Thursday, September 13, 2012

James the Bondservant

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

James 1:1 (NIV1984)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

This is the organized version  - it was much worse.
My completed hallway project.
Yesterday I cleaned and organized our hallway. We have it lined on one side with shelves filled with books, school supplies, kitchen things. Its kind of the catch all area for our very small house. So yesterday I took everything off the shelves and had it all over the kitchen and living room. I did not have the heart to take pictures of the big mess. I am grateful that my children both pitched in to help. We moved all the shelves to sweep under and behind them. Then put about half of everything back. The rest is waiting in the garage to go to Goodwill. In my little cleaning adventure I came across a journal filled with little daily devotionals I had written about five years ago.  So I thought I would get them added to this growing collection of devotionals

James The Bondservant

I was reading a novel based in the middle ages recently. In it I came across a term that I was unfamiliar with. There were in that time women hermits who were called anchoress'.  I don't know why they were given that name any more than why they call men hermits. Hermits remind me of hermit carbs living alone in their own little shell. Anchoress makes me think of Jesus being our anchor beyond the veil. I will need to research this more. The I like the idea of a bondservant or an anchoress, being one who is securely united with Christ who has anchored or chained themselves to him.

Take a look at the starting sentence in the verse above from the book of James. James is telling us who he is. He's not James bishop of somewhere, or James the brick maker's son, just James, or even little Jim.  He introduces himself as Jame, a servant of Christ. In some translations it uses the word bondservant. Bondservants are people who are not forced into slavery or servanthood. They are those who freely choose to be a servant in this case James has chosen to be a bondservant to God and to Jesus Christ.  It makes me recall the Moravians a group of christians who would sell them selves into slavery so they could reach certain un reached people groups for Jesus. They were a pretty radical bunch back in the day.

We too, must realize that God will not force us to serve or him, or to choose his way over our own. He wants us to of our own will, choose him and his way. In doing that we begin our journey of becoming all that he desires for us. James could have started this letter in many ways just as you can start your day in many ways. Like James make a point to remember your voluntary choice to position yourself with Christ. Let that guide you as you make choices and decisions today. Ask the question, am I doing what my loving master would want? Am I representing him in a good way? When people see me today will they see him?

Lord, Help us to remember that no one has forced us to choose to follow you. We have come to you because you first loved us. You have accepted us in our broken and fallen state but you never leave us in that place. Thank you for the work of healing and cleansing that you are doing in our life even though at times it is a painful process. Help us to remember that we serve and represent you as we go through this day.  Give us wisdom to make wise decisions and choices today.

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