I was on a lunch break from a training class when I pulled into the large community park. I found a shady spot on a park bench that was near the edge of the pond. I dipped into my bag of Carl’s Jr., and noticed the rustling of the paper aroused the attention of the ducks swimming nearby. I silently vowed to save them some fries as I took in my peaceful surroundings and indulged my cravings for a sloppy burger. It wasn’t long before I had an audience. Several of my feathered friends found their way to my bench eager to collect on the promise I thought I had made in my head. Still craving the fried potatoes, grease, and salt for myself, I finally caved and began to tear tiny morsels for my new best friends. Word spread and ducks from a hundred yards away or more came racing across the pond. With all their effort to get to me I thought I should at least meet them at the water’s edge. The ducks that had gathered at my feet followed me and eagerly jumped back into the water not taking their eyes of my bag with the smiling face. Within minutes there were more ducks than I could count and not nearly enough fries to go around. I made the pieces smaller. I threw them out farther to those not strong enough or brave enough to come in close to shore. Eventually the fries ran out. I tried to show them the empty bag but they still quacked for more.
It wasn’t long before someone else came along on the other side of the pond and the feeding frenzy began all over again. Ducks on my side of the pond made their way over hopeful there would be something for them when they got there. As I watched this pattern happen a few more times before my lunch break was over I have to say I got a little choked up.
Now, I like animals as much as the next person but it wasn’t the ducks that brought tears to my eyes. It was something that I sensed the Lord trying to tell me. The pond was the world and the ducks are those who don’t know Him. They are hungry for Him and for His love and we as believers are the only ones with the food that can feed them. But where are we? Are we going to the water’s edge? Or are we indulging on His love for ourselves as we watch them desperately search for what we’ve got? We have an endless supply of His love. His love is in us and He is for us, but they… they are so desperate they’ll go ANYWHERE there is hope for the tiniest morsel. Unfortunately they more often go to places that provide them no nutrition, false hope, and a counterfeit love because we’re not there for them.
Jesus told Peter when He commissioned him, “Feed my sheep.” He also told all believers in Matthew 24:45-51 that “it will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” Doing what you may ask? …feeding his fellow servants. Feeding others His love is the reason we are here. It is what we should be doing when our Master returns.
In that same passage in Matthew, Jesus compares the faithful servant to one who says, “Well, my master has been gone for a long time. Who knows when he’s coming back!” Instead of feeding his fellow servants he beats them and then what does he do? He indulges himself with all the food and drink he wants. Jesus says that this servant’s fate is the same fate for all hypocrites… hell.
This passage would appear at face value to say that it is the feeding others the love of God that is our ticket to heaven. But that’s not what Jesus is saying here. Not at all! Believing in Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection is the only way we get to heaven. It is by His grace alone that we receive that gift. Feeding others His love is merely the outward sign of that gift that we have received.
The faithful servant understands the gift they have been given. They know the source of that gift is everlasting… they will never run out. They know that they are the means by which others can have the same gift, so they share it! On the other hand, the wicked servant dethroned his master and put himself in authority. He was no longer a servant at all. He appointed himself as master of his own life not only rejecting the gift but rejecting the One who gave him that gift. He hoarded what he thought was his and mistreated anyone who wanted or needed even the tiniest piece of it.
It is not our works that save us… and thank God for that. None of our works would ever be good enough. But we do have the chance to be “fellow workers” with the God, to be used by God in this world to touch them with His love! What an awesome privilege for those who have been saved by this amazing love, to share it with others. Go to the water’s edge! Be in the pond but not of it. B DA GLV…FEED THE DUCKS!
Lord, help us to always be faithful servants, never hoarding the gifts you have given us for ourselves. May we realize the immensity of your love and realize that there will always be enough love for us and for all those You have for us to share it with. Thank you for your love and for the grace that saves us. In Jesus’ most precious name, amen.