“unworthy servants who have simply done our duty”

“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.” Luke 17:10

Have you ever looked at this verse and said, “Wait God! I did so much for you! I witnessed for you to the real down-and-outters. I sponsored orphaned children. I stood up for truth in a really hard situation. I raised this family for you. I’m a mom in the trenches of changing diapers and making food! I deserve some credit here! I deserve a reward!”

It’s easy for us to, even unconsciously, think that way. We want God to approve of what we do. We want His blessing. And that’s right and good. Of course we want God’s blessing!

But I think where the problem often lies is we think we get the credit. We want glory. When in reality, we don’t get any glory or credit at all! We owe everything to Jesus Christ. Everything. We owe Him our talents and abilities, He gifted those to us to use for His glory.

Our whole life is a gift, and the fact that we can even sponsor a child, witness to down-and-outters or speak up for truth or be a mom is an opportunity from Him. We are not entitled to salvation. God doesn’t owe it to us. Deeply grateful and humbled should be our response to the God who loves us so much He sent His own Son to die for us, even though we were wretched sinners.

“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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 

What we are and do is all because of Him and about Him.

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:16-18

We can read about Paul’s journey to Damascus in Acts 9, where the Lord met him and showed him who he really was. Saul, as he was formerly called, thought he was doing the Lord a service, threatening and killing Jesus followers. But the Lord showed him how he really was all about Saul. He revealed Himself in an amazing way along the road to Damascus; and Saul, “trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?'”

That was a major life changing moment for him! Suddenly, it became about the Lord. He realized what Jesus had done for him and how much he owed! What he’s saying in 1 Corinthians 9 is he is obligated to preach the Gospel, and if he does it willingly he will have reward.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14

Glorying in the cross? How is this possible? It is all because of grace, because of a heart transplant, because of Christ living in me.

Here’s some more verses that Paul wrote in Philippians 3…

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:4-9 

All Paul had done before Jesus transformed his life was worth nothing to Him. All that he did after his conversion was loss too if it did not further the cause of Christ in his own life or those around him.

Clearly, we are nothing in and of ourselves! It’s His work through us that allows us to be of any service at all to Him. Our own will is crucified, and we are out to do His will. That is our total focus, our reason for rejoicing, our complete life! We are wrapped up in doing and allowing Jesus to work through us.

So in our every day wife-life, mom-life or single-life, what does this look like? How do we make every day about Him, not about us? Here’s some practical ideas:

Make prayer a habit. – Where throughout the day we talk to Jesus about our little stresses, big stresses and the joyful things too, praising Him for little blessings!

Rejoice in our daily work! -He gave us these responsibilities, whether we have a job or stay at home, and when we are joyfully serving, it definitely advances His kingdom and brings Him glory.

Look for opportunities to serve. -Whether we can share some food with the guy or girl on the street corner (a lot of those people in this part of Washington!) Or taking extra time to love our husbands! Sending a card or an encouraging message to someone God lays on your heart! Telling your coworker you appreciate them! Listening with our hearts, not just our ears to our kiddo’s chatter and getting on their level.

Be Grateful! Grateful that you have opportunities to serve Him! Be grateful for life! Every day is a gift to be used for His glory!!

All for His glory,

Joella