Use Your Blessings

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Luke 12:16-21


I.         Our lives are filled with blessings that we too often take for granted.

            A.        We assume that they will always be there. We might even feel that we deserve them

                        1.         Consider Jonah’s attitude - Jonah 4:5-9

                                    a.         Jonah received a blessing from God.

                                    b.         But when the blessing ended Jonah became mad. He assumed he had the right to continue to enjoy what was given to him

                        2.         Rather, we should have Job’s attitude when he lost everything - Job 1:20-22

            B.        We ought to recognize where our blessings come from and also remember that they are gifts that don’t have to continue.

                        1.         Perhaps then we will be more thankful that they are there

II.        The Parable of the Rich Man - Luke 12:16-21

            A.        The rich man was blessed abundantly with more than he could use.

            B.        He was satisfied with life. He expected the abundance to last him for many years.

            C.        But he had no plans to use God’s blessings to further God’s work

            D.        Jesus had warned about our priorities - Matthew 6:19-21

III.       The Story of Judgment - Matthew 25:31-46

            A.        What separated the sheep from the goats?

                        1.         It was their deeds of kindness: feeding the hungry, giving drinks to the thirty, clothing the naked, and visiting those in prison

            B.        The ones blessed by the Lord were those who had used their earlier blessings to bring glory to God

            C.        The condemned overlooked their opportunities to do good.

            D.        God desires kindness - Proverbs 19:22

            E.        This should not be confused with thinking that

                        1.         This is all the Lord wants

                        2.         Or that these deeds earn us heaven

            F.        However, these small deeds of kindness are characteristic of the righteous

            G.        When God decided to remove Israel, He pointed out that kindness was missing - Hosea 4:1-3

                        1.         How did they get to this state? A lack of knowledge - Hosea 4:6

                        2.         The more the population grew, the more people sinned - Hosea 4:7-8

                        3.         They chased false religions - Hosea 4:12-14

            H.        Kindness and truth are bound together - Proverbs 3:3

IV.      You can’t keep the blessings you have received on earth

            A.        The Lord pointed out to the right man this problem when he asked whose will be all the things he accumulated?

            B.        You can’t control what happens after you leave - Ecclesiastes 2:17-19

            C.        However, you can control the use of your money while you live

            D.        When we make use of God’s blessing, more results - Proverbs 11:24-25

            E.        How you use what you have is rewarded - II Corinthians 9:6-11

V.        Make use of what you have

            A.        In the Parable of the Unjust Steward, he was praised for using his master’s wealth to benefit others and thereby himself - Luke 16:8-9

                        1.         Make use of what you have here on earth to bring others to heaven so that they will receive you when it is your turn to go.

            B.        Labor to have excess to give - Ephesians 4:28

            C.        Lay up treasures with God’s blessings - I Timothy 6:17-19

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