The Problem with My Social Media Bio

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January 1, 2016

James 1:1a

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

CONSIDER THIS

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

If you look in the brief bio I put at the bottom of most of my social media accounts you will see the following:

J.D. Walt. Farmer. Poet. Jurist. Theologian. Publisher.

I’m not sure what I am trying to do with this bio other than to make people think I must be amazing by all the cool things I think I am. And here’s my big point. It never once occurred to me that I might describe myself with these words, “A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

At the same time, I can’t imagine James saying something like, “James. Professional fisherman. Movement leader. Brother of Jesus but Joseph is my real father.”

For James, it came down to one thing: “Servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Years ago, my friend, Dr. David Hill, gave me one of the last business cards of his father, the late Sam Hill, who was a Minister in the Church of Christ. Underneath his name were these words, “BondSlave of Jesus Christ.” It struck me so deeply that not only have I never forgotten it but I have treasured the card in my keepsakes.

Paul instructs us to, “Have the same mind in us that was in Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God . . . took on the nature of a slave.” (see Philippians 2:5-11)

He followed suit. “Paul, slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God.” Romans 1:1.

Then there was, “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James . . .” Jude 1:1

And, “Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. . .” 2 Peter 1:1.

And, “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his bondslave, John, . . .” Revelation 1:1.

The New Testament teaches us we have two choices when it comes to our bio. We can be a slave of sin or a slave of God. Hear Paul on this: “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22.

To fail to choose means we will be a slave to sin. In short, slavery to sin simply means to be the servant of oneself. We’ve surely all discovered the deception by now of thinking we are somehow serving others when in actuality it’s more about how it benefits us. In other words, most of us aren’t averse to some form of helping other people. The problem is our servanthood to them rarely gets beyond some form of our own self interest. That’s the test of true servanthood. How am I benefiting? When Jesus invites us to “deny ourselves and take up our cross,” he doesn’t mean to grit our teeth and bear it. He’s talking about the arduous journey toward the joyful abandonment of our self interested-ness. This is precisely what God, in Jesus Christ, has done for us. We express our gratitude to him for this as we embrace his willingness to do this very thing in us for the sake of others. This is what it means to be a “servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

As much as we may not want to believe it, as human beings, we have a master. Our master will be sin or it will be Jesus Christ. The amazing grace of the Gospel is this: In becoming a slave of God, we set our feet on the only road to freedom.

The bigger truth? Freedom is the rediscovery and reclamation of our deepest identity as the beloved, blood-purchased sons and daughters of God. The pathway of discipleship leads us out of our inbred slavery to sin, into claiming our birthright as sons and daughters and into the pure liberated reality of our life’s work: to be the glorious servants of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily Text JAMES 01-02-16

THE QUESTIONS

1. Try this. I, (insert your name), am a slave of ___________________. The choices are slave of sin or slave of God.
2. Perhaps you feel the deep discontent of being caught somewhere between these choices. Are you ready to do something about that? It begins with the declaration of who you will become. Are you ready to declare, in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, “I am a slave of Jesus Christ.” If not, why not?
3. Speak it aloud, “I am a slave of Jesus Christ,” and if you are not prepared to do so, try saying aloud, “I am a slave of sin.” What effect did this have on you?

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.  jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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