“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:13-16 (NIV)
Why Serve Me?
Why do you want to serve me? That’s a good question. Why do you think so? It causes me to examine my motives. I ask myself a lot of follow up questions to your question. Like what? Do I serve you because of how I might be rewarded someday in the future? Do I serve you because of some sort of praise and recognition I might receive from others? Do I serve you because I’m trying to earn your approval, acceptance, and love? Do I serve you because I don’t have a choice? What sort of answers are you coming up with? I’m coming up with a no answer to all of my follow up questions. Why is that? They are all very poor motives for serving you. How so? Serving you for possible rewards seems pretty grubby to me. I’m not your hired hand. I don’t have on and off duty hours. I haven’t given you my life from nine to five. You haven’t? No, I’ve given it to you 24/7. That’s good! You will never put compensation in my hand only to have me look around at others and say, “that’s it”. I’m glad to hear that.
Serving you to seek some kind of praise and recognition from others seems like a very feeble reason to serve you. Why is that? Praise from others would never be enough. Living for it would only reveal an emptiness in my heart that only you can fill. Besides, people usually offer more ridicule than praise for serving you. If this were my motive I would never be satisfied. No, you wouldn’t.
Serving you out of a desire to earn your approval, acceptance and love would be an impossible effort. Why is that? All the good I could do would never erase the bad that I have done. I can’t make myself perfect or righteous in your eyes. No you cannot. But, you’ve already made me perfect and righteous in your eyes. How did I do that? You sent your son into this world to save me. He paid for my sins. I’ve been forgiven and cleansed of all my unrighteousness. He has done for me what I never could have done for myself. Yes, He did and yes, I have. So, now you already approve, accept and love me. Yes, I do.
Do I serve you because I don’t have a choice? Of all the questions that I’ve asked myself, this one seemed to have the easiest answer of, “certainly not”. But that isn’t your answer, is it? No, it’s not. When I consider all that you have done for me, and how you have loved and accepted me, my heart responds back to you with love. I love you because you first loved me. I give myself to you because you gave yourself to me. This is not some sort of calculated transaction. No, my heart compels me to serve you because I love you. My heart gives me no choice. You have showered me with your love and acceptance and my heart is now on fire with love for you. For this I am so grateful and thankful. You have already paid me in full. I need or want nothing more. That’s why I want to serve you. That is very good.
Lord, thank you calling me away from a life of living for myself. You forgave, cleansed, and saved me. You gave my life new meaning, purpose and direction. Thank you for giving me a new assignment and work to do serving you. Amen
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Parables – Matthew 20-13-16 – Workers In The Vineyard – 4 Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Page Study Guide
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