“Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ….”
– Philippians 1:1a
In almost every speaking engagement I’ve attended–leadership summit, corporate seminar, graduation ceremony, and the like–there is always a “times 2” increase in speakers. Why do I say this? Well, before the key speaker mounts the platform and delivers his or her well-prepared presentation, an introductory speaker who enumerates the key speaker’s necessary credentials and experience. The introduction usually lasts 30 seconds or 1 minute, and the longer it takes, the more credible the speaker appears to be. Lately, I realize that introductions are important not just in speaking engagements, but in our everyday lives. It is our identity; to some extent, it is the source of our salary or livelihood and even our self worth.
If someone as respectable as President Noynoy Aquino or Billy Graham get to be introduced in 30 seconds or a minute (or even longer), should we not expect a more lengthy intro for the man who authored more than half of the books of the New Testament (as well as his faithful son in the faith)? That’s what we would expect, but the apostle Paul preferred to save his words for more important things such as commanding his beloved in the Lord to rejoice in Him. He still had an introduction, though, but simply put:
servant of Jesus Christ.
Not the super apostle of the early 1st century or a dignified master of the law, graduated cum laude in Applied Jewish Law from Rabbinical University or the invincible man who remained perfectly healthy after being bit by a viper (see Acts 28:1-6 for the miraculous details). A servant.
This introduction always strikes a chord in my heart because it reminds me that if I desire to be joyful in my Lord and Savior, I must make servant-hood my lifetime career. Choosing joy means choosing to be a servant of the King of Kings for the rest of your life. There is no other way. Everything we know a servant to be is what we should be in Jesus Christ: completely surrendered and obedient to anything and everything the Master commands. We did not choose Him, but He chose us so that we may go and bear fruit and that our fruit would remain (John 15:16).” God created us in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for us to do….” (Ephesians 2:10) You and I are made for Him Who loved and died for us, not for ourselves.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love…..These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10-11)
God’s joy is conditional and obedience is its prerequisite. If you believe that God loves you and trust that He has a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), wouldn’t you be willing and even want to do whatever HE tells you to do? Obedience from the heart and mind is only possible if the act is founded on love, otherwise, it’s not obedience at all.
Will you choose to be His servant for life? 🙂