Thursday, December 19, 2013
The Vision (12/19/13): We have 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).
Note: The devotion below comes from notes from the introduction and conclusion of last Sunday’s sermon on Luke 17:1-10:
Do you serve Christ because you have to or because you want to? Is it wrong to do spiritual things simply out of duty? Does our obedience and service to Christ always flow naturally and spontaneously from our love for him? Or does it sometimes require disciplined obedience simply to keep our commitment and obligations to Christ? How many times have you heard that doing things out of duty made faith mechanical and threadbare? What Jesus teaches may surprise you.
Here is the rather unpleasant truth: Much of living the Christian life is a matter of doing our duty. It is simply a matter of obeying Christ’s commands.
Why do we love one another? Because our master told us so.
Why do we not forsake the assembly of ourselves? Because our master told us so.
Why do wives submit to husbands and husbands love wives? Because our master told us so.
Why do children obey parent and fathers not exasperate their children? Because our master told us so.
And this means among other things:
That we beware of doing anything that would result in a stumbling block being placed in the path of a little one (see Luke 17:1-2). Because our master told us so.
That we be ready to be overlook inconsequential differences with brethren and to confront more serious matters in private and godly ways that seek repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation rather than retribution or punishment (see Luke 17:3-4). Even seven times a day. Because our master told us so.
Can we do so on our own strength? No. We must ask the Lord as the apostles did, “Lord, Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle