Tag Archives: Spite

You’re gonna have to serve somebody

You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
These lyrics from Bob Dylan’s song resonate with the words of Paul in Romans 6. Paul’s focus in the second half of this chapter is this- we are all designed by God to have a master. We are built that way. That sounds strange, doesn’t it, but when I use the word master it’s the lowest idea of what God intended.

 

God designed us to always be in intimate relationship with him….all the while allowing him to be Lord of our lives. But that plan went wrong when Adam chose a different lord….a taskmaster that led him into bondage. Now this idea of another reigning in my life is considered primitive, religious or even stupid.

But here’s the problem…in spite of our aversion to the idea it’s still the way we function, it’s still the way we are made, so we WILL install a master, a lord to reign in our lives. The question Paul asks is this- Do you understand how important this decision is? Do you understand the
implications? Who you choose as your lord will determine all that follows.

As I prepared to teach through this material last week I came to two verses, completely unrelated, that caught my attention because of one common word. Here are the verses and then let’s talk about them,

Genesis 4 “Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Notice these words, “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you…it desires to master you, but you must master it.”

Now, contrast that passage with this,


“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Two visitors have come to seek entrance. One comes by stealth, crouching, looking for a way in to master us. The other comes knocking, looking for a relationship. What a contrast of masters. One simply wants to master our lives to sin, and finally death. The other wants a relationship, time to eat, fellowship with us and brings life. These are the two choices of masters. We each will choose one or the other. Here’s how Paul describes it in Romans 6,

“…do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

You’re gonna have to serve somebody. At the door wait two masters. One will reign with evil desires and death as the final outcome. The other will rule in love and grace with life as his goal for you.

As I have thought about this I realize that most do not believe this is true. We believe, as the writer once wrote, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” But it’s simply not true. We aren’t our own masters. It’s clear we choose whom we will serve, but serve we will.

 

 

Who do you serve?

 

Salvation!

There is a story in Chile that has been unfolding for months. It’s the story of more than 30 miners who have been trapped underground. It’s a story I have been thinking about as I watch the efforts to rescue them.

This story has amazing similarities to the dilemma the human race is in regarding sin. We, like those miners, have been trapped! In spite of our best efforts we cannot get out of this mess ourselves. We are trapped! We need someone to rescue us. That is the drama of the last few months as millions have been spent to drill down to them, to save them, to rescue them.

They are trapped in their cave. There is no way out by their own efforts. Someone has to help them, dig them out and save them. As I thought about these men and their helpless situation it struck me that the human race is in a similar situation. We are trapped by sin and cannot rescue ourselves. We need help! We need someone to save us.

That is what the good news is about- God’s rescue plan for the human race. Since we are unable to save ourselves he made his way to us and provided a way out…Deliverance! Rescue! Freedom! Salvation! It’s only when we realize how helpless we are that we look for help from someone else. These miners know they cannot save themselves and so they wait…they wait for salvation.

How many of them will take advantage of salvation when it comes? How many will get in the recovery pod to be brought back to life by someone else? Do you think any of them will decline? Will there be any who would say, “No thank you, I can save myself. I don’t need anyone else to save me. I’ll do it myself, thank you very much.” To even write these words is silly. None will remain behind. None will believe they can rescue themselves. All will respond to the saving work of others. All of these men will gladly say “YES!” to salvation.

Like these miners the human race is trapped and in need of salvation. God has come and done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He has rescued us, provided a way out….he’s sent the recovery pod for us. Why would any say no to his wonderful rescue plan? Why would any turn down God’s gift? Here is his salvation plan for mankind. Who wouldn’t want to be rescued from the dark pit of sin and death? Who wouldn’t respond to this free gift of life?

John 3:16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”