Luke 17:7 ¶ “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’?
Luke 17:8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
Luke 17:9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
Luke 17:10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
Expectations are funny things. They seem like the most reasonable things in the world when you talk them over and establish them ahead of time. If you don’t, and they are assumed, they can become some of the most unreasonable and divisive things in the world! Wars, divorces, church splits and messed up McDonald’s orders could probably all be avoided if we could all get clear expectations.
Jesus has talked about wealth and greed for a while. Now He’s turning more towards the strength of our faith. The one thread that connects all of these parables and teachings is humility.
Faith in God takes humility because we are asking Him to intervene and help us with things that we need help with. We acknowledge our need and we acknowledge the fact that God is the one that can help us in our need. That concept becomes faith in action when we pray, when we avoid greed and judgment, and when we serve without demands of payment.
C.S. Lewis explains it in a great way with his “Sixpence none the richer” parable. But Leigh Nash of the band “Sixpence None the Richer” explains it to David Letterman even better on Late Night (pardon Letterman’s awkwardness). If my dad gives me sixpence and I buy him a gift, he is glad to have the gift but he’s actually no more wealthy than he was before.
When we do something with and for God, we’re doing whatever we do with whatever He gave us in the first place. He is no better off for the fabulous card house I built. He’s no better off for the great legacy I leave.
He delights in the things that we do that bring His people more in unity together and more in unity with Him. He delights in so many things, and we should be delighted that He’s delighted. It’s delightful.
But as far as ‘heavenly rewards’ go, we should always remember that we’re working with the things that He gave us. Even if we think grandma gave us the money, He’s driving us to Target to buy the Legos. Every step of the way, we are relying on God to help us along.
So at the end, however great our service to Him or accomplishments in the world, we’ll be happy to say, thank you God, I’m at Your service.
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