This past week, I've been gearing up for my talk on serving here at Grace Church. In my preparations, I've been reminded once again as to why I and all followers of Christ must be sold out to serving. It's not an option for one who claims to follow Jesus.
In Philippians 2:5-7 we are told the Jesus took on the form of a bondservant. The Greek word (doulos) carries the following ideas for us as we too our bondservants of Christ;
First, it speaks of one who is in a permanent relationship of servitude to another. When I trusted Jesus Christ to rescue me from my sins, I entered into a permanent relationship with Him as His servant (literally slave).
Secondly, it speaks of being fully consumed with accomplishing the will of a master. As one who has been rescued from sin by Christ, I have willingly surrendered my life and my will to Him. This means I am here on this earth to accomplish His good purposes in and through me.
Thirdly, it is also a word that was used to describe the "under-rower" on a slave ship. This isn't necessarily a glamorous picture or one that many churches use to recruit volunteers, but, it is how the Christ follower is described within God's word. It's not that God is some tyrannical master beating us into service, but it does picture how we as Christ followers must give ourselves to the hard work of the Gospel in order to see it advance throughout the world as we willingly submit our lives to a gracious and merciful master.
Finally, it is important to note that this is not something new for the church. The early followers of Christ also saw themselves as "bondservants" to their Savior and lived their lives accordingly. (See Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, James 1:1, 2 Peter1:1)
We have not been called to serve just so we can feel good about ourselves even though helping others brings tremendous blessing. We have been called to serve first and foremost because we have been called to follow the example of Christ and His Word. When we do, HE can accomplish HIS will and purpose in our lives as we acknowledge our identity as HIS bondservants. As a follower of Christ, serving is not an option, it's my position and calling.