Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Sept. 29, 2K9

new notes 4Proverbs 29:19 (ESV) By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond.

Are you merely a servant of God, or are you also a child of God? The issue is an important one. How you think of yourself in these categories will impact how you respond to Him.

Mere servants do not respond out of familial love. They see the Father’s commands as only that – commands. They do not look forward to sharing the inheritance. They think of themselves as only making another rich – having no vested interest in the actual good, or well being of their Master. They work for their wages, resent their position, look for ways to circumvent duties, do things quicker, cheaper, less precisely and always with a hint of (if not consumed by it) seeking to break the yoke off of their necks.

Even the true children of the Father can begin to relate to Him that way at times.

But one who lives more delighting in their relationship to the Father of Lights, and responding to Him as such, live much differently. Oh, they may serve along side the mere servants in the Father’s fields. They will be about the Father’s business in every aspect of it – no task too menial. But they know that this is their Father’s pleasure. They are building up His estate. He has loved them and speaks tenderly and lovingly to them and their labor is not by constraint, but joyful assistance. They remind themselves of how they will inherit all. They seek to do their proscribed duties with a vested interest in them. Psalm 40:8 (ESV) I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” In my heart, not just my head – the Psalmist might have added. I share the same goals, the same vision for the end of all things – the same agenda. I see the big picture, the end you have in store. I understand how all of your pursuits are holy, good, blessed, and full of grace. I know your own heart to bless others and to give out of your boundless storehouses – and your delight in giving your children the “kingdom”

A child will indeed serve. But it is one thing to be nothing but a servant, and quite another to be a child, serving. And grasping the difference, living in it can make all the difference between chaffing at the Father’s commands, and delighting in them.

Where are you?

If you are a Christian today, perhaps you have lasped into mere servanthood – and clean forgotten what it means to labor for and with your glorious Father. If so, sin will be hard to conquer, for your heart is rebellious. You and the Father are working at cross purposes. You will be precious little help to Him, and thus you will not enjoy the benefits of His provisions. His Word will be like sawdust in your mouth. Worship, a wearisome, empty exercise. Prayer excruciatingly lonely and dull. Witnessing, a hollow recitation of theological facts. Beloved, it is time to refresh your relationship with Him and to draw near to Him again.

If you are not a Christian, you feel the weight and emptiness of being nothing but that – a servant, and nothing more. You resent true religion and the God of this world as a taskmaster. Your every expended effort in this life you instinctively know will die when you do. There is no inheritance ahead. No joy beyond the grave. No future. No hope. But oh, how all of that is transformed when once you are born again by the Spirit of God, and adopted in the family! Won’t you throw down your rebellious arms – confess your sin and repent of your desiring to be your own master? Won’t you take Jesus Christ today as your sin-bearer – dieing in your place on the cross of Calvary and trust Him alone for your right standing with the Father? Won’t you become a Christian today? The Master calls you right now. Come.

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