1.5 million today. They were entrusted with a lot, and two of them took what they were given and faithfully served their master. They worked hard to ensure they were able to maximize what they were given. One of them did not. Undoubtedly, the first two had to take risks, they had to invest and put in a lot of time and effort to make the most of the talents they’d been given. This is a powerful lesson for us.

This is not about earning God’s favor or grace. We already have that in Christ! However, God has gifted each and every one of us with a certain amount of time, with various gifts and talents, and with varying degrees of resources to serve Him, glorify Him, and make disciples. In order to accomplish the purposes for which God has given us what He has, we must make the most of what we’ve been given. We must operate in our gifts within the body of Christ, we must use the time we’ve been given well, and we must be generous, good stewards of our resources, sowing eternal seeds that reap life.

God Won’t Accept Excuses for a Buried Talented Heart (Matthew 25:24–30): There’s no way around it . . . a buried talent is utterly useless. It is a complete waste. And guess what? Our excuses are insulting to God!I was too busy.” “I had my own goals I wanted to take care of first.” “I was going to serve later once I got everything else in order.” “I was just trying to make sure I took care of my affairs first before I started giving.” Do you know what God calls those who take this sort of approach to the gifts, talents, and resources He has entrusted to them? “Wicked and lazy servants!”

Faithfulness Will Be Rewarded (Matthew 25:24–30): Don’t bury your talent—regardless of what it may be. Invest it in the kingdom, use it for His glory! Don’t’ settle for a half-developed gift; keep searching, growing, investing, and seeking to glorify Him through it. When you do, He will multiply it and you will be enriched, rewarded, and blessed. That blessing and reward may not always look like a material blessing or earthly reward, but His blessings will always enrich, fill, and satisfy.

Quote to Remember: Grace isn’t opposed to hard work, it’s opposed to trying to earn God’s favor.—Pastor Doug Sauder


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.

1. What’s the difference between a steward and an owner? 

2. What talents has God put in your hands? How are you using them right now? 

3. Think about your life. What are some of the things that have kept you from maximizing your talents?

4. What are some ways you can invest in and develop your talents?


VISION 2023: GET IN THE STORY!

Imagine a city filled with the hope of Jesus . . . Imagine schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families, entire communities walking with Jesus, loving one another, living generously, and radiating the truth of the gospel. Imagine South Florida full of people who are connected to God, one another, and to those in need! That’s what Vision 2023 is all about! It’s a city-changing, five-year vision to make 60,000 new, passionate, fully-devoted disciples by 2023.

We believe as God’s people saturate the region with the gospel, generosity grows, stronger families are formed, the elderly are cared for, orphans, addicts, and widows find lasting hope, and true social changes happens.

Do you want to see South Florida changed for Christ? Click here to get in the story today!


A LOOK AHEAD

Join us this Wednesday for week two of our class series titled “Active Your Gifts.” This week, Pastor Fidel Gomez of our Hollywood campus will share powerful and practical lessons on how we can discover our gifts.

This weekend, we’ll continue our “Parables” series as special guest Alan Platt returns to Calvary to share from the Parable of the Rich Fool. Discover the world-changing power of whole-life generosity.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.