In HOPE 10.10

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David Timms



"Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

Prayer for Today

Father, I'm so easily caught up in my own fears and plans. I'm so easily distracted by the voices of those around me. Guide me into greater awareness of You today. And when I want to race around or ahead in my own strength, remind me that I have chosen to follow Christ and serve You. May you find me to be an increasingly good and faithful servant.




His Bidding

Good servants don’t get to do what they want.

In the ancient world, slaves and servants did not enjoy the freedom to pursue personal ambition, vision, or plans. They served their master’s pleasure. The very notion that they might have their own agenda or function autonomously never crossed their minds, except in rebellious moments. Serving their master did not leave room to choose their own career, build their own little kingdoms, or seek power and fame. They lived, humbly, for a single purpose—to do the master’s bidding.

When the apostle Paul described himself as a bondslave of Christ, this model of servitude surely dominated his thinking. He understood very well that the primary task of slavery to Christ is not busyness of our own making or dreams of our own devising but diligent attentiveness to the Master, willingness to do as He requests, and obedient responsiveness.

If Jesus or Paul had spoken of themselves (and us) as team captains, chief strategists, Kingdom CEOs, we might rightly surmise that our job is to take charge. But the words steward, servant, and slave dominate their language.

The servant metaphor underscores a profound spiritual truth. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price. Christ redeemed us (bought as back—a slavery term) by dying on the Cross.

In a church as enamored with power, allusions of grandeur, and visions of personal success as the world, those of us who wear the mantle of leader would do well to replace it in our minds with the biblical image of slavery. When ambition, power, pride, and control intoxicate us and leave us spiritually numbed and stumbling, it might help to revisit some of the oldest Christian ground of all.

“Though Jesus was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.” (Philippians 2:6-7)

Of course, the call to servanthood extends well beyond those in Christian leadership. It includes all of us who name Christ as Lord.

Whose bidding are we doing this week? Are we attentive and responsive to Him above all else? Or do we remain distracted and devising our own plans? May we increasingly discover true freedom in serving Him.





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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2010) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.