“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.’”
There are times when I feel like I deserve special recognition from God. Maybe I have forgiven someone who is difficult to forgive. Maybe I have shown kindness to someone who did not deserve it. Maybe I was simply on my best behavior. Because I have been so good, I feel I am due some special attention.
Jesus, however, directs me to consider things from his perspective. First, the only recognition I deserve is that which results in my judgment and eternal punishment. While I may do some things which are special and very good, what about the rest of my life? Am I perfect all the time? Do I do everything without excuse, hesitation or complaint? In reality instead of looking for recognition I should hang my head in shame. My life is not what the Lord expects or deserves.
Secondly, I need to remember what the apostle Paul writes to the Christians in the city of Philippi: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Even though I may fill my life with good deeds, it is only because of God’s undeserved love in Jesus that I have the will and the ability to do what he desires. His love, his forgiveness, his power to overcome my selfishness is my reason to do good to all.
Finally, I need to recall what Jesus shared with his disciples. When all is said and done, even if I have done something extraordinary, I have to admit, “I have only done my duty.”
In all humility I must confess I do not deserve any special recognition. Not only is Jesus the author and source of the good I do, he is also my strength and motivation. It is in him where I find joy in serving and seeing his love at work in me and through me. It is also in him where I find satisfaction and recognition. I am blessed to know my Savior has chosen me to be his servant. I am even more blessed to hear my Savior declare in time and for eternity, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
O gracious Lord, accept my service. While I do not deserve any credit, I delight in knowing you have called, equipped and motivated me to be your servant. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
Source: WELS Devotions