Friday, March 09, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed?

There is a rather strange story Jesus tells in Luke 17. A servant has spent the whole day working - plowing the ground and looking after the sheep - and now it is time to go home. He is tired and exhausted but is not invited to sit down and eat with the master. It is not yet time. Rather the master says to the servant, "Prepare my meal; get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink." No comfortable armchair for this servant!

Jesus is still not done with the story. We might expect a bonus in our pay or at least a word of thanks. But as Jesus tells the story, he asks the question - would he thank the servant because he did what he was told? No - he has done what is expected. In fact as Jesus often does, he digs deeper into our hearts: So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'

Jesus is explaining that Christian service will be hard, overwhelming, exhausting and draining. And all of this is not to be congratulated - rather it is the norm for the believer. Are you overwhelmed with Christian living? Yes? Jesus prepares us for those many days of serving God in the home or at work - and he says - this is what it will be like - when you want to sit down and be served, God will call you to stand up and continue to serve. That is Christian discipleship in the Word of God. Simply put, a true disciple is overwhelmed in service to God and will be stretched and exhausted.

The story also tells us we cannot serve God by feelings only. We may not feel like serving - OK - but it is not by feeling. It is our call - a call of obedience. We must continue to selflessly, sacrificially, and relentlessly serve the King.

And finally, praise God that one day you will be invited to sit down at the banquet table of the Lamb of God - the Master: Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. (Revelation 19.7)

There will be a time to sit and banquet but for now, we will be overwhelmed and exhausted in our service of the King as we give Him glory and carry out His work. This may seem difficult but what a joy it will be on that final day to hear the Lord say: Well done my good and faithful servant - here is your everlasting rest - here is a banquet - come and sit!!

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