Today’s Reading: Luke 16:19-17:10
Key Verse: Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? Luke 17:9
Even if you’ve never served in the military, you’ve probably heard of basic training. According to the U.S. Army recruiting Web site, “Basic Training lasts only nine weeks, but you’ll remember those nine weeks for the rest of your life. You’ll spend the best nine weeks of your life learning what it means to be a soldier in the U.S. Army. And when it’s over, you’ll discover some amazing things. Your mind will be sharper, your body will be lean and hard, and you’ll be more confident than you’ve ever been before.” Sounds like an army recruiter wrote that!
A friend of mine who served in the army has some interesting stories about basic training. He once told me about a surprise inspection of their barracks. If they passed inspection, they would get a weekend pass, but if they didn’t, they would have to stay and clean the barracks all weekend. My friend and 37 others passed inspection–but two didn’t. Those who passed were ready to celebrate until they found out the two’s failures meant everyone failed and therefore everyone would be spending the weekend cleaning. You can imagine how everybody felt toward those two soldiers. Now the drill sergeant did not do this to be cruel but rather to teach them that they were a unit and not just individuals.
The same is true in the Christian life. It is impossible to be a lone ranger Christian. We are responsible for one another. In Luke 17, Jesus shares basic training for disciples. God’s purpose for your life is that you become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. In the previous chapters, He was speaking in the presence of his enemies, those religious leaders who wanted to accuse Him. In these verses, He is speaking to His disciples. If you are a follower of Jesus, these words are for you. In these ten verses, Jesus gives four important keys to becoming a stronger disciple.
- Don’t cause others to sin
- Maintain good relationships by forgiving one another
- Always use faith
- Do your duty
When a good soldier does the job he has been trained to do and ordered to do, he doesn’t expect to get a medal. He does his job because there’s a job to do. Jesus said a servant of the Lord shouldn’t expect to receive accolades or special recognition. We obey because it’s our job. If you are serving the Lord for the reward or recognition you may receive, you have the wrong motive.