First of all, before I start on what I read this morning, I want to highlight what I wrote about yesterday and how true it is for my life today. I’m writing this while looking out upon a beautiful aquatic reserve right from our bedroom. We rented a second story room on AirBnb that is literally 20 feet from the ocean. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). Amen to that!
This morning Kassi and I were reading in Luke 17. There are a lot of powerful verses in this chapter of the bible, but what stood out to me were the verses 7-10. They say:
“Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 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.'”
This is the duty of a servant, and I believe that it mirrors our duty as Christians and disciples of Christ to enact this in our own lives. It doesn’t make it easy, but I do believe that this parable shows us another example of what it means to be a disciple. Jesus puts a very high calling on his disciples. In Luke 14:26-27 Jesus says:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
The disciples respond to all of this by saying “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). Because it does seem a little overwhelming. We are called to give up EVERYTHING. When you really try and apply it to your own life, not hypothetically like I have in the past, but in actuality like we’re trying to do while we’re in Australia; it can be unnerving.
The verses 7-10 really had me jumbled this morning, but I got some clarity as I thought on them a little more. God, I believe, is calling us to have the attitude and mentality of servants. They serve the master and they do their job (their duty) as good servants should do them: timely, without grumbling, and to the best of their ability. Jesus says through this parable that we shouldn’t expect a thank you from God for doing the things that he has called us to do. We shouldn’t do part of our job and expect to eat first before the work is all done. We should eat last. God calls us to be last while we’re here on this earth. We are supposed to, out of humility, consider others better than ourselves. (Philippians 3:3) Then when we get up to heaven we will be exalted. “The last will be first and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)
This concept of being the least of these while here on this earth is what God is calling us to do (Luke 14:10). It’s about being a servant to all in the name of Jesus Christ. Does that mean that it’s easy? Absolutely not! In fact, after reading all of this I’m wondering if there is a way to be a Christian and not be a disciple. But unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what God is calling us all to do. I think that following Jesus inside of our comfort zone is what all of us end up doing, but I don’t believe that is God’s intent.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
I know that God did not give us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), but I can’t help myself from feeling overwhelmed by this calling and being intimidated by what it might look like in my life. God calls us to give up everything and follow him. The more I read the bible the more this rings true.
Give me the spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline. Enable me to fulfill your calling on my life by allowing me to be faithful with little. Speak to my Spirit and guide me in the ways that you want me to go. Give me courage as you start to move my steps in different directions. Show me more verses that help answer my question “Is every Christian called to be a disciple?” Draw me closer to you, and draw my wife closer to you in the name of Jesus.