Prayer for the day
In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
Scripture for the day
“My Father will honour the one who serves me.”
Jesus’ words to his disciples are exciting words. Words that tell of a final reward for our work in this world, that promise better things for those who serve. Yet he doesn’t speak about the nature of the honour. Nor does he necessarily delineate what kind of service this is.
Jesus does say that service to God will require everything. God will require the loss of our lives in order to be honoured by the Father through service.
This teaching comes immediately after honour has been bestowed by the crowd for raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus contrasts the honour of the crowd, which is fleeting, with honour from the Father, which does not come because of one great act, but because of a regular, life-long death to self that fulfills the demand of God for the fullness of our lives.
We see the same kind of thing happening in the First Testament with the stories of two kings of Judah who seek the word of God and his favour for their protection. God favours Judah as they seek him not because of their worthiness but because of the humility they display by refusing to defend themselves but instead trusting in their God to defend them. Asa takes this self-sacrifice further and rids the country of idolatry as much as possible. He follows the dictates and laws of God, and is honoured and rewarded by “rest”…the land rests from war because of the righteousness of the king and because of his reliance on God for everything.
What a wonderful connection: reliance upon God and service for God will end in honour. What the honour looks like may not be obvious, but it is promised by the God who will deliver.