My friend, may I ask you a question? Has God done away with slavery in the work of the Kingdom? Do we live under the authority of a God who bids but never asks or begs a pardon?
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
I often reminded my parents growing up that slavery had been outlawed, especially when they told me what to do instead of asking me if I would do it. “I thought slavery had been outlawed?” Remember using that one on your Dad when he handed you a bucket and hose and pointed at the family station wagon with the grace of a staff sergeant and the command “the car needs washing?” I don’t know how frequently that happens these days, but it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for my brothers and I or my friends growing up. Dads weren’t accustomed to begging your pardon when work called. Rather, they simply asserted work was calling and they weren’t heeding the call—we were. They assumed the overseer role with ease and little guilt. It was THE efficient way of getting things done. Dad’s outranked us buck privates by so many pay grades there was little reason to object. Dad’s ascended to rank back then by default when they left home and went to war. It was their work and they determined who would do it. Slavery did exist when I grew up. It had been outlawed in the United States but not in our homes.
Growing up I lived in two worlds, the one under the authority of the State and the other under the authority of the home. They didn’t always coalesce, but they did coexist. Both had rules that worked well under their given circumstances.
Oswald Chambers writes. “I have to learn that the aim in life is God’s, not mine. God is using me from His great personal standpoint, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him, and never say— ‘Lord, this gives me such heartache.’ . . . He can crumple me up or exalt me, He can do anything He chooses. He simply asks me to have implicit faith in Himself and in His goodness. Self pity is of the devil; if I go off on that line I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. I have ‘a world within the world’ in which I live, and God will never be able to get me outside it because I am afraid of being frost-bitten.” (My Utmost for His Highest, November 10)
We read in 1 Thessalonians 3:2: “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.” God’s service; in reality, what does that really mean? I served my Mom and Dad growing up. There were times I didn’t like it and felt sorry for myself, but I lived under the authority of the home, an authority that was predicated in service. I came when I was beckoned and went when I was bid to go. Similarly, God’s service, I believe, is no different. He beckons and bids and often hands us a bucket and a hose. We can choose to obey or comply, but we can never claim fairness or equity. Those terms dwell in another world and bear little on God’s purposes for you and for me. Slavery is alive and well in the Kingdom of God.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for recruiting us into the service of being a slave for Christ. Help us Lord to remember that doing the work of the Kingdom involves choice, but if our goal is everlasting life, it also involves the willingness to to serve without question. Forgive us when we find ourselves used or fall into a state of self pity because of the nature of the work you have asked us to do. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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