If you want to join me in an online study of the book "Slave" by John MacArthur, go here to get links to the books.
Review chapter one here.
What would be the benefits of slavery for the slave?
With a good master, all of a slave's needs were taken care of. With a well respected master came respect for the slave also.
A slave's experience depended upon the goodness of his or her master. Since God is our master, what kind of experience should we expect as His slaves?
God is perfect so we can expect perfect treatment from a perfect master. He would be loving, just, compassionate, and ALL of His attributes ALL the time.
Whew! Some convicting questions!
Many of Israel's heroes are specifically referred to as His slaves. How does that affect your understanding of what it means to be a slave to God?
These men are fantastic examples of being able to accomplish so much for God. They weren't oppressed or miserable at all. As a matter of fact, they counted it all joy to be able to serve Him.
In what ways does the slave metaphor emphasize the counterculture nature of the gospel?
In our society, everyone wants to do what they want to do and have what they want to have when they want it. After all, this is a FREE country, right? Willingly putting yourself last and another first is not satisfying to our selfish flesh.
David: Making Jesus "Savior" is the "feel good" part, but making Him "Lord" is the hard part. That makes you accountable to Him, and people don't want that. We are His slaves-His hands and feet. We do His work, but our flesh rebels against that very thing.
Thoughts about Paul.....
Paul's conversion may be one of the most radical ever. From the actual persecution and killing of those Christians whose God he eventually became a slave to is miraculous. I think Paul is a reminder to never stop praying for the those who are lost. Sometimes we think "so and so" is so far gone, they will never come to Christ, but Paul shows us that those who are so against God can have a change of heart.
James, the brother of Jesus, referred to himself as "slave" rather than "brother". What does this say about his perspective on the Christian life.
James recognized that being a slave to his Master superceded his familial relationship to Jesus. This is kind of hard to relate to, I think. I mean who wants to be a slave to their brother? But James was able to look so far past that and focus on the one thing that mattered, the fact that Jesus was more than his brother, He was the God who owned him.
Thoughts on James 4: 13-15....
Our primary concern in every action of our lives should be first considered as whether or not it's God's will for us. As a slave, we wouldn't have the option of going our own way, and doing our own thing. Every thing we do would need to be completely aligned with God's will, since he does have ownership over us.
David: At the end of the day, really nothing else matters. The only thing that matters is Jesus.
Thoughts on the boundaries of His control....
I think the boundaries of His control are really a safe area for us to be in. I think of my children in the confines of our yard. When they are there, they are safe. I can watch over them and protect them. But, when they venture out of that boundary, there are dangers and they are vulnerable.
What are your thoughts?