Posts Tagged ‘Master’

Peter echoes Paul in Romans 6:16a, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey. . . ” In both cases, the slavery is chosen. We agree to the terms. We enter willingly. We accede.

II Peter 2:19
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

Who are my slave masters? I have turned myself over to a number of masters: excess foods, a loose tongue, self-deceptions, self-promoting ambitions, and cynical judgments, just to name a few. I am not alone.

The stupidity of it all is that I know someone who is in the business of setting people free.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me [Christ Jesus],
because he [God] has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, . . .

[Luke 4:18]

Why am I still oppressed by my own habits and behaviors? Why do I allow these wars to continue? It could be worse, I know, I could be a drug addict, an alcoholic, or sexually promiscuous. Instead, I am being nickeled and dimed to death. I am allowing the Lilliputians to restrain me.

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Waiting for the second coming is really no different than waiting for answered prayer. They both require faith and an active participation in the waiting process.

I Corinthians 1:5, 7
For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge . . . Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

Like the servant who has grown lazy because the Master has tarried and therefore, the servant chooses to act dishonorably, so could our situation be if we are not faithful [Matthew 24:50].

Waiting is not easy.

So often, we use the length of the waiting period as an excuse for all kinds of bad choices and bad behavior. I know how angry I become when I’m waiting for someone. I keep checking my watch and with each minute beyond the expected time, I become more and more aggravated. And why? Because it’s all about me. I’ve made the delay a direct affront on me and my so-called precious time. (And yet, I myself run late on a regular basis — and unfortunately, it’s for the same reason: it’s all about me! What I am doing in the moment has become more important than arriving on time. That’s inexcusable really and as I write it, I am embarrassed.)

So, my first correction must be a personal one. Part of my “waiting” for Christ needs to be other-focused. Some people refer to this as “my witness,” which means my behavior should reflect and edify my Leader, my Boss, my Lord, and my God. We are asked to do this in the business world all the time. When we are out in public, we represent our companies or other organizations. Is this any different? It’s part of the “rules of engagement” that we agree to when we enter into relationships.

Whether it’s a marriage or a family, a neighborhood or a company, a church or a club, we reflect the make-up of that group by our behaviors and style.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This is the key to waiting. So simple.

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John 12:26
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

People in Jesus’s culture understood what his call of “follow me” demanded. He was offering his rabbi’s yoke; he was asking them to acknowledge his authority as their “master” (literal translation of the word rabbi from Hebrew).

This is not so easy for our modern day culture, particularly here in the West where rugged individualism is the norm. Most of us don’t trust anyone who would be called the master. It conjures up all kinds of negative images. My mind immediately goes to the idea of a “slave-owner” — not exactly a role model or a yoke I would want to take on by choice.

But Jesus is the epitome of the benevolent dictator. That’s another word that will turn everyone off: dictator. In our age, we have seen power corrupt and that’s all. The idea that anyone could be powerful and benevolent is an oxymoron.

So, following Christ Jesus, is no easy decision. It is a decision of humility and trust. This is where faith begins. And truthfully, most of our lives then are spent in struggling with this relationship. We keep testing and challenging him: Is this really what is best for me? Is this the best you can do for me? If I give up everything, what will be left for me? Eventually, we figure out the first lesson: it’s not about “me.”

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Mark 15:41
In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

If you look at the four gospels, it’s easy to compile a short list of women by name who were accompanied by “many other women.” Jesus’ mother, Mary, along with Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, Salome, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons are noted specifically. Scripture indicates these women followed him and cared for him all the way from Galilee. The beginning of this journey is recorded (not long after the story of the Transfiguration), in Luke 9:51 (As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.).

It’s 120 miles from Galilee to Jerusalem and all along the way, Jesus was teaching, preaching, and healing. The women were an integral part of this trek. I think people sometimes assign them all to the role of Martha (not Stewart, but almost) but forget about the devotion of her sister, Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet. I am sure many of these women did the same. They were devoted to the Master.

And these are the women who stayed with Him to the very end. They did not flee. They were steadfast. This is the heritage that we as women believers must remember. This is our mantle.

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