We like being God's friend but the truth is his friends are also his slaves.
John 15:12-17, 20 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
20 A slave is not greater than the master
I remember as a kid that someone would come to me and ask me to do something for them and even though I didn't want to do it there was an incentive being offered that would make me consider doing it. You have heard the line "I will be your best friend forever." This is the best offer that a kid can think of when he is trying to get his way.
We teach our kids that we shouldn't treat people that way, we like to base our friend relationships on equality and "give and take" but that doesn't work on God. Jesus told his disciples that if they obey all of his commands and do everything that he tells them to do then he will be their friend.
This sounds harsh or bizarre but that is what it all comes down to. Jesus says that the greatest display of love is for someone to die for his friend and you are my friend if you obey my commands. I know that if I do everything he tells me to do then that makes him Lord and it makes me his slave.
We do not like the term and we try to stay away from the idea of being a slave but the Bible is clear. Nobody in the Bible call themselves God's friend or Jesus friend, the Bible refers to both Abraham and Moses as friends of God and Jesus calls the disciples His friends but none of these people ever said that about themselves.
The apostles call themselves God's slaveRomans 1:1 / 1 Corinthians 9:19 / Titus 1:1 / James 1:1 / 2 Peter 1:1 / Jude 1:1
We love Romans 5:12 where Paul says that we are "friends of God" but we like to look over the fact that he says we became friends through "our Lord Jesus." Our thoughts should be that "Jesus is Lord and I am his slave."
|Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who calls out to Me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter.
Luke 6:46 "So why do you keep calling Me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say?
Luke 9:23-24 “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself.”
Luke 17:9-10 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey Me you should say, 'We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.'"
The New Testament refers to Jesus as Lord more than five hundred times yet we refuse to actually see him and treat him that way. We call him Lord but we live with our own agenda, we obey our desires instead of his commands, we fail to let him be in charge.
Church leaders like to refer to the people that take on job duties around the church as volunteers but the truth is we are slaves and that should be the deciding factor in whether we fill a position. We like to signup if it is convenient but that isn't the lifestyle of a slave. How many "volunteers" would sign up on a list that refers to them as slaves?
|Who Is In Control|
|Romans 6:16-18 Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.|
I tried a Google search on "who is in control of your life" and found that none of the search results mentioned the Bible. There are a lot of people trying to get control but the Bible tells me that I have to give up control. Scripture tells us that we are all slaves to something, we are all under the control of someone, the only thing that your free will gets to decide is who your master is going to be. (2 Peter 2:19, Matthew 6:24)
This slave has been bought at a high price, I am cared for, protected, rewarded, and loved but I am still a slave. I am not really free as a follower of Jesus, my morality, my attitudes and my convictions are all decided by him.
The way that I spend my money, my time and my talents should bring glory to my Lord and Master. My goal is to hear Jesus say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"