When believers have received the gift of a living faith and as a result are able to perform glorious things in His service, there is great danger that they may become self-satisfied and may think themselves entitled to special marks of honor. Such an attitude, however, is quite wrong and sinful. In ordinary life it is unthinkable that, after a servant has completed his daily task, his master will invite him to sit by his side at table and will attend upon him and praise him as though he deserved special rewards and honors for the mere execution of his duties. How much less has a man the right to demand, even if he has done everything he ought to do (and no one is capable of this), that he should be honored and rewarded by God in a special manner as if he were such a meritorious and indespensable person in His service!

For this reason also, when believers have been enabled to carry out their charges loyally, they must continue to be humble under the profound realization that all their love, strength, time, and faithful service rightly belong to the Lord and that they may lay no claim to honor or reward. What God does indeed give in the way of “rewards” He gives purely out of grace and not because man could ever deserve it. Where it is His command that we must be so humble, even if we have done everything we ought to have done, how much more necessary is it for us (who have all left much undone and have done many things wrongly) to live in true meekness—grateful and happy on account of the privilege of being allowed to serve Him.

—Norval Geldenhuys referring to Luke 17:7-10 in The Gospel of Luke, pages 432-33.

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