This morning I prayed that the Lord would teach me something new. I felt led by the Spirit to read Romans so I opened up Romans chapter 1. I couldn’t even get past the first verse without the Lord speaking.
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” (Romans 1:1)
With reading Paul’s epistles I think a lot of us will often skip over or speed read through Paul’s repetitive introductions. He starts every letter very similar and once you have read a couple it’s kind of like, “Yes, we get it you have to introduce yourself now let’s get to the good stuff.” But this time I read it a little slower and the Lord really spoke to me through the first verse. First Paul states he is a bondservant of Jesus. What did he mean by this? Looking up bondservant the first definition I found was: a person bound in service without wages, or a slave. The next definition I found was: devoted to another to the disregard of one’s interest. Bondservants never left their master. They were devoted to them for life. So by Paul saying he was a bondservant to Jesus he was saying he was completely devoted to serving Jesus for the rest of his life.
Next Paul says he was “called to be an apostle.” To understand this line better let’s look at some definitions…
Call: to make a request or demand.
Apostle: one who is sent away (classical Greek meaning).
So breaking it down we have Paul saying he is a life-long devoted servant to Jesus who had made a demand for him to be sent away.
Next he tells us he is “separated to the gospel of God.” The word “separated” is what really stood out to me here. What is he separated from? I would say that he is separated from the world. Jesus said: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19) Jesus was talking about persecution here. We know Paul saw plenty of that but that didn’t stop him. He knew where he was going so he didn’t care. Paul lived his life knowing “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” He had truly separated himself from the world and could care less what the world thought of him so long as he was doing the work demanded of him by Jesus Christ.
This realization brought conviction to my life. Have I separated myself from the world? Maybe in some areas but there are plenty of other areas I know the world still has a hold of me.
Here’s my question Christians—do we believe what we say we believe? If so we should be out following the demands of Jesus. We must spread the gospel. It’s a demand not a choice.
“Is a lamp to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:21-23)
Are we sometimes afraid to do what God has asked us to do? Has the Lord put it on your heart to speak to your neighbors about Jesus but you have not out of fear of what they would think? Have you been given perfect opportunities to share the gospel to someone in public but kept quiet out of fear of man? We are to completely separate ourselves from the world and bond ourselves to the gospel of God and become a bondservant of Jesus Christ. There should be nothing in this world that holds us back from God’s call in our lives.
“The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (Prov 29:25)
Believe me by writing this I’m not saying I’m any better. This brings conviction to my life. I must do more! We must do more! This is a call to evangelize. This is a call for revival. Do you know where revival starts? In the hearts of us the believers! If we are on fire for the gospel then the fire will spread! And what keeps a fire burning? Fuel!
“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4)
The dog you feed more will be the stronger dog. Is your life on fire for God or are you burning out like the rest of the world? I would like to encourage you to live for Jesus and not let the world consume you.
Lord I pray for boldness. I pray that you would set our hearts on fire for your word, that we would have a new revelation and realization of your love and what you did for us Jesus. You died for us Lord and we are often afraid to tell others of what you have done. Shame on us and forgive us Lord. I pray that we would not let the desires and worries of the world hinder your Spirit any longer. Wake us up Lord. Bring together your church in unity. We seek you and await your guidance. Come Lord! Rule your kingdom. You are Lord of all! Praise you Jesus! Amen.
-I Want To Believe In God [dot com]