Rewards For Duty To God?
Christ's servants should not think doing their duty will bring them special merit.
Have you heard preachers tell their audience to give more money and expect to receive more blessings from above? It is normal to expect favors when befriending the right people who can help us. Therefore, it seems normal to do our duty to God and ask Him for special favors.
Sounds good, because we read many Bible verses that God has much to give. But when we read Luke 17:10, this seems contrary to our way of how to get gifts from God. A reading of this text seems to be from a negative point of view, for it is not the way we view Jesus' gentle benevolent nature. I suppose most everyone is guilty of trying to merit favor with God. Doing our duty is often recognized as worthy of getting more. One prays to God for benefits, "Lord, if you give me ______, I will give you everything, if You do this for me." Much bargaining is going on in the prayer room today.
The text of Luke 17:5-10 can make people see the Lord's teaching as a positive benefit or negative reprimand in doing our duty.
"Lord increase our faith." Jesus said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say unto this sycamore tree, ‘be plucked up by the root, and be planted in the sea;' and it would obey you. 7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, ‘Go and sit down to eat?' 8 And will not rather say unto him, ‘Make ready that I may eat, and gird yourself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward you shall eat and drink?' 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.'"
Christ's servants should not think doing their duty will bring them special merit: "Does he thank that servant? Does God feel indebted to us for our labor? No, by no means." No good works of ours can merit extra anything at the hand of God. Doing our duty does not make him a debtor to us. If we bind the first and great commandment of loving God with all my heart and soul we don't need to worry about God taking care of us. Jesus gave this lesson in Luke to teach us that faith and trust in God takes care of all our needs without doing things expecting advantage.
The way to the heart of Jesus is to review His promise at the beginning of His ministry of the two important commands in order to receive blessings of life. God will take care of us, if we put these commands first. Read His command of how to receive His promise in Matthew 6:33 - "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to your life" (verses 1-34). Yes, the church (kingdom) of Jesus Christ and His divine word must come first in our daily performance. Most shove both of these aside in their quest for the good life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Both the Lord's church and the New Covenant of Christ are rated near the bottom of the list of important quests in life. Much of our first priority is receiving, buying and selling possessions for the "good life."
What is our whole duty to God? Eccl 12:13 - ”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." We must be indebted to the Almighty, for we need Christ in every facet of our life. Obey Jesus for eternal life (Heb 5:9).