"So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' "
- Luke 17:10
The apostle Paul would often describe himself as a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn't the same as the horrific slavery of days gone by where people were forced to work for someone else. Being a bondservant of Christ means serving God. It is something I want to do.
What is the goal of a servant? To please his master, to do what his master wants him to do. As 1 Corinthians 6:20 reminds us, "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
Let's not misunderstand. It isn't as though God has taken me against my will and made me His slave. No, it is more like being in a slave market in shackles. Jesus comes along, looks at me, and says, "I will take that one." Then He buys me.
So I say, "Okay, Master, where do you want me to go?"
"I want you to come over here because I am going to undo those shackles you're wearing."
"Wow. That feels a lot better."
Then Jesus says, "We're going down to the courthouse."
"I am going to adopt you now as my son. See, you are my slave, but you are my son."
"You know what?" I say. "I want to be your slave forever."
That is how it works. I am not a slave because I have to be; I am a slave because I want to be.
Yes, as Christians we are slaves. But we also are friends of God. The Potter who molded us is also our Father who adores us. Our Master who owns us is also our Friend who loves us. And so we are called to be His servants.