My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Serving the Master Well
St. Paul well in Tarsus.
And he said, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
(Gen. 24:12–14 NRSV)
This is the story of the servant, sent by his master Abraham, to find a wife for Abraham’s son. In this passage the servant invokes the “master” on numerous occasions. There is no question whom he is serving. His entire mission is done on behalf of his master and the focus is on doing this work well.
The servant is incredibly wise as he lifts up this prayer to the the LORD, God of his master. The servant has come to know and understand the heart of his master and realizes that a young woman must fit into the master’s household. His prayer reflects this knowledge because he knows that his master is extremely generous and hospitable. Against the common response of human nature, he prays for a young woman who will share her water, and then go the extra mile by watering the camels as well.
God’s love for Abraham will be revealed in providing a young woman who will have a heart like the master’s, ready to reflect the family values by the way in which she lives her life.
The focused way in which this servant serves the master ought to be a lesson for us all. We are all called to serve our Master, but to do so, means we must come to know the LORD well. The servant knew the heart of his master so well, that he knew exactly how to pray. We are invited into this kind of an intimate relationship with the LORD, dwelling in God’s presence day in and day out, so much so, that we begin to know and understand the desires of God’s heart.
When we know the desires of God’s heart, then we know how to pray. The servant wasn’t just sending out a random fleece, there was great intentionality in his prayer. He knew what the master needed, and so he prayed for it directly. Do we know what it is that God needs? Would we know how to pray for that need directly? I think those are challenging questions for us because the ability to pray is directly related to our intimacy with the Lord.
The servant was able to serve well because he knew and understood the master’s needs. Success in the eyes of the world is not necessarily faithful service to God. Far too often we fail to understand the ways of God and we may find ourselves praying for the wrong things — or not even praying at all. We run out to do the master’s work, often without getting instructions from the master.
What if the servant had brought back the wrong girl? All of history would have been altered because of the choices of a servant. Probably the most important decision in this story is not the girl, but the selection of a faithful servant to do the work of the master. God is still looking for faithful servants who will serve the Master well. In great humility, and often without the leading role, the faithful servant seeks the well-being of the Master. As a result, all of history takes on a particular dimension in which God is glorified.
Lord, my heart’s desire is to serve my Master well. Please, help me to know your heart today. Amen.
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…
Proverbs 15:17Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. Observation:
The guests are invited to dinner but the host is concerned that there is little to offer. Without the financial resources of the wealthy, they are unable to kill a fatted ox and can only serve vegetables. While some may be discouraged by this, wisdom tells us that the satisfaction depends upon the appetite of the guest. If the guests who are invited are hungry, then even a small meal will be enjoyed and received with gratitude. They will experience the love of the host who was willing to share all he had with his guests. Application:
I was born in Germany where my parents served as missionaries. It seems that our financial resources were often limited, and yet, there was an endless supply of guests at our table. Not only did we have our dear German friends gathering with us at the table, but also many visitors from other countries who would stop by, wanting to see “t…
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…