Luke 12:35-48 (NIV) 35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
On verses 35-48: Here Jesus shares a parable (or what some may consider to be two parables) about the kind of servant that pleases God. How do we apply these parables from Jesus to our lives? Here are four ways we can do so:
1. See yourself as a servant of God. Until Jesus comes again you want to have the mindset that “God does not exist to serve me. I exist to serve God.” No matter what your current occupation is or what season of life you may be in, think of yourself as serving God when you carry out your responsibilities. As the apostle Paul would say, carry out your daily responsibilities “as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23). See yourself as a trustee of the time, the talents, and the resources that God has entrusted to you, knowing that one day you will be accountable to God for what you did with what He gave you (v48).
2. Give your best when you work. Whether you’re serving at church, or serving at home, or serving at school or work, be known as someone who gives their best. Don’t be a mediocre servant who gives half-hearted, half-baked service. Others and God can smell a mediocre effort from far and away whether or not they call you on it. As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart”.
3. Wait on God even as you work. As you’re going about the day, from time to time talk to God. Try saying short simple phrases like “God thank You”, “God I need You” or “Be glorified, God”, or whatever else you want to say to God as you go through the day. When we talk to God this way, it can remind us of whom we are living for. It can also cause our hearts to long for more of God, waiting for Him expectantly and becoming more aware of His presence and our need for Him.
4. Persevere to the end. In verse 38 Jesus describes servants who keep waiting for their master “even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night”. There Jesus is painting the picture of servants who persevere and keep doing the right thing over the long haul.
If you keep serving God in the ways described above not just once in a while but consistently, not getting lazy or distracted, you will gain the respect of people, but even more God will take notice and reward you. As verse 37 says, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”
Lord Jesus, I declare that You do not exist to serve me, but I exist to serve You. I pray that You would always find me ready and willing to serve You, and that I would please You with the way I work. Please give me strength to persevere till the end. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!