January 2, 2017: Slaves to Jesus

Morning: Genesis 1-3; Romans 1:1-7; Evening: Psalms 1-2

Slavery. What kinds of thoughts come to mind as you listen to the sound of this word traversing through the tunnels of your inner thinking and conscience? Perhaps the imagery of one beaten with whips? Maybe iron shackles on one’s hands with chains pulling naked and tired bodies? When you think about slavery you probably think about something dark, gloomy, sad, forced, and unfair. You would probably not be given to thoughts about something voluntary, cheerful, happy, and honorable. Yet, as you ponder the words of the apostle Paul, “a bondservant of Jesus Christ,” or a “slave,” as one version translates it, you will be hard pressed to describe the man Paul as one who was sad, unhappy, and involuntarily bound to the service of Christ Jesus.

One simple reason for this is that Christ Jesus’ mission and purpose is different from that of other masters and slave owners. Jesus Himself pointed this out when he contrasted Himself with the evil master, known in Scripture as the Devil and Satan, whose purpose of control is only to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Most masters have the same mind as the devil seeking only to take and make gain, but Jesus seeks to give to His servants even to His own loss. In fact, on one occasion the apostle Paul made this illuminating revelation about Jesus when He said, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

Walking with Jesus is slavery. It is slavery to joy, peace, bliss, and everlasting happiness. The struggles and troubles that face us because of following Jesus are only outweighed by the eternal glory that shall forever follow. Remember that your decision to follow Him comes at an expense, but the return is maximum profit. Your service will be paid in full, and graciously overflow, even to the Heavenly Master’s own expense.

Think about it… Does the world ever try to convince you that you are giving up too much in service to Christ? That there is more to be gained in serving other masters?

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