June 15 I Friday
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus…” —Romans 1:1
The foundation of all Paul’s activities and ambitions lie in his understanding that he is a servant of Jesus Christ. The word “servant” is a neglected one in our contemporary Christian vocabulary, but it is frequently used in the New Testament. By the end of the apostolic era, the common description of a Christian was that he or she is a servant of Jesus Christ. That may sound a little oppressive to us, because the whole idea of servitude is not an attractive one, nor is it the kind of life we want to embrace. But in actual fact, it is very liberating for three basic reasons.
Firstly, when we see ourselves as servants, we are concerned with our master’s plan and recognize there is someone who is going to direct our lives. Left to control our own lives, we are unable to control the consequences, but with Christ as our master, the consequences are His responsibility. A servant does not come up with his own agenda. He submits himself to the agenda of the one who directs him. Christ is the Master; we are His servants and we have the assurance that when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He is going to direct our paths. It is His job to put us where He wants us, and we know we are wherever we are because God has placed us there, which gives our work a divine purpose.
Secondly, a servant is dependent on his master’s provision. When a master gives instructions, he must provide the resources to accomplish those instructions. In Jesus Christ, we have ample resources for any task He has called us to. Thirdly, if the servant is concerned with his master’s plans and dependent on his master’s provisions, he is also committed to his master’s purpose. Sometimes we do not know the significance of the things God leads us to do, but He is the Master Planner and the one who knows how we are contributing to an overall purpose in fulfilling His agenda.
Far from being oppressive, being a servant of Christ is liberating. We can begin every day knowing we have someone who is capable of directing our paths, providing the resources, and who will cause our lives to be significant because of it. It is only as we live in submission to Christ as Lord and Master that we discover all the benefits and blessings that derive from a living relationship with Him.
Prayer: Lord, I want to serve You and ask for a deep, fresh work of Your Holy Spirit so that I acknowledge You in all my ways and will be divinely guided into the path You have for me. Thank You, Lord.