In The Service of the King

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also; if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:26)

“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'” (Luke 17:10)

              These verses, when compared, reveal an interesting paradox concerning service in the kingdom of the Lord. The first says, “If you serve me, you’ll be honored.” The second says “When you’ve rendered your service, you’ve earned nothing. You have but carried out your responsibilities.” But both are true. The disciple of Christ is to work hard at carrying out every command that his Master has given him. He realizes that his life is no longer his to do whatever he pleases. He has willingly put himself on the auction block. No one forced him to make that decision. There was an exchange of holy currency and the price was paid (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 1 Peter 1:18,19).

              Yet the Master of the slave sees something else. He sees one who has been enslaved to sin and the fear of death for many, many years. He sees one who has spent his days working for a cruel taskmaster. He sees a tired, hurting and broken soul. And he says, “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The Master is thrilled beyond measure to offer this slave a new life. He can’t wait to get him home so he can bless him some more. Because this isn’t just any slave. This slave who has been gone for so long, that has been broken by sin and setbacks, is his son. And, oh how he wants to bless him!

              The servant understands that he is owed nothing. That’s the nature of a servant. But the Father’s going to reward him anyway. That’s the nature of a Father.

Brad Fry

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Servants for Life

No doubt you’ve known people whose aim in life apparently was to do as little as they could get by with. Their question is not, “What can I do?” but “What do I have to do?” These are the clock-watchers at work, the Sunday morning pew warmers at church, and the eternal excuse makers for anything that requires a sacrifice of their time, their resources or their effort.

         Then there are those who are constantly working but are also constantly dissatisfied with the good they do because their works are not of the headline grabbing nature, or even if they are, no one seems to be reading the headlines. Pretty soon they burn out and drop out because they don’t feel appreciated. They then become bitter, resentful and generally not very pleasant to be around.

         John Calvin spoke to both of these when he wrote, “Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair because of the smallness of our accomplishments.” The one who does less than he can lives below his privilege and potential. God has blessed him with certain talents to use for the increase of the kingdom. To do less is to incur the wrath of the King (Matthew 25:24-30). The servant who quits because he feels taken for granted makes the sad mistake of doing what he does “to be seen of men.” Jesus warns that such “have their reward in full” (Matthew 6:2). In other words, no appreciation from God.

         Then there is the third. This is the Christian who quietly goes about his or her business doing the work of the Lord. Whether they are teaching, cooking, cleaning, mowing or fixing someone’s car, they do what they do because God is honored by their service (Colossians 3:17). They don’t try to get by with doing just enough to ease their conscience because there’s always more that needs to be done. They don’t throw in the towel when people fail to notice because it is God’s eye they seek to catch, not man’s. These are servants for life. And life certainly needs more of them.

Brad Fry

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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