February 21, 2018

Serving the Master

Luke 17:1-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

—  Luke 17:5

The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. They desired a big bowl of spiritually fortified faith that would make them into superdisciples.

Jesus surprised them by telling them that even small faith would enable them to do great things. He might have had a mustard seed in his hand as he pointed to the power of smallness in bringing his kingdom. Jesus gave them exactly what they asked for—he chose little seeds like them to grow the fields of new believers in him as Lord and Savior.

What were the disciples to do differently than the Pharisees to prepare for the faith work of Jesus?

In the culture of that day, there was no such thing as an eight-hour workday with two coffee breaks. Servants were constantly ready to be at the service of their master. Ambitious servants also tried to go above and beyond—to exceed expectations out of loyalty and love for their master. Jesus told his disciples to go beyond the bare minimum service to him as supreme master and Lord. He expected them to work tirelessly for the kingdom.

Followers of Jesus do not serve to get awards or accolades. Jesus’ disciples need to serve out of love and thankfulness to him. Serving God is a matter of grace alone. Grace and gratitude are part of the harvest in the kingdom of God.

Jesus, help us to see that you work with small things so that the glory goes to God alone. I want to serve you because you first loved me. Your grace is enough. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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