How to be a servant?
Luke12:41-48; BCBC/IOUC; 6/20/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
We are called to be servants of God, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, and to live for God. This is certainly right. But how should one live for the Lord and how to be a servant? This is the origin of the topic of our preaching today. Let’s take a look at the first point:
Be faithful and wise
Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” From the context, this parable is for those who know how to wait for God. First, to serve faithfully. Do you know who God looks for in this world to serve Him? Paul said: “The steward is asked for loyalty (1 Cor. 4:2). “What is loyalty? Faithfulness means not changing the initial love for the Lord, not giving up, not changing, and not looking back no matter what you encounter! Jesus said very clearly: You have suffering in the world! Are you willing to suffer for the Lord? The freedom of speech is gone, the opportunities for promotion and fortune are gone, the opportunities for joining the ranks of corrupt officials are gone, and the opportunities for coveting pleasure are reduced. May I ask, do you still have to believe in God? The plague has been raged for more than a year. When will it be stopped for not attending physical worship due to fear?
Second, to serve with wisdom. Loyalty is not ignorance, but it is balanced with wisdom. The original Greek word is φρόνιμος, (phonemes), which means a smart and wise person. Please note that loyalty does not require us to aim hard at the muzzle, forcing others to kill and shut you down! Jesus said, Not only be as innocent as doves, but also as shrewd as snakes. Our status in this world is steward, not only to manage the church well, but also to manage the Pharaoh’s estate with the wisdom given by God. Of course, we must do well for the emergence of a new king in Egypt, when the people of God are about to suffer. After all, the Tao is different and it is difficult to be a fellow traveler. Believers and unbelievers are difficult to be yoked together. Among the opportunities, depend on what kind of grace and ability God gives us!
Lastly, to serve at the proper time. Why is time so important? God’s mission to us is to be good stewards. How to do that? There are many methods, but one principle: “To give them their food allowance at the proper time.” The pastor preached every week, in fact, this is “to give the food allowance at the proper time.”, right? When you go to work, the boss must pay you on time. When we manage our time well, it means we are connected with wisdom. Complete tasks on time, showing our self-discipline. Focusing on the mission on time shows that we are being used by God. If you don’t care about anything, not being punctual, not being punctual, not on time, it means that the time for God to use us has not yet arrived. Not able to be sanctified on time means that we are not holy in time and cannot be God’s precious vessels. Let’s look at the second point:
Do good but not evil
A servant of God cannot do evil, cannot repay evil with evil, but can only stop evil with good. This is the common sense of being a servant of God. Otherwise, your evil outlook will betray your motivation for dedicating to be the servant of God. First, doing good is a blessing. The master sees that the servant is good and faithful, as well as knowledge and wise. Of course he will use him for important matters, right? Luke even added the insert of Jesus, “Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. ( Luke 12:44) ” This is an encouragement by the Lord Jesus to the servants he has called, and it is also God’s affirmation of the servants of the Good Shepherd. Being faithful, wise, and on time are the criteria given by the Lord to a good servant, and it is also a basic prerequisite for being used by God. I think these three things may give us some reminding, right? Maybe we feel that we are very loyal, but we lack wisdom, so that it is difficult for God to use us, right? Maybe we are loyal and wise, but we cannot be punctual, and we may also encounter bottlenecks in service, and it is hard to break through, will it?
Second, evil thoughts are woe. If insufficient good deeds could become the bottleneck of our serving, not even mention the evil thoughts? Luke said: But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. (Luke 12:45) It’s certainly right to say that evil thoughts will bring up evil deeds. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Appearing to be very loyal, very capable in doing things, and very punctual on appointment with people. But once someone provokes him, or something against his will happen, it will be terrible! When spreading rumors, slandering and appearing spiritually polite in telling the lies. No wonder the Bible says that we should look at people from what kind of the fruits born in their lives.
Lastly, the consequences are behind. Fruit, of course, there are good fruits and bad fruits. Naturally, the fruit will take a long time to grow. Time reveals a man’s heart, and you will also see the quality of the fruit, right? Doing evil, no matter what the length of time is, the consequences are bound to come. The important thing is that the consequence is on a day when he does not expect him. Do you want to install an alarm system? It’s useless! Because at an hour you are not aware of! Your monitoring system cannot see the traces of the Lord, and He is in the different dimensions. The Lord’s judgment is coming, who can avoid it? The Bible says: “The master of that servant will come and punish him heavily. The master of that servant will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.” Do you still continue to do evil? Let’s look at the third point:
To obey God’s will
Obedience to God is something easy to say than done. King Saul, already the king of Israel, reached the pinnacle of life, but could not pass the obedience test. First of all, the ones knowingly committed will be beaten with many blows. The wicked people mentioned earlier are no longer worthy of being called servants of God, and they are judged by good and evil. Luke then turned to other servants. What if some servants knowingly committed a crime, but did not commit any evil? The Bible says: “The servant will be beaten with many blows.” David also fell into the beating of God, and his son died. But he said, I would rather fall into the hands of the Lord and be punished by him. This is the character of a servant of God, pleases God, and is called a person whom God loves!
Second, the ignorant and not knowing will be beaten with few blows. Luke’s classification is very interesting, leaving a grace with less punishment for those who do not know. He said: “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. (Luke 12:46) ” Ignorance is sin defined in the Bible, what is the difference with not knowing? Does it seem to be lighter? In short, done things deserving punishment, and sentenced him to be beaten with few beatings. Maybe someone will say it’s unfair again, won’t they? King Saul and Judah, both are deemed for their own deaths. God even spares the beating, right? If you go to death, if God does not stop you, it is the best portrayal of being less punishable.
Lastly, the demand of one being given much or less. We are greedy and would like to have more in every demand. I hope God will give more, but I don’t want God to take more from him one day. Is this fair again? Anyone who asks God to be fair at this time is because they don’t know what the responsibility in their lives is. God gave Judas the grace to follow the Lord, and then God demanded faithfulness from him, did he have it? God gave Saul the position of king, asked him to keep the boundary, to fulfill the responsibility of faithfulness, did he keep them? So, what did God give you? Are you loyal and responsible?
Praise the Lord! Today’s sermon “how to be a servant?” is finished. A servant’s characters of being faithful, wise, and on time, have you kept all these for God? The bottom line to conquer evil with good, have you kept it? The punishments of knowing and not knowing, are you willing? The responsibilities of giving more or giving less, have you fulfilled?
Let us pray……