What We Deserve

From time to time in my journey of faith I get confused. For one reason or another I begin to believe that God owes me something. Our faith is probably never weaker then when we believe that we deserve to have God do anything for us.

In Luke 7:1-10 a very intriguing interaction takes place. A Roman centurion has a servant who is sick and because he cares greatly about this servant, he sends some Jewish elders to Jesus asking him to come and heal the sick servant. The elders said to Jesus, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” (Luke7:5) Jesus heads with the elders to the centurion’s home when some friends sent by the him meet up with them. ┬áThese friends bring a new request from the centurion that portray a very different heart attitude, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Luke 7:6-7)

Do you find it interesting that it was the religious crowd who thought that Jesus owed it to the centurion to heal his servant and yet the gentile soldier was starkly aware that he did not deserve anything from the Lord.

We must be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that God owes us something because we know Him or serve Him. God doesn’t owe us anything. We don’t deserve to have Jesus act on our behalf.

God has authority over all things. At just a word Jesus can intervene in our situation in a miraculous way. But we have to know that he doesn’t have to. In the midst of our realization that we are unworthy to have Jesus come and do anything for us, the testimony of who He is drives us to Him to request His aid. Not because He owes it to us, but because we know him to be gracious, compassionate and abounding in love. His perfect love drives fear out of our hearts and enables us to ask Him for anything.

We can also ask God to move and act on behalf of another. Our faith can be the catalyst to God moving in the life of someone we care about, but we must ask for Jesus to come and help us, knowing that we are unworthy but He is not unwilling.

Jesus healed the centurion’s servant, not because the centurion deserved to have Jesus heal him, but because Jesus desired to do it. Jesus desires to move and act in our lives and in the lives of those around us in accordance with His will and purposes. He gets to decide how and when that happens. We get to join Him in His work by humbly asking for His help.

Lord, you don’t owe us anything. All we receive from your hand is grace upon grace already given. Thank you that you delight to help us. Please grant us faith to move into action on behalf of those around us.


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