Readings: Isaiah 44:9-11, Romans 6:1-4, Matthew 25:18-19, 24-27

The Christian life is not about behavior modification – not about staying on top of things, but rather getting to the root – the bottom – the heart of things.

It’s not about performance, but our heart towards the Master.

… so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 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?

Matthew 25:25-26

This is a rhetorical question to challenge the servant’s belief. The servant reveals his belief about the Master in verse 24 when he says, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man.” Hard = firm, harsh, cruel, possibly violent… Well, your opinion of the Master is no excuse for your behavior. That seems harsh until you remember that Jesus doesn’t do things the way we do, but He is full of grace!

Fear & laziness: the root is in the servant’s unfaithfulness – this is not about performance. In verse 26, there’s a link to Jesus’ gathering of the Gentiles. The fear in verse 25 –> If it’s all up to me, how do I even begin?!

The servant was afraid to even try. He trusted his fears over trusting God. Don’t listen to the fears, but rather the encouragement of the God who loves you! Just TRY. Even if there’s a failure, there’s an opportunity to grow and learn.

The 1-talent-servant let his fears dictate his belief in the King. His actions (or rather inaction) were driven by this false belief (or unbelief). This is why the Master calls the servant evil and lazy.

I don’t need more faith, but a better perception of God.

Priscilla Shrier (might not be an exact quote)

The root: If you don’t believe the King loves you, you will grow fearful and resentful. That unbelief leads to weariness and feeling buried. Claim (or reclaim!) faith in the Sovereign Lord and the truth of God’s love. Don’t listen to the devil’s lies. The devil speaks into our weaknesses and drags us downward. God loves us and builds us up through encouragement and grace.

How do we re-orient our hearts?

Focus on the Lord & His Word – the truth, and not feelings.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

Our sins are buried in baptism with Christ, and we are raised to new life in Christ to walk free – empowered by our belief in the King’s goodness – for He laid down His life for you to save you – the greatest act of grace, love, mercy, and compassion.