Who is Your Master?
James Smith, 1859
We are all servants. We have given ourselves up to work for someone — to serve someone. The apostle Paul tells us, how we may ascertain, who is your master. He says, "His servants you are — whom you obey." Now we either serve self, Satan, or the Lord Jesus Christ. It comes down therefore to this — that either Satan or Christ is our master; and he is our master whom we obey.
Do we consult the will of Christ, in what we do? Do seek to please Christ, in what we do? Do we desire in everything to commend ourselves to the Lord Jesus, and secure his approbation? If so, then Christ is our master, and we are his servants. He has work for us to do for him. His Word must be our rule in doing it. He will accept and acknowledge our poor efforts, though they are feeble and imperfect. Jesus is the best, the kindest of masters. He looks more at the motive, than the excellency of the work. He often takes the will for the deed, and never despises the least thing that is done out of love to his name.
But, are we living to ourselves — seeking our own pleasure and gratification? Are we indulging our lusts and passions, and only seeking to keep in with the world, and appear respectable before our fellow men? Do we love and enjoy sin, preferring it to holiness? If so, then Satan is our master. We are his slaves. He leads us captive at his will. He has, and keeps possession of the heart. He is the worst of masters. His service is bitter. His wages are dreadful, for "The wages of sin is death." Eternal death!
He finds his slaves plenty to do. He keeps them busy,
that they may not think. He rules them with an iron rod. He degrades
their nature, secures the ruin of their souls, and makes them miserable,
both in this world, and the next. He infatuates his victims, so that they
prefer . . .
darkness to light,
bondage to liberty,
sin to holiness, and
as a consequence, Hell to Heaven.
That is to say, they prefer the ways of sin — though Hell is at the end; to the way of holiness — though it lands us in Heaven.
Reader, who is your master? Have you seriously considered the question? Have you come to a decision upon the point? If you say, "Jesus is" — then we say, He was not once. Therefore you know something about entering into his service, learning his will, and receiving the law from his mouth. None of us are the servants of Jesus by nature, consequently however, we may attempt to deceive others, or persuade ourselves, that we are the servants of Christ — we are not, unless we have been delivered from the power of darkness, and are translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
What a degradation to have Satan for our master! To be the slave of the most degraded, accursed, and most miserable being in God's universe! Lord, are we the slaves of Satan? Do we serve sin? If so, convince us of our folly, of our criminality, and bring, O bring us unto the liberty with which you make your people free. Sicken us of sin. Set our hearts against sin. Deliver us from the dreadful power, and fascinating influence of sin; and implant holy principles deep in our natures, that we may henceforth serve you in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life. Jesus, Savior, take us into your service, employ us in your vineyard, use us to your glory, and at death receive us to rest in your presence! O to be the willing, devoted, useful servants of the Lord Jesus! O to show forth your praise, merciful Redeemer, in body, soul, and spirit; in public and in private; in time and in eternity! Amen.