Brother and Bond-Servant

Have you ever planned a vacation, going over books and maps to get ready for your trip? And then once there, you were able to enjoy your journey because you knew what to look for and how to find it? Well let’s do that today, so you will understand why you would want to join us on this journey of Discovery in theBook of James. (from Godchats)

I dove into the book of James today, but got no further than the first verse!

Jam-packed with information, I didn’t want to miss anything, so I stopped to tap on a couple of words. In just the simple, short greeting of a letter, I discovered a whole world of meaningful insights.

Having never really thought much about the author, I tapped on the first word, “James,” and discovered there is universal acceptance that the author of this letter is one of Jesus’ actual brothers.

It struck me right away that James is Jesus’ biological brother, and yet, what does James call himself? “…a bond-servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” No sibling rivalry or family perks here! His brother is his Lord and Master.

Is Jesus MY Lord and Master?

Wanting to understand the term “bond-servant” more, I tapped on the dictionary meaning:

  • Slave, literal or figurative, involuntary OR voluntary.
  • Qualified sense of subjection or subserviency.

How such words strike vitriol in our society today! The modern world only thinks of this term in relationship to the abhorrent slavery in our pre-civil war nation. Post-modern society believes no one should be “subservient” to anyone else.

But as it relates to our position with Christ? SO, so different! How?

As I look at the BIBLICAL definition and at my life as a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit brought these thoughts to mind:

  • I am a VOLUNTARY bond-servant. I chose it. Jesus’ own brother chose it too! As did so many other writers who referenced themselves as “bond-servants.”
  • I am SUBJECT to Jesus’ rule, authority and power in my life. This is NOT a negative subjection. I want the sovereign Lord of the universe to direct my life rather than trying to do it myself.
  • Despite my position as a voluntary subject, I am FREE! John 8:36 says “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” I’m free from the power of sin in my life. I’m free to choose God’s will in all things (Ephesians 6:6). What a beautiful irony: the bond-servant is also free!
  • I FEAR Him, but with awe, not dread. I fear Him as a servant respects his master, yet I am not afraid. Because of my active faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, I do not fear eternal wrath. I’m safely in God’s eternal care.

Even though this letter was written to scattered, believing, Jews (twelve tribes), it applies to scattered Christians everywhere today.

I’m so thankful I didn’t rush through this short opening verse and miss the beauty of what it means to be a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.

I urge you to slow down, pause, and listen to what the Spirit has to say to you in God’s Word today.

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