Unprofitable Servants are We

“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants…”  Luke 17:10

  • As servants …we are to God, (unprofitable),
  • by His grace and strength we are what we are,
  • by His grace and strength we do what we do;
  • we can give nothing to him but what is his own,
  • and his due;
  • so we can lay him under no obligation to us,
  • nor merit any thing from him;
  • no, not even thanks,
  • much less heaven and eternal life.” taken from John Gill commentary.

“Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?  Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?” (Job 22:2-3).

“We have not, as his servants, profited or benefited God at all” (J.F.B.).

Elihu repeats the same: “If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?  If you are righteous, what do you give to him? Or what does he receive from your hand?” (Job 35:6-7).

What’s the point? Have you ever struggled with your identity? Is it possible that your identity as connected intimately to your performance record? I dare say, many do — even long-term believers. The problem here is that performance-identity is the fluctuating river of natural life. Any attempt to escape becomes a swim upstream, a battle against the roaring flow. Every positive action meets with a thousand objections, every failure is greeted with thousands of accusations.

Job seemed to be part of the inescapable main-stream. He makes this observation:

“Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Job 5:7 and “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came” (Job 3:25-26).

Job was highly concerned with his potential for iniquity. In Job 15:16  he remarks, “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?” “If I sin, then You mark me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity” (Job 10:14).

As expected, in his trial, with his iniquity-consciousness, Job sought to justify himself, but unfortunately pointed again and again to his performance-record in order to accomplish this justification. He exclaims:

“I am pure, without transgression; I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.” But Elihu rebuts “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man”  (Job 33: 8 and 12).

Friends, God is greater than man.

Psalm 103:10 teaches  “Not according to our sins hath He done to us, Nor according to our iniquities Hath He conferred benefits upon us” (YLT version).

God has removed our sins from us, as far as the east is from the west.

Then what of our works, good or bad? Consider the writing of David:

” …I said to the Lord, Thou art my Lord; for thou has no need of my goodness”  (Psalm 16:3 Brenton).

“But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:4 KJV)

Beloved, our goodness is extended to the saints. It goes horizontally. To the lost neighbor.

In summary, God is wanting only this: That I operate in His unshakable kingdom, holding on to it’s resulting grace and graciousness, which enables my worship of Him, agreeably, with awe and reverence. See Hebrews 12:28.

The unshakable kingdom of God’s love proceeds unflappable. Never will it abandon us believers. There is no need for continual earning of it or performing for it. It is accomplished. However, exhortations toward spiritual progress, weather approving or disapproving us , may shake our confidence. Ways and means of treating brothers and sisters in Christ are important. We may fail at them. We also must look to reach out to the unsaved. We pray for fellow men and women.

O but, please repeatedly find your way back into His loving arms. Never let go of the kingdom of God’s grace. Abide there. Your life will please Him. Love ya

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