Sermon # 22 Series: Matthew
Title: TEN IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM THE MASTER
Text: Matthew 10:16-42
Subject: Christ’s Instructions to His Servants
Scripture Reading: Office – Rex Bartley Aud. – Bobbie Estes
Date: Tuesday Evening – December 13, 1994
Tape: # Q-77
The title of my message tonight is Ten Important Lessons From The Master. In these verses of Scripture our Lord Jesus Christ gives his servants words of instruction to sustain and comfort them as they endeavor to serve the interest of his kingdom and the souls of men in this world. These words of instruction, in their primary application, were given to the apostles of our Lord. However, they are equally applicable to every gospel preacher in this world. And they are just as properly applied to you who seek to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in your day by day lives. We are, after all, all of us who believe God’s servants.
To the selfish and unbelieving, who care for nothing but their own ease and comfort, these verses of Scripture are meaningless. To you who serve God and the souls of men, they will be great interest. To serve God and do good to men’s souls in this world is hard work. Satan fights to maintain his kingdom. The hearts of men are far more wicked that any of us imagine. Our Lord Jesus knows this. Therefore, he takes care, when he sends us out to do his service, to supply us with instructive and encouraging words, that we might be prepared for the trials, temptations, and troubles we must force in this world.
God’s servants in this world are sheep in the midst of wolves, needing wisdom, grace, and strength that only God can give, to do his will.
If I had setting before me a house full of aspiring young preachers, I know (after 25 years of experience) that I could not give them wiser instruction than I will give to you tonight. But what I have to say is just as important to you as it would be to a house full of preachers. So give me your attention. Here are ten lessons that we must learn, as we endeavor to serve God and our generation by the will of God.
I. We must be modest in our expectations – (vv. 16-23).
If we serve God, if our object is the glory of God, we must not imagine that we will be ravingly successful in this work. Indeed, we must not make success our goal. “Beware of men.” We are “as sheep in the midst of wolves,” If you set your heart to serve God you must make up your mind to be hated, abused, misunderstood, slandered, and persecuted by men, even your nearest relations will oppose you if they do not know God.
Illus: Young men at Spring Lake.
Whether you preach, or teach, or visit, or pass out tracts, or write, or give witness to others, whatever you do, for Christ, you must expect nothing from the world but opposition.
Many who once seemed full of zeal have turned back because they had extravagant expectations. Many a preacher has been taken in satan’s snare of “success” and has compromised the gospel to get it!
II. If we would serve God in this world, we must be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (v. 16).
That simply means we must pray for God to give us wisdom, good sense, a sound mind, and sincerity of heart. The word “harmless” means “simple.” We are to be simple, honest, sincere as God’s servants. Yet, we must have wisdom and good sense.
A. We must never seek to avoid persecution by cowardice, compromise, or intimidation.
B. Yet, we must never foolishly court persecution by being obnoxious, arrogant, or even out of order and place.
NOTE: The Lord allows his servants to flee from one city to another. But he does not allow us to hold our tongues.
NOTE: There is a proper time and place for witnessing – It is not when you are being paid to work!
NOTE: Our God does not require us to throw out common sense when we are engaged to do his will. The offence of the cross we must bear. But we are not to be offensive. Let us “strive to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.” (Eph. 5:15).
III. We must never expect to be treated better or to receive better in this world than our Savior did – (vv. 24-25).
If we leave men alone, they will probably leave us alone. But we dare not leave men alone. We must, as our Savior did…
If we follow our Master, we will, in the ordinary course of events, experience what he experienced.
A. He was slandered and rejected by those among whom he ministered.
B. Men “called him Beelzebub,” a devil, a glutton, a winebibber, and a sinner.
C. Few believed his message.
IV. We must be content to wait for him whom we serve to vindicate us in the day of judgment - (v. 26).
God will bring everything to light in his time. Vengeance belongs to him. If I am his servant, he will both vindicate and avenge my name and my work in the last day. Either here or there God will vindicate his servants – He will do it by judgment.
V. If we would serve God we must fear God rather than man (vv. 26-28).
Like Daniel and his friends, we must be willing to surrender anything, and everything, even life itself, rather than compromise the glory of God, violate the truth of God, or go against the Word of God.
NOTE: What God says is right!
NOTE: The wrath of man may be hard to bear, but it is infinitely easier to bear than the wrath of God!
VI. We must trust the providential care of God (vv. 29-31).
The path of duty may lead us into danger. Our lives may seem to be in peril if we go forward. But we must realize that everything is in God’s hand. Whatever fearful thing we meet, as we serve our God, we may say to it, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”
VII. If we would serve God in this world, we must constantly live in the anticipation of judgment and eternity (vv. 32-33).
It may cost you the sneers and frowns of men to confess Christ in this world. But it will cost you the frown of God in eternity to refuse to confess him – That is what it is to deny him! Baptism – Witnessing – Identification.
VIII. If we would serve our God and the souls of men, we must understand the gospel of Christ is the cause of constant irreconcilable divisions among men – (vv. 34-36).
Wherever Christ comes, there is a “division because of him.” Unity, peace, and harmony are great blessings. We ought to earnestly seek them, pray for them, and sacrifice anything to obtain them – anything except the truth of God! Peace that is purchased at the expense of truth is purchased at a rate that ought never to be paid!
IX. If you and I would serve Christ, if we would do the will of God, we must take up our cross and follow him every day (vv. 37-39).
Faith in and obedience to Christ is nothing less than the surrender of my life to his rule!
X. If we would be the servants of God in this world, we must never expect our reward in this world, but in the world to come – (vv. 40-42)
Three things need to be noticed from these verses.
A. That which is done to God’s servants in this world, good or evil, is treated by our Lord as being done to him – (v. 40).
· Matthew 25:32-46
B. The least service done for our Lord is observed by him and shall be honored by him (vv. 41-42).
· I Samuel 2:30
NOTE: There is always something you can do for Christ, if you are willing. – “A Cup of Water!”
C. The reward of God’s saints in heaven is an equal reward and completely full reward to one and all – A matter of grace!
Our Lord will say to many on the resurrection day, who never imagined it – “I was hungry and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink.”
Are we helpers or hinders in the cause of Christ? Do we assist God’s servants, or do we impede their labors? Do we aide his little ones, or do we stand in their way? These are serious questions that ought to be considered by us. God give us grace, as often as we have opportunity, to give a cup of cold water,” or “receive a prophet,” or “receive a righteous man,” in the name of Christ, laboring together in the Lord’s vineyard to gather in his harvest!
We should, each of us, make it our business to leave this world better than it was when we entered it. If we follow Christ, if we serve God, if we serve the souls of men, we shall.
Happy is that servant who can leave this world
· As Christ did – (John 17:4).
· As Paul did – (II Tim. 4:6-8).