faith and man’s duty

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faith and man’s duty

faith and man’s duty
Luke 17:1-10

Concerning faith and man’s duty Jesus said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?
8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'”

When you visit the doctor, one of the first things he or she does is listen to your heart beat. Our heart beats, and beats, and beats – and the more we exercise, the more and faster it beats. We don’t have to tell our heart to beat. It just does.

When is the last time you thought of your heart as a home for God’s Word?
Romans 10:8 states: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”
Just think about this for a moment: that the very Word of God is in your heart. Is that not amazing!  That the Word of God is part of you; that you can store it up in our hearts and treasure it.

Matthew 6:21 clearly state: That where our treasure is there our heart will be also. Friends, if God’s Word is in your hearts, then you will treasure it. In other words, if you treasure God’s word, then God’s word is in your heart.
And what do we do with our treasures? We invest them, isn’t it. If you are a believer, that’s what God has done with you, God has invested His Word in you and He expects you to honor it, and to live it.
Bear in mind that what lives in your heart will sooner or later come out of your mouth. As it is written: we believe with our hearts and confess with our lips.

My dear: In my former life, I did many things that I am ashamed of. I lost the trust of my friends, my family, and those close to me. I know that during that period of my life I deeply hurt God as well. My faith certainly didn’t show itself.

I can’t think of the hurt that I had and continue to cause God. This person that I am is, first and foremost, a sinner. I was soaked into sin and though I tried to work my way out of it, I got deeper and deeper into it. Let’s face it; sin is a part of our lives.

God’s Word assures us that God will work out the best for everyone as long as we obey Him. Sometimes it is painful to forgive someone who has sinned against us, we become worried and plan how to repay the person with evil.

Jesus knew how to balance one truth with another so that His disciples would not go to extremes. The miraculous faith in us must be balanced with faithful day-by-day “ordinary services” which is not be exciting.

Jesus demonstrated this by giving the scenario to correct this misconception by asking disciples a number of leading questions. He began by asking:
Suppose you’ve got a servant who had spent the day doing some manual labor; maybe he has been out plowing, or running all over the fields trying to keep track of the sheep. Now, at the end of the day, when he comes home, will the owner of the slave says to him, “You are good, you’ve had a hard day working. Why don’t you take a seat, relax and let me serve you supper, don’t worry about me, I can always eat later on after you’ve eaten.”

Jesus was asking: Friends, is that the way it works, or is the master more likely to say, “Slave, get yourself changed and get some supper for me, and then when I’m done, you can eat your meal”?

In any case, Jesus didn’t wait for an answer.
He immediately asked another question. saying:
If a slave does his duty by doing what you tell him to do; are you compelled and commanded to thank him?

My dear Listener: it may be hard to understanding what Jesus is driving at.
Let’s look at it this way; You live in a land where liberty and equality are important and a cherished concept. You live at a time when the basic rights of the individual are considered highly important. If you can’t still understand Jesus’ position.

Let me ask: When you get into a taxi, who orders the destination? Is it the driver or is it you? Of cause is the person who is paying the fare? As the taxi driver took Akwasi to the address, is Akwasi compelled to thank her for not dropping you off somewhere else? That will be Ridiculous.

Adjo, Akwasi’s Taxi driver was right; It doesn’t cost a person anything to say “thank you,” but that’s not what Jesus was asking. Jesus was asking: Does a master have to thank his slave because the slave followed the instructions he or she was given?
I can almost hear you saying, “OK, OK, I understand the opening drama with Akwasi and Adzo. I understand about taxi drivers and waitresses. You’re saying we’re not equals; at least not in that situation. Because, like Akwasi; I’m paying so I give the orders and they have to take them. I even understand that part about slaves having to take orders from their masters.

But what does all these got to do with religion, and Jesus, and salvation?”
I’ll tell you. Jesus want people to know they’re not God’s equal.
Most of us, want God to treat us fairly.
We want God to deal with us as equals. This kind of attitude is a big mistake and a common human error. It is the same blunder Adam and Eve made when they ate the forbidden fruit in an attempt to become equal with God.

In Scripture God’s great heroes of faith fell; when they felt they were not being treated fairly. At one point or another in their lives, men like Moses, Elijah, and Jonah all complained that God wasn’t giving them what they deserved; they complained about how they’re under rewarded and underappreciated.

We think we ought to get good things from God because we see ourselves as being good persons who deserve God’s smiles, His blessings, and eternal gratitude, this is not right. God sees us as taxi drivers who want to choose the destination; as waitresses who think we know what meal is to be served.

Let me ask:
What would you do with a taxi driver who refused to listen to you; who refused to take you where you wanted to go? Your reaction may be to complain to the police; or report to his company or Union. The irony is that when the world disobeyed God he sent His Son out of His Fatherly love. Jesus came as the Son of God but many said He was of the devil. Jesus is the “Only Way to Salvation” but the world maintained there are many ways. Jesus is “The Light of the World,” but the world prefers the darkness. Jesus is “The Truth” and people labeled Him a liar. He came to save humanity from sin, but the world remained stuck in its transgression.

Jesus reached out to the lost, the lonely, the demonic possessed, the destitute, the damned; yet the world rejected Him and they slammed nails into His hands and placed Him on a cross to die. It wasn’t fair, but Jesus had to endure all that which He didn’t deserve so that you and I might receive what we haven’t worked for or earned.

Like Akwasi: If you saw a waitress spit in your food before serving it to you, what would you do? You might report her to her manager; you might call the health department. I doubt if you would ever go back to that restaurant again. In contrast to what we would do, look at what happened with Jesus. Humanity didn’t spit in Jesus’ food; humanity spat right in Jesus very face. Jesus didn’t complain; He didn’t file a report. He didn’t even think it unfair when old friends tried to throw Him off a cliff; or when His disciples deserted Him; or when a friend betrayed Him with a kiss.

God’s Son was declared guilty, so that you and I may be found innocent on the Judgment Day. Jesus died alone so we might live for eternity in heaven. Jesus carried the sins He never committed so that we might be free from their burden and condemnation. He rose from the dead so that we may live forever.

Jesus got what He didn’t deserve so we might receive what we haven’t earned, and receive it more abundantly.

As the Divine Creator and Preserver, He is the one who makes up the rules, He is the Master; He is the boss. He is the one who has set in place the rules of the Universe, and of our lives. He is the one who decides right from wrong; and who sets the standards for admission to heaven and hell. You may not like it; you may argue against it, but that’s the way it is. You’re not God’s equal. He’s the Master, we’re the servants and He is in control.

When we do our work, we are unworthy servants. God owes us nothing! He decides the rewards… May His name be praised now and forever more… Amen.

Comment (1)

  1. […] that is vividly portrayed in the lives we have looked at in Hebrews. They trusted in God: “By faith Noah . . . By faith Abraham . . . By faith Sarah” (Hebrews 11:7, 8, […]

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