Thankless Service
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 111 · 2 months ago

Thankless Service

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Have you ever done so much for someone or something and it went unrecognized? No thank you. No acknowledgement. No reward.  

We would love for you to join a ministry team and serve one another in and through the church!

But have you ever done something for somebody and got no recognition for it? You know, there was no reward, there was no acknowledgement, there was no thank you anybody. Yeah, and you're like that's my experience at Church all the time. I'm doing all this stuff and you know, and for some of you that's like, uh, it gets you like it's a it's a bad thing in all the you know, bad ways. It's discourages you, it's it causes you to be disillusioned with what you're doing and and you just are in this bad place. Does anyone even care? Does if anyone, even recognize? But then Um, like when it comes to church stuff, in that whole way, like I hope that our church is creating a environment of gratitude, that we are thankful for what you all what we all do, because we're serving the Lord and God is using us in incredible ways and we want to celebrate that and we want to create ministry team structures that support you and help you and lead you and we want to continue to do a better job with that, because I think serving in a church context could be and maybe should be, one of the best things that you do in your life. And I want to help develop that and create that experience for you. And so sometimes we serve and we give and there's no thank you, but other times, Um, there is, but anyway right. Either way, we want to serve, not necessarily for the thank you. Like sometimes we give at Church and you don't get a thank you and it's that's okay. Or sometimes you're at work and you're serving your boss right, you're doing whatever that person says and you're you're showing up early and you're leaving late and you're doing all this stuff and you're like, do they even care about me? Do they even know that I'm here? Or maybe you're new to...

...your job and you're just like dived in with both your feet and you're like this is I'm gonna do everything I could possibly do for this and and you're doing all that you can and you're like do they even care? They don't, they don't seem to. They've never said thank you. Or you've had that experience in your life where you've showing up in someone's world. You know, you were busy, you had a family thing, you were doing all this stuff, you had all these plans and then you got that phone call right, you know that phone call. I need your help. Can you come and help me? And you're like, are you serious? Today? Today? I you know what I have to do today. Okay, and you go right and you spend time with them. You give up everything to be with them. You sacrifice your time with your family to be with them. You and buy them stuff and you invest and you spend all this time and then it's time for you to go and you're like, okay, we'll see you later, and they're like, okay, they don't care. It doesn't seem like they appreciate it. They don't really realize what you gave up to be there with them. They're like okay, but for some crazy reason it's okay, like you are serving, you are giving and you don't really get anything in return, but it's okay. And if you feel that way, you are strange. You are very, very strange in all the right ways. Like that is incredible and Jesus tells us about that. So, if you have your Bible, turn with me to luke chapter seventeen. Luke chapter seventeen is a teaching of Jesus about this that shed some light on this particular thing. Jesus said this. He said there will be, there will...

...always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin. So watch yourselves. This is Jesus. He says this. If another believer sins, rebuke that person. Then if there's repentance, forgive. And even if a person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. And the Apostle said to the Lord, show us how to increase our faith, and the Lord answered, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this small berry tree, may you be uprooted and thrown into the sea, and it would obey you. When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say come in and eat with me. No, he says prepare my meal, put on your Apron and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later. And Does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me, you should say we are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty. Incredible teaching of Jesus and he's focusing on this idea of leading the little ones and leading them in the right way, in the right direction, and not leading them astray. Now, who are the little ones? In the parallel passage in Matthew, it could be children. The word children is used there, but here it's it's not but, but it's certainly. I think children are a big part of this and we want to care for our children well in our life. We want to lead them well and we don't want to lead them astray. And you know, you've probably had someone as you were growing up, an adult,...

...that spent time with you, who made time with you and you and you knew that they were busy, you know they had their job, they had their family, but they would always ask about you. They would maybe pull you aside and say, how how do things? How are things going? Maybe it was a coach or a neighbor, someone that invested in you, and those people meant the world to you and you, as an adult, now get to have the opportunity to do that to the little ones. Growing up. You get to help lead them in the right direction, because every child needs an adult in their life who isn't their parents, that loves them and that's caring for them and that's leading them to Jesus. And so I hope that it connect this church, that we have an incredible ministry to our children, where there is a consistent adult in the lives of our children that are saying the same things that our parents are saying, that are praying with parents for these children. And we want to create a ministry with leaders that is partnering with our parents to help our parents to win at their responsibilities of being a parent. And that's an important part of it. And when we come to an environment with where there's a children's ministry, we wanted to be fine, we wanted to be engaging, we wanted to be relational so that our kids can see what faith in Jesus looks like in the someone's real life and grow up and seeing it. This is the change that it makes in somebody's life, and so being a part of our kids ministry is an incredible place to serve and to get involved in a church that connect US church, and so we just so thankful for those who are doing that. I think it's such an important thing and I think Jesus would agree. These little ones leading them in the right way. And and it might not just be...

...children, it might be those who are young in their faith, are new to their faith, and we want to engage them well and we don't want to cause them to sin, we don't want to cause them to stumble. That's what Jesus is saying in these verses. He gives a specific direction. He says we don't want to do it, but it might happen against us right people might cause us to sin, they might cause us to do something that we don't want to do, we might cause us to go in a bad direction. So what are we supposed to do? We are to rebuke them. We should tell them, don't just let it slide, but tell them, hey, this is wrong. You need like you need to be aware that this led me in the wrong direction. And then if there is repentance, repentance is a change of heart, a change of mind, a change and going the other direction. Then we are to forgive and if we all live this way, this simple direction of Jesus, life would be so great, but it's not that easy. You know what we should we should if somebody sins against us, we should tell them. Then when they repent, we say we express our forgiveness to them. And then Jesus goes on and says, even if they do that seven times a day, that's a lot. Right, seven times a day for giving somebody for doing something hurtful to you. Are you serious, Jesus? That's crazy. and Jesus is like well, it's like, I know, that's what that's what I want you to do. Right. And the disciples are like, I need more faith for this right. What you're telling me is ridiculous, Jesus. I need more faith and I love Jesus Answer. He's saying you don't need more faith, because how do you measure faith anyway? You only need a little bit of faith in the right object of your faith. The right object of your faith is what makes all the difference. You could have a much faith in the entire world and you get in like a five, you know, clunker car that hasn't passed a inspection in ten years and believe with all your...

...heart that is gonna take you across the country. It's not. But if you get in a brand new car and you just got a little bit of faith. I hope that this will get me there. It most likely will. Right, it's the object of the faith that matters. And when you put your faith in Jesus, who can do all things, he can help you do things that you don't even think you could do, like forgive somebody seven times a day. Dad's crazy, but Jesus helps us. And so like when we do something amazing like that, right, it's like, look at me, look how amazing I am. I just forgave someone seven times today. What did you do today? You know, like, look how incredible I am. Jesus says, just be careful before you do that, because I'm the master and you're the servant, and that's what servants do. You serve. You want to get a thank you from me. No, you're the servant. You serve. That's what you do, that's who you are and that's how specific are serving other people. Is Our serving Jesus is. It's in our daily, everyday life. Like the Apostle Paul gives us some direction here in Colossians chapter three, and he's like, is there any wives here today? You know, am I just talking to any wives? Here's what it looks like to serve the Lord and to serve other people. Submit to your husband's husbands. Are you there any husbands here today? Okay, here's what it looks like for you. Love your wife and never treat them harshly. There any children here today? Right, obey your parents. This is this is what it looks like, and we don't have slaves in our culture and context right here, but in the first century pretty much everyone that worked for somebody else was a slave, and so it's like an employee relationship. Does anyone have a job? Right, this is what you're to...

...do. You're to obey your boss and everything that you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they're watching. You serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of them. Right. No, they're gonna they're gonna fire you if you don't obey you. No, that's not what the Paul says. He says because of your reverent fear of who the Lord and you work willingly at whatever you do at your job. Tomorrow, when you go there, you work willingly at whatever it is that you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people, even though it's a holiday tomorrow. I get it. It's not as bad as a chick fil a illustration on a Sunday because they're closed on Sundays. But yes, when you go to work, you're working for the Lord rather than the people, and remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the master you are serving as Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done, for God has no favorites. That's how specific are serving one another. Is when we serve the Lord. It is these aty bitty details. It's it's husbands and wives and their daily interaction. It's Alicia and I going to bed the other night and we forgot to turn the light off and I'm like super tired and she's super tired and I'm like, can you turn the light off? She's like I don't really want to. I'm like I don't really want to either, but I'm like I gotta get up and turn the light off because I'm loving my wife like. I have to do that. I can't treat her harshly right I can't kick her out of bed or something. I'm gonna love her. It's these every hey little things that make an incredible difference...

...as you're serving one another, as you're serving the Lord. and Jesus gives us one more specific teaching about this, and that we've heard a lot this morning, but I want to share with you in Matthew, chapter six, the sermon on the mount that Jesus is teaching over and over again, and he says watch out, don't do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your father in heaven. And when you give to someone in need, don't do it as the hypocrites do, blowing trumpets in the synagogue and streets to call attention to their acts of charity. I tell you the truth that they have received all the reward they will ever get. The reward if you find it in the way that people respond, that is your reward. And so when you post that picture on social media and you make that video and you you your reward is the number of likes that it gets or the number of comments that it gets, with the number of shares that it gets, then that is your reward. And so if you get a lot of likes, if you get a lot of comments, if you get a lot of shares, you're like this is a good day, and if you don't, well, then your day's messed up. And maybe you haven't done it that way, but you've done it with somebody in your life, right. You've showed up at their house, you served them, you've loved them, you cared for them, and you're like, I hope they say thank you, I hope they recognize what I did for them. I hope they realize it, and when they do, it's a good day. Right, you're like, this is awesome, I feel good, and when they don't, you feel terrible because your reward is connected with their attention. But you have to be crazy to let your own self be controlled by somebody else's actions, like you have to be crazy in order to your emotions to be controlled by the way somebody else responded. That is...

...a crazy way to live your life. It is crazy. The better way is what Jesus tells us is that when you give to someone in the don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your father, who sees everything, will reward you. God's reward is so much better than a person's reward, and so if you're doing things for the purpose of pleasing people and people are pleased by you, that's a good day. But if you're doing it for the purpose of pleasing people and they're not pleased by you, that's a bad day and that is a terrible way to live your life. If you're doing it for the Lord, he will reward you justly and perfectly every time. He never misses anything that you do, whether you're the only one that ever sees it, he will reward you and it will be exactly what you need, exactly what you deserve, every single time. So we live so that others would see Jesus in us, the Lord in us, and not for the purpose of pleasing people. So, whether anyone says thank you or not, we keep doing it because that is who we are, that is our identity. We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty. Let's pray, Lord Jesus, we thank you that we can serve you, that you have called us to serve you, by the way that we love one another and care for one another and live to help one another and lead people to a growing relationship with Jesus. So I pray that as we serve people, that we would do it for you, Jesus, that we wouldn't be looking for the thank you, that we wouldn't be expecting the reward, that we wouldn't be walking around...

...looking at how great we are because of how we serve, but that as we serve, people would see Jesus, that as we serve, people would realize that we are serving God, that there is something different about this person. And Lord, we just thank you that you do reward us for what we do. So help us to serve you in every little thing, in Jesus name. Amen.

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