Being an unprofitable servant
Once a person becomes a Christian they must learn to start serving God and seeking out ways to glorify him. There are certainly many passage the bare this truth out but one my favorite ones is illustration that Jesus gives disciples in, †
Luke 17:7 "And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'?† 8 "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'?† 9 "Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.† 10 "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' "
Every Christian need to realize that we are unprofitable servants and we should be working for the Lord because it is our duty to do so. With this mind I want to examine 5 different things that we can do as Christians based upon what Paul says in, †
1 Corinthians Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.† 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
We are going to examine all 5 of these duties and see what Bible says about them. First lets begin with the word watch.
When you read through the NT you will find several places where Christians are told to always be watching so that they can remain faithful.
1. For instance Elders are to watch out for our souls.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
When a man decides to become an elder he takes on an awesome responsibility and he must be very watchful to make sure the congregation is growing as it should and they have to watch out for those who to try to stray away from flock. The rest of us are to do what we can to make to their job easier by obeying and submitting to them in regards to the direction they are leading us. When we do our part it makes their task joyful but when we donít do our part then it make an elder or eldership full grief and sorry.
2. The Bible also tells us that all Christians should always be watching †how they conduct their lives so that they will be ready at any given moment for Jesusí second coming. ††
Mark 13:35 "Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming -- in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning --† 36 "lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.† 37 "And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.† 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.† 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.† 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.† 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.† 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,† 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
3 We are also told to watch for opportunities to teach others about Christ.
John "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
Just as Jesus said here the harvest is plentiful and it very important that we watch for opportunities to teach people about Christ.
4 Watch for false teachers.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.† 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
If we fail to be watchful in this area then we will be lead astray because there people out there that are willing to sell you a lie but when you know the truth and you are watchful this will not happen.
5. Watch our temper and our speech.
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;† 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
This is perhaps one of the most challenging things we face as Christians because if we are not constant guard with our emotions and the words we use they can become very destructive to the church and to our relationships. You can never take back an act of rage or harsh words. The next duty we can do as Christians is to,
Stand fast in the faith
Notice how Paul talks about this in,
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.† 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
This is how we stand fast in the faith we put on the whole armor of God and Paul goes on to describe how that is to be done.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.† 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,† 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;† 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.† 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;† 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints Ė
If want to stand in the faith you must immerse yourself in Gods Word and must make prayer a part of your everyday life. The armor of God will not do you any good if you donít ever put it on and certainly cannot defend you† against the fiery darts of the †devil if you donít practice using Gods word everyday. Let us never forget the source of our strength to stand in the faith as Paul expresses in,
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:† 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.† 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The 3rd duty Paul tells us we can do is to,
The idea behind this word from the Greek is to grow up and be like men. Every Christian weather they are male or female should strive to grow into maturity. To many Christians today are satisfied with a limited knowledge of Godís word they would rather stay on the milk instead of moving up to solid food.† They donít want to grow or learn more they just want to know the most basic principles of Godís word.
However I want you to notice
what Paul tells the church at
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,† 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ Ė
In these verses Paul is saying when this church because united under the fully revealed word of God then they will be complete they will have the knowledge they need so that they cannot be tossed to and fro by every new doctrine that comes along. This is teaching us that if we choose to have limited knowledge of Godís Word and we do not continue to grow by it then we are going to susceptible to ever wind of doctrine which means you will never be able to be brave or be like a† mature man or women you will be like a child who can be easily manipulated and deceived. Notice what Paul also says in,
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.†
Finally Paul says 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
Every Christian should strive to be more mature in the Gods words. The 4th thing we can do as Christians is,
God has always wanted his people to be strong for instances notice what he tells Joshua
Joshua 1:6 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.† 7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.† 8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.† 9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Courage and being strong go hand and hand. It takes courage to follow Gods will. Joshua was instructed not to turn away from Gods commands to the right or to the left. Today it is imperative that we do not turn to the right or the left from God commands. Notice how this is accomplished.† but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
Every Christian needs to be strong in the Lord. We need strong Elders in the church that are willing to stand up against false teaching and that are more afraid of God than man. We need strong deacons who are will to serve boldly in the capacity that has been given to them. We need †strong preachers who are willing to preach the whole council of God because there are far to many preachers today who stay away from those topics which step on people toes and †instead all they† preach are lessons that have very little scripture† in them and finally all the rest of the members of Christ should be strong for lord by being committed to him looking for ways that you can glorify God almighty. If you are going to be strong in the lord you must be hunger for the word of God and persistent in your prayer life. †
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.† 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
If you want to be strong in the lord you must be willing to leave the milk behind and go on to the solid food. The last duty that Paul says we can do as Christians is to
Do all things with love
Love is one of the major themes of the Bible and it is because of Love that †God† gave us his only begotten son and because of this great love God showed for us is the reason why we should try our best to obey his will. Paul teaches us the importance of doing with love in,
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.† 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.† 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Without love in our heart for God or for his† people we are nothing. It doesnít matter how many good deeds you do if you do not do it out of love than itís a big fat waste of time. We are called to be examples of† great love and we should try our best to show others the beautiful love that can only be found with a close relationship with God. Now look at next verses.
John 14:15 " If you love Me, keep My commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
These 2 verses teaches us how we can show our love for God and that is being obedient to Gods will. A person can say that have a great love for God or for others until their blue in their face but until they show that love they are just speaking empty words. †
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
John is saying the exact same thing I just said and that is actions speak louder than words. You see than are plenty of people out there that will say they love you but the actions say different because many in the world are only concerned about themselves and Paul has warned us that such people exist and to exist in,
Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:† 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,† 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,† 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,† 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
People like this who have misdirected love will find themselves separated† from God and separated from Gods people because as Christians we are turn† away from those who have this type of misdirected love.
Perhaps one the hardest task a Christian must learn to do today is to love your enemy.
Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,† 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.† 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Its easy to love your friends and family even non-Christians do that but if you want to be pleasing to God you must also have enough love in your heart to love even your enemy.
Once again lets read those 5 things that Paul said we can do a Christians in
1 Corinthians Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.† 14 Let all that you do be done with love.