Well, here we are, finally! The last week of Slave by John MacArthur. This is about the only thing I've had time to post lately. We're going to try and be done with school next week, and Brittany leaves for her mission's trip in a month so I feel like my life will be a little less crazy by that point. Hopefully. Well, you know how homeschooling is- so time consuming, and when you aren't doing school you have time for other things anyway.
What practical steps can you take to learn and understand God's Word better?
I think that the most important thing about learning God's Word is to be proactive. You have to actually pursue it. It won't transfer to you by osmosis. You, yourself, actualy have to jumpstart the learning and understanding on your own.
That being said, commit to reading the Word daily. Memorize It. Read commentaries. Look up passages that you don't understand and see what others say about them. Fall under some good Biblical teaching. Join a local church. Bott Radio Network has some great trusted Bible teachers and preachers. Pray often. If there is an area of Scripture that you don't understand, pray that God would give you wisdom and reveal knowledge to you about it.
In your own words degfine what it means to be a slave, how is that different than being a servant?
It's funny, because right now I'm also reading Francine Rivers' "The Mark of the Lion" series again, about a young Jewish girl sold as a slave to a Roman family after the fall of Jerusalem. So, when I'm thinking through what being a slave means, I'm really picturing the main character of the book. As being a slave she....
-had to remain with the owning family or be punished
-had to serve them in whatever manner they deemed necessary
-had been bought with a price
-had her basic needs provided for
She chose to.....
-serve them faithfully because she wanted to, not because she had to
-remained faithful to God above all else
-always put the families needs above her own
Now, if she had merely been hired on as a servant she........
-could've come and gone as she pleased
-quit if she chose to do so
-would've been paid only for wages earned
-proveded for her own needs
Slavery brings Freedom
People are stubborn and resistant and do not like to be told what to do (I will include myself here!). So, the idea of slavery- even to God- isn't appealing to them. But, the reality is that you ARE a slave to something period. Whatever that may be in your life- you are a slave to something. If you are not a slave to God, then you are a slave to sin. Period. So, if you are a slave to something, why wouldn't you wntt to be a slave to God in righteousness than be a slave to sin and live under it's burden and death?
How should we treat others?
We should have Jesus' attitude towards others- compassion, love, mercy, and yes even anger towards unrighteousness. He took the form of a humble slave for us. It makes me think of society's "disrespect" attitude. The "I'm going to hurt you because you disrespected me" attitude. That is so opposite of what jesus came here to do. Love each other to the point of putting others first and yourself last.
What are some of the other "masters" that deter people from submitting to the one true Master?
I think that peole can make just about anything another master. Matthew mentions money. Also, jobs and hobbies. Especially as a homeschooling mom, it's easy to let homeschooling, a busy schedule and even your family become masters. But one thing is true- you can't serve two masters at the same time. You are either serving God or something else.
Titus 2: 11-14
God sent His grace to us, in the form of His son Jesus to redeem us from our sin. He also teaches us how to live righteously until Jesus returns.
What does it mean to be a Christian?
A Christian is a blood-bought slave of Jesus who has the ultimate priviledge of being adopted as a son of God, and fellow heir to His riches with Jesus, whose duty it is to wholly serve Jesus the Master.
How has the study of slavery to Christ impacted your understanding of the Christian life? What are the implications of that concept in your daily walk with God?
This study has reiterated the decision I made long ago- that Jesus is Lord. The single most important decision you will ever make in this life is what you will do with Jesus. Will you accept Him as Savior and payment for your sin, or will you reject Him? And, if you accept Him as Savior will you make him Lord of your life? Will you be His slave?
I'm almost struggling to find the right words to sum up what this study has meant to me. I read this book last year, but I'm so glad that he prompted me to read it again, but this time to think through the study questions and write down my thoughts. I appreciate your joining me for this study. It was really mostly an accountibility for me to make sure I stayed the course and finished, and so I had a place where my thoughts on it were gathered.
Through this study, God has really drawn me closer to Himself. I already understood the master/slave aspect of my relationship with Jesus, and this study helped me to fully understand it. And, God has also helped me to better understand my relationship to Him, the Father. Not only am I a slave of Jesus, but the Father adopted me- I am his daughter. His beloved child. He is my Daddy. I don't just have to be a slave to Jesus, but I want to be one. I want to please my Daddy. I want to please Jesus.
I tend to have a wall up in any relationship. I don't know why-maybe as a defense mechanism from a lifetime of hurt. "You can get close, but only this close." That wall was in place in my relationship with God as well. I never doubted that God loved me, or that I was saved or that Jesus was my Master. But, it was a "formal" relationship- how you would expect a slave to relate to his master. Only God can orchestrate events that fall together so perfectly to speak to the hearts of His children. He had me tear down that wall and the funny thing is that I never realized it was even there until it was gone. Now it's no longer "Father", but "Daddy". It's "Master" Jesus, but also "Brother" and "Friend". God brought me into a deeper relationship with Himself. He loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. Jesus chose to die for me!
Humbling. So humbling.
I've been very driven to become heaven minded. This time on the earth is so short. I need to make every minute of my service to Jesus count. In just the blink of an eye, it will be time to stand face to face with Jesus and for eternity. Everyone will one day face Him. If He says, "I never knew you" that is the last time you will ever see His face. Or He will say, "Well done, good and faithful slave!" and you will see His face for eternity. I'm so ready for that day to come. Which will He say to you?
Any final thoughts?