In India, it is customary to have a worker in your home that takes care of the daily chores around the house such as cleaning and cooking. Indians refer to them as “servants”. After hearing this term used on a daily basis here, I began to think about the term “servant” and what it truly means.
In Exodus 21: 2, 5 & 6 we see the term used in the Bible: “If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. And if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:’ Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”
A Hebrew would buy a servant and could only keep him for 6 years, and after the sixth year, the servant could decide whether he would go free or remain in the house of his master. If he chose to stay as a sign of this covenant and the bondservant relationship, the master would take his servant and they would have a public ceremony in the presence of God. The master would take a an awl, a sharp tool, and pierce a hole in his servant’s ear.
Now, notice that this was a voluntary choice. It was not coerced. It was not, “I have to serve this man.” It was, “I want to serve this man. I love him. I want to be his bondservant.” It was motivated by relationship. It was motivated by love for a good master.
I believe that this is a picture of our relationship with Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, those who ministered for the Lord considered it a privilege and a high, holy calling, to be bondservants of Jesus Christ.
In Roman 1 :1, Paul said, “a servant of Jesus Christ.” He did not call himself an apostle or even a follower of Christ but a servant.
In Philippians 1:1, he refers to himself and Timotheus as “servants of Jesus Christ.”
In James 1:1, James refers to himself as “servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” If you remember, James is the brother of Jesus, and he still refers to himself as a servant to Him. He could have easily bragged about growing up with Jesus and knowing every intimate detail about him, but he didn’t; he called himself a servant of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Bible, many others also called themselves servants: Simon Peter, Jude (who was also a brother of Jesus) and, let’s not forget, Mary Mother of Jesus.
Mary was blessed throughout her life because, as a young teenage girl, she said, “I am the Lord’s handmaid. I am the Lord’s bondservant. I am His slave. I am willing for God to do whatever He wants to do with my life. My life is not my own. It’s not mine to choose. These may not be my plans, but they are God’s plans.”
I point out all that to remind you to think of this statement every time you are asked to do something: “It is MY pleasure to serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I SERVE at HIS PLEASURE!”
What does it mean to serve at the pleasure of someone?
It means that he:
* Appoints you
* Chooses you
* Can hire/fire you
* Can use you
* Can send you wherever he wants
It is not your right to say what you will do! If you are a true servant who serves his master, you will leave all of the above in his hands.
Now, every time that I secretly cringe at the word “servant,” I will use it as a reminder that I have chosen to be a servant of Jesus Christ. When the weather gets extremely hot, when language school becomes a drudgery, and when my heart is heavy with all the satanic oppression around, I can say, “I am here serving at the PLEASURE of my Lord and Savior!”
Serving with a SMILE,