Are you a slave for Jesus?

Published 2:42 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

Whenever I hear the word slavery or slave, my mind focuses on several definitions: a person totally responsible to and dependent upon another person; physical bondage; a prisoner or an unwilling servant.

Slavery was widely accepted in the ancient world. The economy of Egypt, Greece and Rome were based on slave labor.

In the first Christian century, one out of three persons in Italy and one out of five elsewhere was a slave. A person could become a slave as a result of capture in war, default on a debt, inability to support and voluntarily selling oneself, sold as a child by destitute parents, birth to slave parents, conviction of a crime or kidnapping and piracy.

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In most ancient society, few things were more despicable than to be a slave.

The month of February is designated as Negro History month, which was introduced by Harvard scholar Carter G. Woodson.

In 1926, Woodson introduced Negro History week. Later it evolved as Negro History month, which informs us of the struggle and the history from slavery up to now of African-Americans. This is to help us understand and appreciate our freedom and do something positive with it.

It is not where you come from that counts, it is where you are going.

Although we are free from the physical bondage of chains, neck braces and shackles, there is another kind of slavery that is gripping our society that is worst or just as bad as the former slavery. That is drugs, alcohol, illiteracy, low self-esteem, and no fear or reverence of God.

Despite of the long trips across the Atlantic Ocean bringing slaves to this country, usually taking four to eight weeks in 6- to 9-foot spaces with no mattresses, sheets, blankets or pillow, we have so much to be thankful for. During those difficult times, the slaves would slip into fixed melancholy (mental and physical), a stressed condition and sometimes die.

Woodson chose this date to coincide with Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. I am reminded of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 37. He was one of Jacob’s younger sons who were sold into slavery by his own brothers. They were angry and jealous.

Joseph did not help the situation any by bragging and at the time with an immature attitude. Later Joseph gives God the credit in the end. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the entire land of Egypt (Genesis 41). Joseph eventually saved the country and his entire family from the famine. He was a man who God used and He can use us also when we believe and trust in Him.

Philemon was another example that the Lord used. His personal name means affection. He accredits his conversion to the Christian faith and to the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul. This conversion took place during Paul’s extended ministry in Ephesus (Act 19:10).

The epistle of Philemon tells about a runaway slave by the name of Onesimus, who robbed or stole from his owner, Philemon and escaped to Rome. There Onesimus found the Apostle Paul, who was in prison.

Paul wrote to Philemon concerning Onesimus.

Paul requested Philemon forgive Onesimus and receive him not as a slave but as a brother.

Paul also stated he was willing to pay the damages caused by this slave. Paul was willing to pay the price for Onesimus whatever he had done. I can see the Lord working in this situation. This is what Jesus has done for every person on earth. He has already paid the price for all of our sins at Calvary.

Genesis 22:13—He was offered as our substitute; Isaiah 53:1—He came as a suffering servant; John 1:4-5—He is a light to mankind; Luke 1:35—He was born without sin; Matthew 3:3—we can prepare to meet Him.

We as Christians are servants. Matthew 8:11 His message is for everyone; Matthew 27:2—Pilate knew He was innocent; Matthew 24:46—He was separated from God at crucifixion; Philippians 2:13—to be like Him, we must think like Him and do like Him.

If Jesus did all of those things for us, we can ask the question, am I a slave for Jesus?

We must deny ourselves for Him. If we do not give up, we will have a crown in the end. His love for us covers a multitude of sin.

“Lord please help us to serve you faithfully and willingly. For we know that you said in Revelation 22nd chapter, that you will return soon and those that keep the prophesy of your Word will be blessed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”