Daily Devotions
 

For the next several weeks, as we observe the “Stewardship Season”, our daily devotions will be written by members of Good Shepherd.  I (Pastor Heidi) asked these folks to reflect on how the ministry of Good Shepherd impacts their life, whether through relationships they have, worship experiences or other meaningful ways our corporate life touches them.  As you read their powerful testimonies let your mind also explore how Good Shepherd’s ministry has touched YOUR life in meaningful ways.  How has your faith be deepened because of your church home?

Just a reminder that May 23rd is Stewardship Sunday and we are inviting you to return your Estimate of Giving card on that day when you come to worship.  You can also mail your form in, or fill it out on line.  Our goal as a congregation is to increase our giving by $1000 per week in the year ahead. Thank you.  Now enjoy today’s devotion.

Pastor Heidi Johns

 

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

WORTHLESS ASPIRATIONS

Luke 17.7-10

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from ploughing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’ “

So far this week, we wrestled with God like Jacob, found faith through doubt like Thomas, joined Paul in proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection to have changed everything, and learned from Luke that generosity is a way resurrection people keep their hearts in the right place. Today I am focusing on one of my funeral texts, which seems an appropriate place to end my week of meditations, don’t you think?

I share it with you not to be maudlin or morose but rather to impart to you an aspiration of mine that I hope is also an aspiration of yours. And that is: to be worthless!

If I am honest, I must confess to being a prideful person. I revel in the spotlight, delight in acclamation, love being loved. Should I do some little chore around the house or accomplish an even small task to help a neighbor and not receive at least a tiny accolade for my services rendered, I will sulk and gripe about how unappreciated I am. Just ask my wife … or kids … or former staff members!

Does any of this describe you? If so, Jesus is talking to you in this text even as he is talking to me.

It seems to me that “duty” has become a bit of a four-letter word in our society (pun intended). I admit the concept of duty can be used to manipulate or coerce people into doing things they ought not do. It’s been used to justify wars and to intimidate people into enduring abuses no one should suffer. Yet, duty as a sense of responsibility still has value, perhaps for people of faith more than anyone else. 

God loves us unconditionally and completely by entering into our life and death through Jesus. We are promised new, resurrected life in the future and, by the power of Christ’s Spirit working in us, are given new life in the here and now. How do we respond to that? We do our duty, which is nothing more than to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s just what resurrection people do!

Apple trees produce apples and grape vines produce grapes. In the same way, Christians live and love like Jesus. We do our duty not in order to get something in return – some accolade or thank you. It’s simply what we do. And we do it because we belong to Christ already. In that regard, doing our duty is worthless. It gets us nothing because, in Christ, we already have everything!

My prayer is that, by God’s grace, I will let loose of my pride and have “worthless aspirations.” May it be your prayer, too. And perhaps your funeral text, as well?

It’s been good sharing with you this week. Grace and peace!

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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john soller

Thanks Larry. It's been good to have this visit with you. You continue to have the right words at the right time.

Blessings.

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Past Devotionals Links

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner
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