SERVANTS OF CHRIST
"The servants of Christ." Ephes. 6:6
In my various relationships, I should think especially of those which bind me to my Savior, and the titles which distinguish them. What can be more important? What is more so, than the present one? A servant of Christ! I was a servant of sin. Alas! that I should be obliged to say so--A servant of Satan! The Lord Jesus redeemed me from this slavery, by becoming a servant of servants for me, and paying his own blood for my ransom. He brought me back from my bondage, by renewing me with his own Spirit. Then I gave myself up to him, to be his servant. And now I have one Master, even Christ. I have no other one; no other will, or law, or plan, or counsel to follow. How simple is my path! How glorious is such a relationship! The highest angel delights in it. They worship and obey him with joy. Let me obey him, and adorn my title with fidelity.
1. But OBEDIENCE becomes a servant. If I am a servant of Christ, I must obey him. Whatever may be his commands, they are to be fulfilled. It is not for me to judge of them. The interests and the responsibility are his. I am to do just as he says. When I hear and understand his word, that is enough. Obedience may be inconvenient, or unpleasant, or mysterious. A servant does not consider this. He follows the command. That is enough. The Lord who gives it, knows where it will lead and what will be its result. How perfectly simple is a life of obedience to Christ! It involves no questions and no difficulties. It is disobedience and rebellion that suggest the questions and difficulties in our path. His service is perfect freedom. No life is so happy. No life is so easy. Let this be my life! Oh that I may ever have the heart, simply to do what the Lord commands, and leave all the government on his shoulder, and all the obstacles for him to overcome.
2. FIDELITY becomes a servant. Entire fidelity. Not eye-service, doing reluctantly, and doing no more than I cannot avoid. But I am as cordially to obey in my Master's absence, as in his presence. I am to consult in all things my Master's interest and will. Thus should I be faithful in all things to my glorious Lord. He sees me at all times. I am to have reference only to him. In every duty and engagement, I should carry out his holy will. He has left very distinct directions for me, to be faithful until he comes. This will be my effort. This shall be my plan in life. I have a most responsible trust. Much depends upon my faithfulness in it. Glorious results will follow upon my persevering fidelity. Fearful punishment await my negligence and wastefulness. Oh let me be watchful, and neither neglect my Master's work, nor waste my Master's goods. How happy will be the salutation, "Well done, you good and faithful servant!"
3. USEFULNESS becomes a servant. Affectionate usefulness in his master's service, whatever his work may be. His labor is always for some appointed end. His obedience and fidelity are to produce distinct and expected results. What, then, is my Master doing in the world? What is the work he has given me to do? He must look for the results that come from my labor in his service. Ah, how much there is to do in the service of Christ! How much sorrow to be relieved! How much misery to he removed! Every act and work of kindness to man, is a part of this work of Christ. The souls and bodies of men are to be comforted and blessed. I may be, and I must be, always doing good. My rule in it is my Master's command. My motive must be my Master's will. I am not to look at the returns that I may get. I am not to consider what may be serviceable to me. I am to gather fruit for him. My recompense comes not from men. My record is with my Lord. Let me daily strive to carry home sheaves for his garner, and to increase the glory that he will receive.
4. RESPONSIBILITY becomes a servant. He must have a constant sense of this. This is the end of his labor, that he must give an account for all. He must appear before his Master, to render up an account of himself. I must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Soon will the day of my account arrive. I know not how soon. It is fixed, though concealed from men. I should be always ready. My account will extend to every part and portion of my work, my secret and my public acts. It will be most searching and entire. My Master will ask for everything that he has given me. I must answer to him, who cannot be deceived, and will not be mocked. The judgment he will give will be unchangeable. The issues of that day will be eternal. Let me ever keep it in mind, and think each day, as it passes, of the account I must give for that.
5. These are attributes of a servant--these all become me as a servant of Christ--obedience, fidelity, usefulness, and responsibility. Oh that I may thus serve my Lord, in my body and spirit which are his. Let me in every relationship and call of life, strive simply to know and to do his will. Let it be the great purpose of my life to be found acceptable in his sight--to finish the work which he has given me to do--that I may be, through his grace, a partaker of his reward, and of his glory.
Then will he own his servant's name
Before his Father's face;
And in the New Jerusalem
Appoint my soul a place.