Faith and Duty

Christians have the responsibility of being people of faith while understanding they have a duty to please God. James the brother of Jesus said it this way, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” [James 2:18] If we have faith in God, our works will prove it. In [Luke 17:5-10] “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” They had a desire to do the same works Jesus was doing and they knew His works were done through faith. I’m sure His response caught them by surprise as much as it does most of us. We, like His disciples back then, are under the impression for a miracle to occur in someone’s life, it takes great faith to make it happen. However, Jesus responded to them, saying, “If you have faith as (or the size of) a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.” So we see, it doesn’t take a lot of faith to do God’s work, it just takes what faith we have and God can work with that. Now Jesus continues by comparing the Christian’s faith to that of a servant, “And which of you having a servant (or hired hand) plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, “Come at once and sit down to eat?” What Jesus is telling His apostles is that faith is like a servant in that when we say to the mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots.” We mean for the mulberry tree to be pulled up by the roots. When we, the master, employer, boss, say to our servant, or hired hand, “Do this, or do that,” we mean for them to do, this or that, and we expect them to do the work just the way we instructed them. We are to have faith in God that He will fulfill his promises to us; just as we have faith in our employee’s to do as we instruct them. So faith in a sense is somewhat similar to a servant. Jesus continues, “Will (we) say to him (our servant or employee) when he has come in from the field, “Come at once and sit down to eat? But will he not rather say to him, “Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink?” From this description we understand that we do not release the servant or hired hand from fulfilling his responsibilities until all of the work required of him has been completed. The Christian is not to stop expecting our faith to work until we have what we ask of God. It is our duty to God to wait for as long as it takes for the answer to our request to manifest itself. We do not send our employee out to do a day’s work and expect them back in the office in an hour. If they showed up in the office after only being on the job for an hour instead of coming in at the end of the day; wouldn’t we wonder why they were in our office? God expects no less of us. We stay on duty trusting God to fulfill our request until our faith has carried out our instructions, whether it is for a few minutes or a few months. Jesus continues, “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.”  In this scripture Jesus is referring to the duty of the servant to stay on the job for as long as it takes to accomplish their mission, and that they do so without expecting their master to be thankful because they are doing what is expected of them. He continues with this line of teaching replacing the servant with the child of God, “So likewise you, (Christian) when you have done all these things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” The servant of God is to do his work without complaint knowing he has a payday coming in which all things will be made right. We have God’s word on it. DThrash


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