This is our first blog posting! I hope you find it a good read and that you will come back to it again and again. Please listen to our sermons as well!
The cold weather has hit southern middle Tennessee here in the beginning of the New Year and it has slowed our attendance. We have several seasoned citizens upon which cold weather plays havoc. Please pray for these if you will.
We're also going to use this blog to post s some of Brother Lingerfelt's devotions. He has written a verse by verse devotion through many of the New testament books and is currently working to have them published in book form. Pray for him in this endeavor. For today enjoy this devotion from James 1.
Are You His Servant?
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
It is believed that this James is the son Alphaeus rather than of Zebedee. The former was with Peter and John when the Lord was transfigured. James was put to death by Herod in 44AD. However, this book is believed to have been written sometime between 60 and 63AD, affording its writing to James, son of Alphaeus, pastor of the church at Jerusalem. It is a general epistle, meaning that it written for all of the believing Jews of the twelve tribes of Israel who may or may not have returned to Jerusalem after the dispersion. It is difficult to know. But specifically, we have a servant of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who has a burning call upon him to witness to these of the Jews whom he desires to see come to the knowledge and faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. That they are Believers is evident by verse 2 as this James salutes them as "my Brethren," and this sets James' direction and intent in writing to them.
However, let‚Äôs focus on the word "servant." Would that all men who live would see themselves as servants . . . primarily of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Would also that all Believers expressly and specifically would fulfill the role! Yet, though bought with the blood of Christ Jesus, few - even in the church, actually see themselves as servants of the Father and our Lord. They profoundly believe that only those who have exhibited a specific calling upon their personal lives, i.e., pastor, deacon, evangelist, minister, are the servants. Sadly, as it goes in most churches today, the pastor is seen and treated as only a servant of the people, who is at their beck and call 24-7, rather than a servant of God, whom they should love and respect and give grave attention.
Here James uses ‚Äúservant‚ÄĚ in a humble manner, yet, the word depicts a rank connoting that James is writing under the authority of the Father and the Son, whom be glory forever. He doesn't use this as a battering ram, but rather as an identification of the call upon him to deliver the faith once delivered to the Saints by Christ Jesus. Thus, the authority of his position as a servant of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, is to preach the Word to those scattered abroad. He is not hesitant in the role, nor in fear of its respondents whoever they might be. He, like all true men of God, knew that the Word will stand when the world is on fire. Thus, he cherished the role of servant and walked through the filth of this world with Christ Jesus on his lips and flowing from the tip of his pen.
I, then, must take inventory of myself as a servant, seeing that I have such an example before me. James had to have learned about servitude from Christ, who Himself said, "that He came not to be ministered to, but to minister." Thus, I must learn of Him to carry out this role myself. I am a servant, then, of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and that role must be fulfilled with humble obedience that my Master may be glorified in all things. I cannot look right or left, I cannot venture into the worldliness of this hour, nor can I follow any other one or thing than Christ and Him crucified. And if that be so for me, then all men must heed the Gospel call and the great commission of it. But sadly, not all men will be saved. And sadder still, many of those who will, will still be slack in the role to which all Believers are called. God help us!
We can do or be nothing short of His servants. We are bought with a price. But it is not a hard demanding role . . . nay! It is a role that we should cherish and live to fulfill if we are His. Oh, grand love has been showered on us that we should be His own! He, having rescued from the depths of Hell, should motivate us to serve Him gladly for doing such a grand and magnificent deed. Hell could now be licking our faces! But we are made free. Thus we serve, in love with our Lord. As grateful children let us serve our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath made us a member of the family of Heaven. The song simply states: ‚ÄúI will serve Him, because I love Him. He has given life to me. I was nothing, until He found me. He has given life to me.‚ÄĚ Thus, I am His...servant. All hail King Jesus!