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.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…
Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. Observation:
Paul’s deep love for his spiritual children in Galatia becomes evident in this passage. With very pastoral tones his heart grieves that these children have not pursued their very basic need, and that is for Christ to be formed in them. All else becomes a distraction to the desire that they become Christlike disciples. His heart aches at the loss of his children, those that had already been conceived but failed to thrive. Chrysostom refers to the loss of these children as spiritual miscarriages, and those for whom Paul is again, willing to travail in labor. Paul is perplexed by the Galatians’ attitude and is at a loss for words to understand what they have done; the result is a broken heart. Application:
Many churches have cute catchphrases and mission statement…