Whose slave are you?
Before you protest and say you're nobody's slave, understand that we're all slaves to one thing or another. Do you know that "you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey?" (Romans 6:16, NLT) In other words, we are slaves to whatever controls us (2 Peter 2:19).
Thus, when we cannot stop working to smell the roses, we are the slaves to our jobs. When we are glued in front of our TV set, the TV sets have become our masters. When we cannot break free from alcoholism, it has us firmly in its grasp. And when we are unable to stop telling lies, shoplifting, cheating on our spouses, or living in other ways that are against God's laws, we're the "slaves of sin and corruption." (2 Peter 2:19)
Worst of all, when we choose not to live under God's guidance in the Bible, we are prisoners of Satan in the "power of darkness," and don't even know it! (Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:18)
Yes, we can be slaves "to sin, which leads to death, or [we] can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living." (Romans 6:16) There is no middle ground. We cannot choose to be a non-slave. It is either a slave to sin, or a slave to righteousness. It's either a slave of the power of darkness, or slave of Yahweh God and His Son Jesus Christ. We cannot choose to be neutral in this battle ground; those who do not choose to be the slaves of God are automatically slaves of the evil powers of Satan. Hence, to be transferred to God's sphere, we must consciously make the decision to do so, by accepting Yahweh God Almighty and Jesus Christ into our hearts and living according to God's will.
"Slavery" and "slaves" have a very negative connotation because of the cruel and ruthless slavery that humans have brought upon one another throughout the Millenniums. Biblical or Christian slavery are not only very different from oppression but a great privilege.
Why a privilege? Because when we are the slaves to righteousness, we are serving the best Masters--Yahweh and Jesus--anyone could ever ask for. God is love and the only One who is purely good, while Jesus is the light and Savior of the world who brings salvation to anyone who trusts in him, regardless of their age, gender, nationality, background, and social status. (1 John 4:8; Matthew 17:19; John 4:42)
So what did Jesus Christ and his disciples have to say about Christian slavery?
Jesus said, "If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. And if you want to be first, you must be the slave of the rest. The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people." (Matthew 20:26-28, CEV)
"Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else." (Mark 10:44, NLT)
One of the greatest apostles of Jesus was Paul, who had this to say to slaves and their earthly masters:
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
"Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites." (Ephesians 6:5-9, NLT)
Indeed, Christian slavery is serving people with absolute selfless love, regardless what positions we are in: doctors, teachers, employers, government officials, and even true earthly slaves of oppression. When we serve one another with devotion, love, and loyalty, we are actually serving our heavenly Master, Jesus Christ. When we serve others selflessly, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, the ultimate slave who forfeited his own life in order to bring life to those he loves, even when they were his enemies.
How do we become faithful slaves of God, and in turn, of fellow humans? Well, we must take these three steps:
1) Make God's will our will. Our Master's will should become our own will, so we can carry out our Master's desires perfectly. For example, God wills for all to hear the Gospel, so we'll need to make that will ours by spreading the Gospel.
2) Obey God's commandments without questioning. Since God is omniscient (all-knowing) and purely good, His commandments are righteous, purposeful, and uphold the truths. Hence, we must not doubt Him or question His commandments found in the Bible. However, if someone, who claims to have received a revelation from God, tells you to do something, always be sure to compare that command with Biblical principles. If that command conflicts with the Bible, then it is not from God. God does not contradict Himself.
3) Fulfill the two greatest commandments: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31, WEB)
The third step is the key step. If love is not what motivates us to serve God and one another, then we will be very disgruntled slaves. In the very least, we would have the wrong motive for serving God and people, and that wrong motive would ultimately make us fail.
Paul best said it: "If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, WEB)
To sum it up: The best way to show others love is to serve them. The best way to serve them is with love.
Starting in 2012, let us serve others love...with love! Let us make our New Year's resolution to be the slaves to righteousness, of Yahweh God and His Son Jesus, our Messiah, and of fellow humanity, right now and to all eternity. Let us gladly serve all with love selflessly, for this is the will of God, the purpose for which we exist.
Make 2012 the year of service. Cheers!
~*~Q&A with Dr. Shirley~*~
Question: During his earthly ministry, Why didn't Jesus stop the oppressive form of slavery?
Answer: To answer this question, we must understand why Jesus came to Earth in the first place. He came down here to fulfill very specific missions in a short span of time. Simply put, he was command-oriented. That means he was set to accomplish only what he was commissioned to do by Yahweh God Almighty.
Jesus' coming was to 1) teach people about God's Kingdom, and 2) die in order to save us.
And by accomplishing his mission, he really in turn abolished slavery for good (but this won't be fulfilled until God's Kingdom is established on Earth). Once the Kingdom begins to reign, there will be no more tears, pain, or suffering. Everyone will be happy and live in peace for eternity. If Jesus hadn't come or died for humanity's sins, then this world would continue to be a sad, miserable world filled with darkness and suffering, with no hope of light. So Jesus accomplished everything and ended all evil, including slavery for the future, simply by being command-oriented. To learn what salvation is, and why specifically Jesus had to die to save us, read my article: http://tinyurl.com/ylaafno
~*~Dr. Shirley's Corner~*~
Make it your New Year's resolution to study the Bible in 2012!
Are you interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of God's Word to help you deepen your understanding of God and His plans and develop a sacred relationship with your Heavenly Father? If so, you are more than welcome to sign up for the In-Depth Ultra-Ability Bible Virtual Class via e-mail.
· The study will progress in your own pace.
· You will work one-on-one with me via e-mail only.
· Your personal Bible-related questions will be answered.
· Although the virtual class has no financial cost, it will require your dedication and diligence. There will be lessons to complete and tests to take for all Bible chapters. All assignments are in short question and answer format.
· The only textbook for this program is the Bible. If you do not have a copy of the Bible, I can e-mail you the Bible text or you can read it online for free at www.BibleGateway.com.
· The class is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any church or ministry.
· You have no obligations; you may pause or stop anytime, though you are strongly encouraged to complete the study.
· This in-depth study will go through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in order.
Want to sign up for the In-Depth Ultra-Ability Bible Virtual Class and give it a try? Then fill out the e-mail form on www.Ultra-Ability.com and I will respond to your request within three days.
Thank you, and I hope to spend 2012 with you in a worthwhile way by studying God's sacred Word!
~*~A Biblical Wisdom Nugget~*~
A man named Jacob once vowed, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you." (Genesis 28:20-22, WEB)
Here, Jacob's vow actually seemed to be a bargain with God. He would worship God only on his own terms. If God blessed him, then he would worship God in response. Thus, he wanted to make sure that God would bless him before he committed himself to God.
How many of us are like Jacob, bargaining with God? "God, if you do this for me, I'll do this for you"? While God is all-merciful and patient with our weaknesses, bargaining with Him is unacceptable and we must repent if this is what we do. When we bargain with God, we're limiting Him, putting Him on the same small level as us, as if God is dependent on us somehow! Even if we could offer the world to God, what would that matter to Him who's the universe's Creator? Can we give God what He already owns? In our world, we operate by the "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" principle. But how nonsensical to think we can scratch God's back! God operates by "pure grace." Grace is His kindness freely shown to us when we don't deserve it at all and when we can't reciprocate it.
We must understand this principle: Christianity is not about us primarily. Christianity is about God and Jesus primarily, and about us only secondarily. God is not obligated to serve us. We are obligated to serve Him and His Son.
"Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31) This should be the goal and focus of every true Christian. Thus, we should worship God unconditionally, simply because for who He is, not because we want His blessings. We should worship Him without expecting any blessing or reward in return. We must never be like Jacob, who would worship God only if God blessed him.
What are your goals as a Christian? In other words, what is your reason to be a Christian? Ask yourself this question: "Would I love God or Jesus if they do not give me benefits, blessings or good things?" Would you love God or Jesus unconditionally? This is the most important question you can ever ask yourself. Your answer will show how faithfully and sacrificially you will serve Yahweh God and Jesus.
May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!
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Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains. Let the ropes of hope in Yahweh God haul you high!"
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