…“When you obey me you should say We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty…”
Have we done our duty to God and to men? What is duty? It is what is due. Why is it due us? God is the One who set up the world and its Divine order. We were created for His plan. Those created for His plan must find themselves within it. It is who they are created to be and what they were created to do. Those created to do the plan will give an account to the planner for the plan. That is their “duty” to do so and hopefully they will give a good account, rather than one that is lacking willful duty.
Jesus summed up the importance of priority with God, the way of the order of the Created beings inside of the earth realm – This is the priorital order the summary of the “work order”: Love God with everything you are, and then love people that same way. This helps us in realizing we are here to reflect and reciprocate what was given us so freely.
It is a privilege to be alive unto God and alive in a certain timeframe on the earth. There is purpose to fulfill in our time here. The main purpose is to know Him and to make Him known, that others may also know Him as well.
There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! I have seen this time and time again and feel so sad when we see people care more for themselves and self justify when someone reveals to them that whatever it is they are doing is tempting someone else.
Let me give an example. Say within a church youth group there is a girl who is dressing immodestly. Someone who is in the group or sees the group, may say to them, it would be helpful to the rest of the youth, if you would consider dressing more modestly when you come to youth group. (This suggestion will also help people and change your image outside of youth group, but this is where it is suggested). If the person hearing the suggestion is self centered and immature, they may get offended that someone is trying to tell them what to wear, rather than listening to the suggestion, considering the possibility of temptation they may be bringing into the group. Yet this scripture says – if you offend someone, woe to you! You could be causing an inward struggle in someone who is weak. Self justification (which wars against God) may say to you, “Oh brother, they just need to get a life, they are obviously just weak and need to get stronger, maybe if they consider me immodest, my immodest dressing is a test for them to get stronger!”
One person cares only for self, the other cares for the needs of others (to be a helper to get them through temptation and tests and come out stronger) Self justification would be fine if your life is only between you and God, but God clearly said, it was not good for man (mankind) to be alone, so I’ll make a helper compatible to Him. Even single people were sent a Helper by God, that is the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of such ideals from God’s standard, which is His Word, and gives us a different angle to view in situations than we’d have on our own.
So, being our lives are not our own, and we were put here by God to help one another grow, and we were sent by God to see what others don’t see, why would we stay to our own opinions and self justify not considering the weaknesses of others? Self justification somehow excludes and excuses ourselves to do whatever we set a personal standard to do or not do.
When we said we were believers, Christians, the standard of living instantly changed. It changed from being a standard like that of the world, and one that we made up for ourselves, and we yielded to a redefinition of standards according to His word. Yes this standard of conduct is not set in stone, but is rather subject to the weakness and strengths of the people we are around. Where are they strong and how can I further strengthen and encourage them? Where are they weak and how can I help them grow up, rather than tear them down more?
Here’s a great article, to help give a greater perspective even on this specific area (modesty and helping others) http://www.crosswalk.com/11537027/
I believe a way of the increase of faith is to obey. Obedience to the Lord increases trust, reliance and faith. In the first part of this passage alone there are several points to obey.
1 - don’t be a tempter (in any area of sin, you may be strong and can handle it, but how do you know who the enemy sets someone else up to watch you as an example to the flock, and how do you know if they can handle what you can as well as you can or not? Don’t be selfish, be selfless and give any things up with any evil appearances, just because you love God and others enough to do it. Sacrifice shows love!)
2 - If someone is doing this and you see it, tell them. Not in a condemning manner, but because you love them and who they may offend with their strengths. You want them and the person they offend to be able to give a good account before God someday. Today would be a good day to give a good account of loving Him and His people!
3 - forgive people, even if they offend over and over again.
4 - Increase your faith – read and study the word of God and pray in the spirit and obey God by practicing obedience
5 - Serve others even when you are tired and overworked, do it anyway with a great attitude!
These 5 opportunities to obey God today were given in just the first 10 verses!
How often do you lay down your pride and cry out for God to have mercy on you or on others?
How often do you go give an account to a spiritual leader? Showing you are accountable without being asked to be accountable?
When was the last time you didn’t go to a church service or Bible Study group and you called ahead to let the leader know where you were so they wouldn’t have to think about your situation or worry, and you did it joyfully just to show your face an accountable one?
Many of us, as we’d engage in this type of living would be made whole of what is ailing us, seriously, we’d be further covered spiritually inside of intimate relationships.
How many give thanks to God and to leaders for who they are, how they care for and pray for us, and what they do in life, answering the call of God and giving God a good account for us?
An attitude of Gratitude increases the value of everything! 1 of 10 healed lepers gave thanks well. That man was restored in body, soul and spirit! The others had remnants of the past on their bodies to struggle with.
This is kingdom of God living. When it comes, is when we bring it in with obedience and thankfulness and servitude. It can come to your house today, if you bring it in. It’s when Jesus is made alive by a people who love Him by being as He was/is, by changing into His image and likeness, here today.
I could be impatient and angered by every small thing, or I could exemplify Christ and be as He is I wherever I am now. If I chose to be as He is by the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, I have caused His kingdom to live in and through me, so to my family and my workplace the kingdom has come!
The kingdom comes to those who bring it in. It won’t be a day change a circumstance or a people change, it is an inward work, the work of the hearts of men being made into the image of God! It’s a ME change.
Even when Jesus was here the disciples expected Him to overthrow Herod, sit down on the literal throne and rule Israel. He did not do it that way and when He did it the way He did it, the people, the Jews, even the believers and followers of Christ, though He’d missed it, thought it’d come later on. When He told them it was finished, they were perplexed, just like we are today, when a teacher says God already did what He’s gonna do, or I say the kingdom has come to some your mind does not understand. The Kingdom of God is NOT a natural kingdom, it is a spiritual kingdom which must be seen spiritually and lived on the inside first that it can manifest on the outward world I live in. Inside first is kingdom of God priority order. We don’t yet se it, because we don’t yet do it and be it and live it! It will only happen from the inside out!
The kingdom of God comes to me and my house when I allow it, when I yield to it, when I exemplify it, when it is truly important enough to me to live that way instead of the way I choose to today. When I give up my own agenda and pick up His way of being and doing. I’m the only dam holding back the water of the floods of His spirit-nature from being free to reign in me and in my house.
A flood like this, a flood of people who yield to God altogether, a flood of people who decide to think the same and go after the same pursuits, will move other destructive forces out. This kind of flood will rage war on whatever stands in its way. It will also annihilate enemy and fleshly powers, just as Noah’s flood wiped out humanity and created beings, this flood of the work of God’s spirit alive in humans who yield will destroy spiritual resistances.