How much pressure do you believe God is placing upon you to serve? An interesting statement in light of John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Of course, the answer that should flow from your lips should be none, I serve as the verse states, out of love, and love is never pressured but given freely without thought to oneself. Yet how much of that service is done with great desire and anticipation, and how much out of a conscience that believes it is the right thing, the proper and correct thing to do, out of an obligation.
If you are hired by a company and on your first day of work you call in and say you are too tired that morning, and that you will be there in a couple hours, how well do you believe that will go over? What if you show up on time, do everything that you were hired to do, and then returned week after week, year after year and do only that which has been commanded of you to do? They are the same thing, yet few can see this. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
If you do not show up, you are unprofitable, if you only do that for which you have been hired to do, you are just as unprofitable.
I contend that many who claim to serve the Almighty and perform only those tasks that we have been commanded to do are not doing so out of love, and I believe the Scriptures support this. Every employer wants those whom he has hired to do more than what is required of them, he wants that so-called 110 percent. He has put his life into developing and growing that company, and he wants you to do the same, as long as you are employed by him, your life, at least when you are there, is to be devoted to the continuance and growth of that company. He can hire anyone to fill a position, anyone to fill a chair and perform the repetitive tasks required, but to find someone who desires above all else the expansion of the company simply for that one end is rare indeed.
Of course, we know as born-again believers who have been called to spend the entirety of our lives in the pursuit of glorifying God that such a life devoted to any such worldly pursuit would be a wasted life. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10) Fodder for the fire, if you will.
How much less a life that says it serves Jesus Christ, yet only performs those tasks that are required, and not only those things, but only because of the commandments, not out of a love for Him. Here is the birth of religious organizations, here is the birth of works for the sake of work. You might as well have called in sick.
“If ye love me” is the commandment, not to show that you love me, not to prove to yourself or to others, a love that truly does not exist, but is only feigned, but because of an undying love that never questions the motives of the One who has called us to Himself. You must be able to answer this question for yourself, I cannot answer it for you, but it will show you much about how you think about what has been written in this short letter to you.
The verses are easy to locate to give the “appropriate response,” but they will not answer for you personally. Did the Lord Jesus Christ say in the garden that evening “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” (Luke 22:42) because He was commanded to go to the cross, or because of His love for the Father? There is much more in this life than just showing up to work and performing the tasks that have been set before you, and there is so much more to following and obeying the Lord than just performing the commandments set before us.