I think we occasionally fall into the trap of thinking that we are doing God a favor when we do good. So much so that we might even think that God owes us. For example, we might say ‘I’ve been a good person, so I think God will let me into heaven’. This implies that God owes you something for what you’ve done. The good news, and this is good news, is that this is simply incorrect. Let me explain
Imagine that you are a principal in a school and one aspect of your job is determining who will graduate, and then giving them their diploma. Now further imagine that there is a student in the school, who not only passed every test but scores the highest possible grade, an A+. Now, when it comes to commencement, will you be doing the student a favor by giving them a diploma? No, they earned it and you would only be doing what was right. Actually it would be unjust for you not to graduate the student. The student is worthy of the diploma and your recognition.
In a similar way, God is worthy. God has done all the work and He allows us to participate in the honor ceremony. It is only right that we honor Him. Honoring him doesn’t make us worthy, but it allows us to participate in His worthiness!
“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will you say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t you rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me, while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will you thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” - Luke 17:7-10
The above scripture is hard to understand in our culture, partially because we no longer have servants. Thinking again of the principal example, we must understand that God is worthy and by providing him the honor and service he deserves, we are simply handing out a well earned diploma.