2009-12-17 - Bond-Servant
Acts 16:17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." (NASB)
Have you ever considered yourself a servant?
Paul is followed by a young slave-girl who had what the Bible calls a "spirit of divination" who constantly identified Paul and his companions. She was so persistent that Paul finally turned and cast the spirit out of her to silence her repeated declarations. But the title she identified them with is amazing - "bond-servants o the Most High God." We are told she earned much money for her master which speaks to her accuracy.
What precisely is a bond-servant?
bond servant -noun 1. a person who serves in bondage; slave. 2. a person bound to service without wages. also. bond-servant 1
In the days of the early church they may have taken up an offering for someone who came into town to speak to them. But otherwise Paul was not paid on his journeys by the home office. The fastest for of transport was by ship, which was expensive, and even then most cities of any size were a good distance apart. Paul writes that, if he stays in one place beyond a specified period of time, he gets a job to pay his way rather than live on the generosity of his hosts. Paul and Silas and their contemporaries traveled at risk of life and limb from bandits and robbers. They moved from town to town telling anyone who would listen the gospel, the good news, that Jesus had risen from the dead conquering death and sin and provided salvation for all who would come to Him. That message was sometimes met with a hostile response from local Jewish residents who considered their message illegal if not heretical. In the next few passages Paul and Silas end up in jail for preaching the salvation of Jesus Christ as their Savior.
There are places in the world today where life and limb can be in immediate danger for the same message meant only to set men free. They are not as few as we would like to believe and not all are as remote as we would like to think. And yet we are called by Christ to be His messengers and ambassadors. We are called to run a race that will take our entire lives to run. We are asked stand for Him who we have submitted to as Savior and Lord. Most of us are not physically at risk, but can be skipped over for promotions, ridiculed or rejected, or other social or emotional punishments.
We are not generally paid, but we have a promise of a home in eternity with Christ that is described in the Revelation as well as human words can. We have already been given the matchless mercy and grace of Jesus Who came to die in our places to defeat sin, and rose again defeating death to open the door to Heaven for humanity for ... all who will come. For all who will accept His call to come - run the race and spread His message. There are compensations along the way - most are not monetary, but can be far more priceless in lives changed and souls set free.
But as much as it is a call on our lives, and when we consider all that we have been forgiven by God, and all He has provided and we are promised is waiting for us, is the price too high to be a bond-servant of the Most High God?
Grace and Peace,