| Unprofitable Servants will Increase Greatly in Faith!|
"The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you! 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)
I have always been fascinated by this passage of scripture. The disciples wanted to move in greater faith so they could see obstacles removed before them and Jesus said that this would be no problem if they had even the smallest amount of faith. And then the Lord tells them that at the end of the day they must see themselves as nothing more than unprofitable servants.
Kind of a weird segue if you ask me. I have always kind of glossed over these passages and put them on the "come back to it later" shelf. I mean, what on earth does faith have to do with humble obedience? Everything apparantly!!! I may be way off but I sense that the Lord is showing the disciples that the great things they desire to see happen in their lives will only happen as they "get out of the way" and let God do them. The lower they saw themselves, the greater the things God could do in and through them. "I must decrease but Christ must increase". Humble yourself under Gods mighty hand and in due course, He will lift you up. When we put God first and seek Him first and cry out to Him for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, God moves mountains. When it becomes all about "me, me, me" though, we elevate ourselves into a place of pride, of seeking ourselves first. Do we not know that the Lord had our every need in His mind and the provision at the ready? Are we so filled with our own needs that we have forgotten His needs, to seek Him, to wait upon Him?
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. To wait upon the Lord is to literally become a table waiter in a sense. It is not being so concerned with our needs, but what is on the heart and mind of God and how can we serve Him? Isn't this what Jesus is in fact telling His disciples? That even when they are tired and hungry they should not put their own needs ahead of the Master. They must first serve the Master His meal and then when the Master has been taken care of, then they can eat. And somehow this is related to increasing their faith???
Yes, absolutely! Those who wait on the Lord, who put Him first and seek Him first, they will be RENEWED, they will be STRENGTHENED...they will NOT GROW WEARY and they WILL NOT FAINT. They will be the ones who RISE UP and be taken into the heights and to know the power of heaven beyond their wildest imaginations.
All because they saw aright their right place in the heavenly scheme of things. They are now crucified with Christ - they no longer "exist"...Christ is everything! This life they live now is purely a life of faith and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ who loves, loves...LOVES them sooooo much and has given His LIFE (more abundantly) for them.
| 2016/9/20 9:31|
| Re: Unprofitable Servants will Increase Greatly in Faith!|
Thanks, Brother. Appreciate this article. I love this particular passage. Good to see some commentary on it.
| 2016/9/20 10:04||Profile|
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Amen brother, this was the theme of this mornings prayer time with the brethren, "may He increase"!
| 2016/9/20 11:11|
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Excellent post Mark.
The passage had bugged me in the past as well. The poor servant works his rear off for the master and gets no thanks.
This is because God does not gain anything by our service to Him. Therefore our service does not make him indebted to us.
He is complete and cannot be improved upon no matter what we do.
Therefore, our service is not for Him in the ultimate sense because it accomplishes nothing for Him or to Him; our service is for us- for all the reasons you mention.
In a sense I guess we could say that our service and obedience is an investment that God pays back to us with exorbitant interest.
| 2016/9/20 14:31||Profile|
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Amen brother Todd. It is a remarkable passage of scripture and I really am not sure if I truly understand what the Lord was driving at here.
As I pondered this again this morning I kept coming back to that subject of humility. We say, "Give us more ________ Lord" and the Lord says;
"Humble yourself". Reckon yourself to be nothing more than a slave, a bond servant of Jesus Christ.
Truly when we look down through the church age at the great men and women of God that we admire because they had done "great things for God" we would say that they had great faith wouldn't we? And one other thing I think I have noticed would be their deep, genuine humility.
The kind of humility that I am talking about is what Paul referenced in Philipians 2 where he exhorts us to not think of ourselves but of others and to be like Jesus in taking up the humble position of a slave. And then he goes on to point out that there is only one man; just one of his disciples who seems to have this quality...Timothy! But look how he links the humility of Timothy to being a man who has Christs interests at heart.
"All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ." (Philippians 2:21)
Jesus Christ became a "slave" and calls us to become "slaves". No wants, no rights; no "me, me, me"...just resigned and broken to do the will of the Father.
This is the road to great faith!!!
| 2016/9/21 7:33|
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I think the passage is saying that if we are servants we do not care about our own needs but we only think about our master's needs. He is the first and our needs are only second. And we do that without thinking of rewards because it is our nature as servants. Think about the old fashioned butlers and their masters. Their master's life was their life. All they thought about was their master's interest, their own interest was always second. And they did not do it for the reward. If they did, secretly they would think of themselves first. That's where many christians are wrong, especially in the prosperity churches. They think that they ultimately are serving themselves when obeying God. It is true that obeying is for our own (spiritual) good, and there are rewards, but we obey not because we get rewards, that's to motivate children, but because He is God, He made us, He is our Father whom we love, and He loves us.
Here is an article about what Victoria Osteen said about this topic, and how it caused an uproar.
The difference (between true and false teaching) is so subtle that I could hardly understand before I asked the question: Is God the Lord and am I the servant OR am I the lord and is God the servant.
| 2016/9/21 9:46|
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I agree that we serve and obey for His sake and glory, not ours.
I did not intend to suggest otherwise in my post.
But the simple truth is that God rewards those who do so.
| 2016/9/21 10:50||Profile|