Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, - Romans 1:1 NASB
As part of my life-coaching education, I recently hired a coach and have taken a few assessments to help analyze my talents, skills and personality tendencies. While delving into the accuracy etc. of these types of assessments is beyond the scope of this blog, I will say that they are great tools for self-evaluation. One of the assessments determined that a good part of my self worth comes from the roles I play. I'm not sure that this is necessarily a good trait and is something that I am definitely examining further.
Keeping this in mind, is it any wonder then that I am intrigued by the way Paul introduces himself in each of his letters to the churches in the bible? Paul is first and foremost an apostle of God. Isn't that what we should be? Servants of God first and everything else second? Paul even goes so far in Romans 1 to say that he is a bond-servant of Jesus. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says that he is a prisoner of the Lord.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Isn't it something that in a simple greeting at the beginning of a letter, God's Word has the power to prick at our hearts and nudge us toward action to change? My earthly roles & job descriptions have changed throughout my life, but the one thing that has not changed since I became a Christian in my early teens is that I am still a "bond-servant" of Jesus. Unlike Paul, I know that I have not always taken this role as seriously as I should. Paul takes his role as a representative of God very seriously. Serious enough that he considers himself a prisoner. How about you?
Dear Father, please forgive me for not living out every minute and every aspect of my life in the way that you would have me to live it. Forgive my pride and my insistence on living my way and not yours. I am your "prisoner", but a stubborn one at times. Lord I ask today that you make the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be not only acceptable in your sight but pleasing to you. Amen.