October 2009 - Vol. 33
is the freest of all?
From slavery to
God was with Joseph through all his trials, sufferings, and setbacks. Whatever Joseph did he brought blessing both to his taskmasters and to those who ill-treated him. God reversed the curse of Joseph’s slavery by elevating him to the highest position in Egypt, second only to Pharoah. When famine struck the world for seven years and threatened to decimate the surrounding peoples, Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain, which Joseph had been wisely storing up for seven years previously. When Joseph recognized his brothers, he pardoned rather than punished them. He used his position to save his family from death and reunite them.
Who is your master?
Our freedom in Christ comes with many privileges, choices, and responsibilities. We are free to choose any number of courses and options available to us – such as marriage and raising a family, the single life, the call to live single for the Lord for a season or for a life-time, the choice to pursue a profession in the field of science, medicine, technology, or the arts.
The most important choice we can make and the one that will ultimately determine our final destination is, Who will be our master? Who will we give our full allegiance to? Who will we follow for the rest of our lives?
The Scriptures make clear that there are ultimately only two kingdoms, two masters, and two choices before us. We can choose for God’s kingdom of light and truth or Satan’s kingdom of darkness and deception. When Jesus stated his mission, he openly declared war on his arch enemy and rival, whom he called the deceiver and father of lies (John 8:44). Jesus declared, “Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). John stated, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). The freedom Jesus offers us is freedom to choose for his kingdom and for his wise rule as the Lord and Master of our lives.
Who are you going
Bob Dylan wrote a gospel song in 1979 entitled, You Gotta Serve Somebody [link to YouTube clip of song]. Sung in Dylan’s characteristic, gravelly voice, the song made a simply point – no matter who you are or what your status is, you have to serve somebody. Refrain after refrain hammers home that telling reality of human existence.
You may be an ambassador to England or France,Serving Christ in all things
We know by experience that the evil one, Satan, does not give up on those who choose to be disciples of Christ. He is in an all-out war for total domination of this world, and he refuses to rest in his attempt to bring everyone under his rule. If Satan can’t get us to give up our faith and renounce Christ, he will nonetheless try to steer us away, little by little, from the safe and sure path which Christ sets before us.
Our life is like a boat on a great river with swift currents and hidden rocks. We are in constant need of an experienced guide who will help us navigate and choose the safest course. If we want to go it alone, the Lord can throw us a life raft, but there is no guarantee we will stay afloat.
The Lord Jesus wants disciples who will let him be the steersman in their lives, so that he can take us where he will. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26).
Our privilege is to follow the Lord Jesus as his personal servants. In fact, our call is to serve Christ in all things. Paul the Apostle states:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ..Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Colossians 3:17,23).Whether at home or on the job, we are servants of Jesus Christ. We serve him full time, all the time.
Freedom to be
the servant of all
Paul encourages each one of us to do the same – to imitate him in the way he loved and united himself to Christ and placed himself at the service of others. “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another” (Galatians 5:13).
Christian servanthood is the flipside of Christian freedom. If the Lord Jesus has truly set us free from bondage to Satan, the flesh, and the world, then we are indeed set free to give ourselves generously and without reserve to the one we owe the greatest debt of love and gratitude, the Lord Jesus Christ, our true Master and Liberator.
Only a heart that has surrendered to the greatest lover of all can be a servant of all. To lose all for Christ is to gain all in Christ (Philippians 3:7-8). The servant of Christ is the freest of all because nothing can separate that person from the love of Christ:
“..in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).Are you ready to surrender all to the One who has given all – who has poured out his love and mercy for your sake, and who offers you abundant life now and forever?
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