The Servant’s Job
INTRODUCTION: Please take your Bible and turn to Luke 14 and follow as I read verses 16-23.
“Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: (17) And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (18) And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. (19) And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. (20) And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (21) So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (22) And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (23) And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (24) For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
There is a concept in the Bible that we call the principle of the division of labor.
There are some things God has commanded us to do.
There are also some things that He has reserved for Himself.
To further clarify this point, notice what the Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 3:5-11 where we read,
“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”
Again verse 9 we read, "For we are labourers together with God." Notice that we labor WITH GOD in His harvest field. Some of us do the planting, others do the watering, but it is God’s job to give the increases. In the end both, the planter and the one watering get the reward.
Now, we cannot do those things that God has reserved for Himself. We cannot save people. We tell them how to be saved. But God does the saving.
Our concern is not with the increase – only God can give that.
Our concern is the planting and watering, the myriad tasks of giving, encouraging, preaching, leading, managing, teaching, counseling, witnessing and loving for which God has given gifts supplied by His Spirit.
Personally, I cannot change anybody's life. However, I can be an instrument in God's hand, and He might use me to change somebody's life. But God is the one who does the work.
There are things I simply cannot do. On the other hand, there are some things that God has told me to do. Let's be clear on this.
There are some things God has reserved for Himself, but there are some things God has commanded us to do.
We cannot do the things God has reserved for Himself. He will not do the things He has commanded us to do.
And God will not do the things that we cannot do until we have done the things we can do!
Before we come back to Luke 14, let’s look at one more thought found in Matthew 9:36-38 where we read,
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (37) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; (38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
This famous prayer request of Jesus, heard often at missions conferences, needs its full context: In verse 35 Jesus had been walking “about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” That's how He knew that the "harvest truly is plentiful"
Jesus walked from place to place, from person to person, from synagogue to synagogue to assess the status of those about whom He cared, those He came to save. He checked on His fields, and what He saw broke His heart – “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
No wonder Jesus said "the harvest truly is plentiful."
Up close, He had seen their tired bodies, their weary faces, and their longing for peace and hope. He healed as many as He could, but there were so many!
For Jesus to reach them all, one at a time, would have been the equivalent of a farmer wading in an ocean-sized wheat field, knife in hand, trying to bring in the entire harvest before it went to ruin. Jesus' disciples would have understood perfectly the point He was making.
The harvest task is huge! And, as John records Jesus saying in John 4:35, “…There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
Folks, God has placed us here. This is our wheat field that is “white already to harvest.” He has placed us in this church where on a Sunday it could be filled with at least 180 people, counting the seats in this auditorium, places in the nursery and the children ages 2-4 using downstairs for junior church.
Do you know that we are only at one third capacity? That means we have 120 people to reach to fill this place! Why? Could it be because your pastor wants a full house? Absolutely not! It’s because the fields in this area are “white already to harvest.” Our Master and Lord told us to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that MY house may be FILLED.
In Luke 14, we see some things that God has made the servant's job. If we find things for the servant to do in this passage, that is exactly what we should be doing, because in the economy of God, He is the Master, and we are the servants.
Now with this thought in mind, I want you to see three things from this passage.
FIRST: It is our job as servants to fill the Master’s house! Here in Luke 14:16, we read "Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many." It came time for the servant to go tell them that dinner was on, and all of them made excuses. So the master said to the servant in verses 21-23,
“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (22) And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (23) And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Purpose number one was to fill the house. Have you got that? Jesus said, “I want you to fill the house.” Jesus is talking about His house, the Master’s house, the Church house.
He didn’t want it a half full; He wanted it FILLED.
He didn’t want it three-quarters full; He wanted it FILLED
He wanted every seat occupied.
He wanted to feed as many as possible.
He wanted the house FILLED.
So it is the servant's job to fill the house. It’s not God’s job to fill this church; it’s our job. It's our job to see that the seats in the church are filled next Sunday. The master told the servant to go out into the streets and lanes.
You go out into the highways and hedges; you compel them to come in. I want the house filled. The master didn't lift one finger to fill the house. He only said, 'You go fill the house!'
Listen to me. It is our job to get people to come to Jesus Christ. You and I can't save them; that's God's job. But you and I are to bring the Gospel to them.
You and I are to bring them to the church house.
You and I are supposed to do what we can to get them to come. That is the servant's job. The purpose of the servant is to fill the house.
SECOND: When we as servants fill the Master’s house, the Lord will feed the hungry! What was the servant going to do when he got them there? Well, Jesus didn't say anything about the servant preparing the meal to feed them.
In verses 17 the servant said, “Come for all things are now ready.” The master provided the meal. The master saw to it that the food was all there. He saw to it that the food was all prepared. I think the point here is that there are hungry hearts all around us.
God made you with a vacuum inside your soul. You can try to fill it with anything you want, but it will never be filled until Jesus comes into your life.
You can try to satisfy it with pills.
You can try to satisfy it with possessions.
You can try to satisfy it with popularity.
You can try to satisfy it with prestige.
You can try to satisfy it with pleasure.
But you will be empty until Jesus comes in.
Let’s get this straight; our Lord’s primary concern isn’t our economic situation, or our political maneuvering between nations. It’s the world’s SPIRITUAL NEEDS.
In Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
In Matthew 18:11 He also said, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
As you bustle through a shopping mall or drive through a community, take a moment to think of the lostness of humanity. Lostness leads to hopelessness. If a lamb isn’t found on the mountainside, it will perish. If souls aren’t rescued from the rubble, hope fades for their survival. The devil delights when lostness becomes hopelessness. Isaiah 14:9 says, “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming:”
That’s why the world is deluged with pills and pleasure. There are desperately hungry people looking for purpose, hope and satisfaction. What they need is Jesus.
If you get them in the house, the Master has a good meal prepared for them.
He has what they need!
He will satisfy their soul.
He will forgive their sins and make them His children.
He will give them everlasting life.
He will feed the hungry, if we fill the house.
We are supposed to fill the house. The Master will feed their hungry souls.
THIRD: We as servants are to follow the Master’s plan: The-Master said, "Here's what I want you to do if they won't come,
“…Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (22) And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (23) And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Number 1: The plan Is inclusive. He said, "I don't care who you get-but get somebody to fill up the house. If you have to get a poor person, get a poor person. If you have to get a crippled person, then get a crippled person."
Now, do you see a pattern here? I think the pattern is really interesting. What kind of people, socially or economically, would you say were the first to be invited to the dinner – rich or poor? Of course, they were rich!
The first one had bought five yoke of oxen, and he had to go prove them. That's ten of them! That's a lot. Most people in Bible times were fortunate if they had one ox with which to plow their field. Very few people had ten. This man had enough money to go out and buy ten at one time. He was rich!
The next one had purchased some ground. Many could not even own any ground. A lot of people had a very small parcel of land that had been handed down from generation to generation, and that was all they had. This one had money to buy land.
First, the servant invited well-to-do people. Surely we ought to invite rich people. We ought to invite the so-called upper class. We ought to witness to everybody that we possibly can. I don't think we ought to be intimidated by anybody's wealth or social position. Remember Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." Everyone needs to hear the Gospel. But here is the Master’s plan:
If you try to reach a rich one, and, he doesn't come, go get a poor one.
If you try to get a healthy one, and he doesn't come, go get one who might be handicapped.
If you try to get a smart person who won't come, go get someone who is mentally challenged.
If you try for a sighted person who doesn't come, go get a blind person.
If you try to reach a person who is working and won't come, go get a person who is retired or on welfare.
But get somebody; the house must be filled! We want people to fill the Church house, so they can hear the Gospel and have their souls fed. It is definitely an inclusive plan.
Number 2: The plan Is to be implemented immediately. He said, "I want you to go out quickly – right now!"
Many will say, "When I retire, I'll have more time to go soul winning." But when I talk with those who have retired, they say, "I have less time now than I did when I was working." I haven't figured that out yet, but it appears to be true!
God doesn't say to wait until the weather is nice.
Don't wait until your schedule has improved.
Don't wait until the overtime is done.
Don't wait until you're older.
Don't wait until the children are grown.
Don't wait until you're a certain age.
God wants you to go out now; it's an immediate plan. Go out quickly!
There are people who are open to the Gospel today whose hearts might be hardened tomorrow.
There are people who are alive today that might be dead tomorrow.
Go quickly! It's an immediate plan.
Number 3: The plan Is an intense plan. The Master said, "And compel them to come in." Sometimes, people say to themselves, “I can give a tract. If they are not interested, that's not my problem, I’ve done my part.”
The Master said. "You must compel them! This is urgent! This is important!" Compare your response to speaking to someone who is in a house that is on fire!
You see them comfortably watching TV. Do you say, "I don't mean to bother you, but there's a little bit of a problem here. But, if you don't want to hear about it, I can leave."
No! You say, "Hey, Man! Get out of the house! Your house is on fire! You're going to die!" You must compel them to get out. You must get excited and serious about it.
Suppose I said, "I love my church, and I want my church to have a great day. I'd like you all to have a great day next Sunday too. I'd like to have 180 in attendance next Sunday. That might be a little hard, but here's what I will do. Everybody who brings a visitor, someone who does not normally come, I will give him $100 cash."
Could you get a visitor to attend for $100? I will go one step farther. I will give you $100 for every visitor you bring – five visitors, $500; ten visitors, $1,000. Do you suppose you could get more than one visitor to come?
Would it be a piece of cake to do that? As a matter of fact, some of you are probably already thinking, “Oh boy, I could pay off this bill or that bill and maybe even take the visitors out to lunch in order to get them to come.”
How many thought of that? Do you know why? Because it would be important to you, so you wouldn't go to somebody and casually ask, "Hey, are you doing anything Sunday? If you're not doing anything, we'd like to invite you to church."
Instead, you would excitedly say something like this. "You've got to come to church with us! This is probably the most important Sunday in your life and mine! I'll even help you paint your house first. I'll get somebody to take care of the kids; or better yet, just bring the kids with you! Please! Promise me you'll come!"
Remember, if he's worth $100 to you, you'd really be intensified and insistent.
Well, I'd like to suggest that the eternal soul of a man, woman, boy or girl is worth more than $100! I would also like to suggest that what we. are doing is not just building churches and organizing Sunday schools, not just trying to be bigger than someplace else.
What we are doing is a matter of life and death!
What we are doing is salvation or damnation!
What we are doing is Heaven or Hell!
What we are doing is dealing with the eternal souls of people who will live forever in bliss and joy in Heaven or in 'pain and anguish in Hell!
The difference is Jesus Christ, and it's our job as servants to bring people to the Master. It's an intense plan to compel them to come to Jesus.
Jesus wants us to invite lots of people we will see today, tomorrow and the next day. It's our job to tell them to come to the supper! It's our job to fill the house. If we will do our part as servants, then the Master will spiritually feed the hungry.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “The Danger of Hearing and not Doing!” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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