Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who is your master?

     Last Thursday night I attended a seminar on Human Trafficking. I was interested in going partly because one of my good friends is going on a mission trip this summer to minister to girls who have experienced the horrors of sex trafficking and also because I know this is an issue that our nation faces today and I felt the need to be better informed. The night was as I expected, we were shown pictures of young children bound on beds and heard clips of girls talking about their abuse. We were given statistics and information on how those in our area are trying to fight against this modern day slave trade. Looking around that room of people at the seminar I realized what privileged lives we lead. For some of us it was easy leave the seminar and move past the horrific information we were given. We were able to move past the sadness we felt and go on with our lives. But somewhere, maybe even near where I live and where I attend school, there is a child who is enslaved. A child that can’t escape the horrors he or she is facing right now. I left the seminar feeling depressed and wishing I could do something, but feeling hopeless about the situation. Abolishing modern day slavery seems like a daunting task. At the seminar, a pastor told us this was a job for the body of Christ. I agree with his statement. Wasn’t it Jesus Christ who said in one of his parables “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:45). As the body of Christ we are called to care for those in need so that we can share Christ’s sacrifice and love with them. The pastor then quoted William Wilberforce who in essence said that slavery is a sin and sin is slavery. This quote was very profound to me.

Yes, the body of Christ should be at the forefront of saving humans not only from physical slavery, but also spiritual slavery, but sadly I am realizing more each day that many who live within the Church are, themselves, enslaved by sin. Like the children of Israel in the book of Isaiah, the modern day church is made up of “people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!” (Isaiah 1: 4). We know the scriptures and attend church services and functions, but during the week we want to do our own thing. We don’t fully give over every part of ourselves to God instead we keep what we want and give Him the leftovers. Jesus Christ says in Matthew chapter 6 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). We can’t serve God and have it our own way at the same time. Our way doesn’t guarantee joy and peace. Our way is a way filled with disappointment and regret. Our way doesn’t get us to heaven. But Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We must choose to be the masters of our own life and accept the consequences or choose to make Jesus our master and Lord of our life. We can’t have it both ways.

Jesus said in John 15 “I am the true vine and my father is the gardener…remain n me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15: 1, 4). To make Jesus our Master we must obey him. For He said, “if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15: 10).

Before we start trying to fix all the problems of the world we have to make sure our heart is right with God. We can’t take the hope of Jesus to the world if we, ourselves, don’t fully understand the hope and joy He offers because we are trying to serve two masters.

So who is your master? Are you giving everything you have to God? Or are you holding something back?
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1: 18.

Jesus, I know you want every part of me, but sometimes I worry that if I give you everything your plan for me won’t turn out like I want. Even though I feel this way sometimes, I know deep down in my heart that your plans are greater than my own. So today I’m not holding anything back. You are the Master of my life. Work in me. Help me to be obedient to you so that I can help those in need. Work in the Church. Bring a revival to each and every individual’s walk with you. Help us give you all of us so that you can work through us to change this world for your glory.