Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Luke 17:7-10

"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?
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?
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
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 17:7-10

This chapter is interesting stuff.  Right before this it talks about faith, and how even just a tiny bit of faith can work miracles.  And then it launches into this... and at first it seems unrelated, or at least it is hard to see the relationship between that and this.  And maybe I still don't have it.  ... But maybe here God is saying that faith isn't something that comes from the tit-for-tat obedience-for-blessing cycle that we sometimes expect from the gospel.  This story is basically comparing us to servants/workers.  If we pay someone to do something for us, do we get all gushy and thankful about it when they do it?  Not typically.  Sometimes we're extra grateful and we offer a tip, but it isn't emotional... it was a transaction.  And maybe, to us in a way, the gospel is often a transaction too.  We obey God because we expect something.  Our spiritual pay, a place in heaven... whatever it is that we expect.  We want him to save us, or help us, or ... whatever it is.  But until we get out of that transactional mindset, we're not going to learn the intricacies of faith.  Because faith is doing things even when we don't think there will be a payoff... because they are right, because we love God, because we know that he's got it right, and we usually have it wrong. :)  It's going beyond the transactional relationship into real friendship, real love... best friend kind of stuff.  It's knowing God can do anything for us, but knowing that he might not, because he knows the plan better than we do.
Today, let's go beyond the transactional relationship with God... and with other people. :)  Let's do more than expected, let's give more than we get.  Let's find the selfless love that we need to learn in order to truly embrace one another as brothers and sisters... and as children to God.  And then maybe, we'll find that tiny bit of faith that we need to make miracles happen. :)

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