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May 29, 2013

Text: “O Lord I am thy servant; I am thy servant;  the son of thy handmaid. Thou has loosed my bonds.” Psalms 116:16

Are you a servant of the God of heaven? Not in name only, but one who obeys and toils for the Master. The term “servant” is used frequently by the writers of the New Testament. Those persons who have been bought by the blood of the Savior have assumed the yoke of subjection to the Lord. In the feudal system the land owner was called Lord and those who lived on his lands were called servants. He had assumed responsibility for their well-being, and they had pledged “fealty” to him. He might be tyrannical over them, but they must obey under any conditions.

Jesus reached out to men who were suffering from oppressive servitude. He spells out how different their conditions would be if men yielded to his ownership. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me: for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 Being in servitude to Jesus, then, would be a much better condition than serving  a tyrannical earthly master.

The term “servant” (or “bondservant”)  is gladly taken by the believer in Christ.  He has previously been the servant of sin, ruled cruelly by the flesh and made to serve against his will. His own will is subverted and Satan dominates his behavior. For lifelong servitude to Satan  eternal punishment (death) is what Satan pays him. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Nevertheless, being a servant to Jesus entails fidelity, duty, and responsibility. The Christian accepts this as a joyful burden rather than an oppressive one.  Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15  And John wrote, “…and his commandments are not burdensome”. I John 5:3b The believer’s attitude was presaged by the Psalmist in Psalms 119:47: “For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.” Never forget that Jesus redeemed you out of Satan’s mastery by his love shown on the cross.

Following find four concepts by which you might want to measure your efforts of being a servant of Jesus.

Servant-hood is about service. The dictionary is helpful. Here are three entries  I think help describe what God’s servant does. 1) The work performed by one that serves. Many things apply. Make your own list. 2) Contribution to the welfare of others. 3) A meeting for worship. (All the worship you can.)

 Obedience is a vital ingredient that makes servants. This requires that you always and infallibly put the Master’s will ahead of your own. To disobey is to fail to honor the Lord and to force your will before his. Thus you usurp the authority of Christ.

Indispensable, also, is  love for the Master. Love can not be separated from obedience. “But whoever keeps his word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”  I John 2:5  Many people claim to know God, but are merely flapping their lips. “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24

Love for mankind finishes this list. When one loves his fellow man he forgets self-interest and puts his friend’s welfare above his own . John insists that, “The one who says that he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.” I John 2:9

Apply this test to yourself. It is simple, but ever so revealing!

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Wow! Thanks! You’ve given me a sermon I can preach.–ls

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