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The Dutiful Servant July 29, 2012

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Luke 17:7-10

What does it take to win medals?

Notations often read, “For meritorious service…” or “…above and beyond the call of duty.” Is it for heroic actions, for exemplary service or for doing your job?

Years ago I served in the Army National Guard under a Platoon Sergeant who was unlike any other I have ever known before or since. For all of his charisma and positive qualities I had this against him; he never rewarded his soldiers by recommending them for medals. He would say, “I’m not gonna reward you for doing your job.” I wondered if this was due to laziness on his part. Maybe he just didn’t want to fill out the paperwork. But, how hard could that be? I finally just stopped worrying about the fancies and pretties that others received but that no one in our platoon ever did. We focused on the work and not on the reward. A job well done was its own reward.

As a result, I learned that the Army owes me nothing. The world owes me nothing. My Platoon Sergeant owes me nothing. More importantly, God owes me nothing.

Let’s consider the text.

We consider ourselves servants of God. Jesus spoke time and again about sacrificial service to others. He said to turn the other cheek. He said to walk two miles and to surrender your tunic if someone takes your cloak. We serve God all the while believing that we are somehow being paid in measureable sums. Abundance Preachers talk about living the victorious life. We like to quote Luke 12:37, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.” But, somehow we miss the hard truth; God owes us nothing. He is not rewarding us with His love and grace because we are faithful servants. God’s love and grace are free gifts. We cannot earn them no matter how righteous or sacrificial we think we are.

God does not put demands on humanity. He offers salvation free for the taking. But, discipleship is total commitment of all that you are to the God that saved you. This passage presents a proper perspective of the disciple. It is the denial of self. It is the surrender of all that you planned and desired for your life for the call that God has placed on your life, a call to salvation and freedom from sin. It is the recognition that nothing you or I could ever do, even in a thousand lifetimes, would be enough to pay the sin debt that was paid upon the Cross of Calvary.

God owes me nothing, but has already given me everything by sparing me from wrath and divine judgment against my sinful state.

The hard truth is that my Platoon Sergeant was right; I am not rewarded for doing my job. I am an unworthy servant who has only done his duty. The reward has already been given.



1. Andy Hagan - July 29, 2012

Great message. We (man) think way too much of ourselves. Treasures in heaven they preach! I feel just getting to heaven reward enough!

theronwatson - July 29, 2012

Thanks Andy.
I believe if we simply avoided hell as a reward that would be enough. BUT- we also gain heaven.
How great is that!?

2. Gary - July 30, 2012

Thank you, Theron. That was awesome, brother. Keep it up!

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