It's Our Job!
Steve Raab went with us on one of our mission trips to Ukraine. Actually, I should say Steve returned with us from one of our trips to Ukraine. He couldn't leave at the same time as the group, so he travelled by himself and joined us a few days later. On the bus ride across New York City from JFK to LaGuardia (or visa versa), Steve’s bus had a near miss with a taxi cab. After exchanging a few words through the window, the driver got off the bus and screamed at the taxi driver for a couple of minutes. He then got back on and was preparing to drive off when he turned to his passengers and said, "Hey, it's my job!"
"It's my job." What do we do as disciples of Jesus that isn't part of our job? We are way too good at compartmentalizing our lives, breaking it down into parts that belong to work, family, and recreation with a little left over for God and church. We fit in part of our lives for God, but a lot of it seems to get squeezed out by other things. The only thing wrong with that idea is that it's wrong. Our daily Bible reading from Luke 17 reminds us that nothing we do us above and beyond the call of our duty—
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? (Luke 17:7-9)
In the first century, most slaves were “household slaves” who were owned by families who could afford only one. So the slave was expected to work hard all day, do household chores, take care of kids and cook the food. (OK, that’s sounds a lot like my wife, but I digress). This household slave worked hard and wore many different household hates. And Jesus asks, “Does one serve your slave dinner or even thank them after they've worked all day?” We would, but you have to remember the culture. The slave existed for the benefit of the master, and everything the slave does is for the mater. It was their job.
OK, Jesus, so what’s your point? That's the problem; His point is obvious. We just don't like it very much. There’s no “above and beyond the call of duty” for the slaves of the Almighty God. Everything that we do, we are to do in God’s name and for His glory. Whether we are at church, at work, with our family or pursuing our hobby—it’s for all God. Why? Because He is God and we're his slaves. We must to serve Him. It’s our job!
16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:16-18)