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Friday, May 7, 2010

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Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57:8-10, 12
John 15:12-17

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voluntary slavery

"I no longer speak of you as slaves." —John 15:15

Jesus calls us, His disciples, "slaves." Later, He may call us "friends." To be a friend of Jesus, we must first be His slave. To know what Jesus is doing, we must first obey without knowing what He is doing (Jn 15:15). To be aware of Jesus as Love (1 Jn 4:16), we must first know Him as Lord. God's word commands us to "be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:24).

However, the idea of being anyone's slave is disturbing to us. We want to keep our independence. However, there is no such thing as our independence. This is a self-deception. "You must realize that, when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one you obey, whether yours is the slavery of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to justice" (Rm 6:16). We are automatically slaves to someone or something. The only question is: "Whose slave will we be?"

To be the slave of Jesus means to no longer have a life of our own (see Gal 2:20), to let ourselves be consumed by the living God (see Heb 12:29). To be a slave of Jesus is a privilege and the highest honor a human being can attain. Jesus "emptied Himself and took the form of a slave" for love of us (Phil 2:7). Will you empty yourself and be His slave for love of Him?

Prayer:  Jesus, I am created to be Your slave. I will only be freed and fulfilled as Your slave. I choose You as Lord. I choose to be Your slave.

Promise:  "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, not to lay on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary." —Acts 15:28

Praise:  David once was a slave to drugs, but Jesus set him free. Now he lives for Jesus.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing A Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009

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