Editorial - ‘A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ’, Jas. 1. 1.
Brian Clatworthy, Newton Abbot, Devon, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
‘A servant of God’ – nothing more, nothing less! How do we see ourselves? James, who is widely recognized to be the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, could have claimed that human link to establish and build his importance; but not so. He seeks no profile other than that of a ‘bondslave’ – one who has surrendered his rights entirely in the service of another. How is it with us? Is the sole objective of our life to devotedly serve our Master? As we search the scriptures to learn what being a servant means, we can draw lessons from a plethora of examples. From Jeremiah, we can learn about the preparation of the servant, Jer. 1. 4-10. We note simply that God’s servants are God’s sovereign choice; the servant neither chooses his sphere of service nor undertakes that service in his own strength. The same is true today. Nor, it should be noted, does a local church choose the sphere of service of a servant. The distribution of, and power to use, gift is the domain of the Godhead alone. We should carefully remember that there is no room for depending on fleshly talent in His work, 2 Cor. 4. 7! My responsibility is not to express or develop my fleshly talents, but to make myself available for the service my Master has graciously set out for me.
From the servant with a pierced ear, we can learn about the proving of the servant, Exod. 21. That ‘bored’ ear demonstrated he loved his master. Has our Master’s unmerited, loving provision for us so impacted us that we are happy to bear the mark of being devoted for life to His service?
But, back to James. In a world that is obsessed with ‘profiles’, can we learn again the profile of the servant? Surely, the true ‘servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ’ will ensure that his Master is what is seen and his Master’s voice is what is heard. He will be self-effacing, humble of mind, fervent in His work, meek and faithful. He will act as one with no rights, with unswerving dedication, and take every conceivable precaution to ensure he has no ‘profile’.
We pray that as this issue of the magazine finds its way into your hands, the content, as contributed by a few of His servants, will be a timely message from our Master, and He will be honoured and given the glory.
AUTHOR PROFILE: He is an elder and active member of a pioneer assembly work in Newton Abbott. For many years he has been welcomed as a ministering brother in the south of England and has written a number of articles for the magazine. He is married and has two children.