Daily Devotional January 12th
“‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’” (Luke 17:10b)
Anyone who has ever worked with toddlers as a parent or caregiver knows how difficult it can be for young children to recognize the benefits of delayed gratification. Waiting for anything when you’re little can seem next to impossible. It isn’t much better for us adults at times. We want what we want…now! We see it all the time, even in our relationship with God. As children of God, we are also His servants. He has told us to work in order to store up treasure in heaven. But how often have played the role of the spiritual toddler? At times, we provide God with a front row seat to an all-out temper tantrum or an episode of uncontrolled tears and petulant whining when He hasn’t come through the way we wanted Him to…or truth be told, demanded Him to.
But who are we to demand anything of God? Jesus compared our working relationship with Him like that of a servant and his master, “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty’” (Luke 17:7-10). Oh, but we don’t like that! In our day of entitlement we are tempted to scoff, “Shouldn’t I at least get a pat on the back?” But Jesus counters, “For what?”
Those of us who claim the name of Christ owe Jesus a debt of gratitude for our very lives. Think of it this way. When you owe a monetary debt, do you expect congratulations from the lender for making payments on time? For paying the full amount? Or for even settling up early? No. However, should you be late in making good on your debt, do not make the full payment or ask for extensions, you may not be happy with the resulting penalties, but you understand that the lender is within their rights because of the original contract. No less is true when it comes to our service for Christ.
When we accepted Jesus’ payment on our behalf, we entered into more than just a contractual relationship—the debt we owe can never be repaid like a monetary one. We have entered into a new relationship whereby we have become God’s children, but also His servants. Our lives are no longer our own. Our service should not, therefore, be dependent on continual affirmations, pats on the back and instantaneous rewards. We are now servants of the King of kings and the expectations are high. But too many believers fail to comprehend this truth. For them God loves them, saved them, forgave them…and has promised to bless them. All of this is true, but it is only one side and is often misconstrued by those who refuse to also put on the servants’ uniform for service. A reward is promised to those who serve God faithfully…but first we must all learn that an important part of our spiritual maturity is delayed gratification! “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds” (Jesus ~ Revelation 22:12).
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!