Luke 17: 7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? 8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
How do we please the Lord? What does serving the Lord mean? Sometimes we get a mixed idea of what it means. Some think they are saved and not obligated at all. “I’m saved by grace and the goodness of God and my life is my own. I don’t have to worry about standing before the Lord.” The opposite is: “The Lord saved me but that’s not enough. It takes more. I’ve got to serve and be perfect and work up my own righteousness because the Lord expects me to finish my salvation by getting it all right and never making a mistake.” There is an old song called “He’ll Understand and Say Well Done.” I like the song but it is misleading. We can’t live any way we want. We can’t be reckless in our living. We can’t put more trust in our own efforts and think the Lord will overlook things and say okay.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Where do obedience and serving the Lord come in? Do we have to serve the Lord? Yes, we do. Some think they’re serving the Lord but when asked can’t remember accepting Jesus as Savior. They think they’re a good person and it’s enough, as if there is a choice. If I do good and keep my nose clean I’ll go to heaven. Well, how does it work? Jesus teaches us here.
First, the servant had to belong to the master. We have to be part of the Master’s house to be part of his service. We’re of the household of the Lord but we’re called to be servants. All seven of us kids had chores growing up. When I didn’t do mine, mom and dad knew it. I couldn’t blame it on one of the others because it was my responsibility. God saved us free of charge by his mercy and grace. We felt the conviction of our sins and were sorry. The only thing we had to do was believe and accept what Jesus did and repent and accept him as Savior. Then we do our best to please him.
The reward of serving the Lord is getting to experience heaven. When we got saved we became children of God but also servants. In the eyes of the Master, the servant goes out in obedience and he is pleased. Every servant that obeys the Master pleases him. God has different service for each of us, a different branh and we must obey. Being faithful and obedient is what matters.
When the servant came in from a long day at work, did he expect the master to say “come in; you’re tired. Go ahead and eat and I’ll wait and eat later?” That’s not how masters treated their servants or how servants acted. They had worked in the field but they came in, cleaned up, and fed the master first. After he finished, the servant would eat. Is that fair? Did the servant deserve to be treated like the master? The servant was responsible to serve the master first.
Verse 9 says Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. I think not. Who ought to thank whom? The servant was privileged to work for the master. We too have a purpose. A lot of Christians think they do God a favor by getting saved. Truth is he did us a favor. By saving us we are servants. There is a difference in servants and slaves. We are servants to God but were slaves to the devil. Shouldn’t the Lord say “thanks” every now and then? We’re too busy wanting pats on the back. The servant did a good job all day. He was tired but still had to serve the master. He was only doing his job. The reward was getting to serve the good master. God is so good to us. Before we can do a thing each day he has already blessed us. Some days are better service days than others. Don’t wait for a thank you. Living for the Lord is 24/7 and it’s worth it all. We’re his servants and we belong to him.
Verse 10 says so likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. That’s the best we can say. We’re still unprofitable servants but being a servant is enough. We haven’t earned anything special. I don’t mind being an unprofitable servant. Let the Master sit first. Let him have his way. Then you and I can sit down as servants. His leftovers are still the best. We’re still in the house of the Master. We have a place in the house! Be thankful for the privilege to serve. Have the prayer let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.