Monday, July 22, 2013

Friends Of The Master

Today Sarah starts off by saying of Jesus, “Find freedom through seeking to please Me above all else. You can have only one Master.” As I reflected on this today I thought of the connection between Christ as my Lord whom I am called to serve, and Christ who calls me His friend with whom I have been gifted with a relationship and through whom I have been granted a rich and eternal inheritance. Central to this is the truth that Jesus is God and always has been. He is the Creator of all things of which I am part. As His creation He loves me, and He chose me to have a relationship with Him, to love Him with my whole heart, and to serve and obey Him fully.

John 15:14-16 “You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Hiding His truths in my heart helps me to keep this forefront in my heart and mind, realizing that my Lord and my Master is not harsh, but fully wise, just, and sovereign in all things. He has a plan, and I have a part in that plan. He knows what He is doing and He will direct my steps. In response to this my only reasonable spiritual response is to bring testimony to this truth through presenting myself to Him fully for His service as we read in Romans 12:1-2. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

It should not be much of a leap to reach this conclusion, especially when we consider just what Christ did for us when we were lost in our trespasses and sins and we were totally incapable of doing anything to fix our condition. Recognizing that having been saved by Christ that He now lives in us, and His Spirit permanently indwells and empowers us. No longer are sacrifices required in a temple, but the once-for-all sacrifice has been offered up in Christ and we are now the vessels through whom He resides and works. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

While we may not fully grasp the role of a slave, we all in some recognize the authority of human bosses, parents, or leaders, whether they be good ones or not so good. We know that our approval from the world’s side is often dependent on our attitude and our behavior.  The big difference with God toward His children (believers) is that our approval is based not on our attitudes and actions, but on the work of His Son—Jesus Christ on the cross and even now as our Advocate. But this does not excuse us to do whatever we please, even in response to our earthly “masters.”

Ephesians 6:5-8 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. (See also Colossians 3:22-24)

It is so easy to get lost in the demands that face us and equally easy to grow bitter towards those who place them on us (including ourselves). But Scripture tells us that we need to step back from those internal or external demands and remember Who it is that we truly serve, and then to reframe all that we do in light of our service to Him. God will direct us in the paths that He intends. Our role is to humbly submit ourselves to His direction and to honor Him before all men.  This necessitates that we spend time before Him and that we trust and acknowledge Him in all that we do.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/22)

Find freedom through seeking to please Me above all else. You can have only one Master. When you let others’ expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds. Your own desire to look good can also drain your energy. I am your Master, and I do not drive you to be what you are not. Your pretense displeases Me, especially when it is in My “service.” Concentrate on staying close to Me at all times. It is impossible to be inauthentic while you’re focusing on My Presence.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.” Matthew 23:8

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

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