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1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad.
James 1:1 (NLT)
A few thoughts on James 1.
James, the leader of the church of Jerusalem, writing to his scattered flock across the Mediterranean. His identifier was the fact that he is a “slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Modern Church leaders tend to list things like the name and size of their church, their education, and the books they have written. James instead simply states that he is a slave of God.
I’ve asked many of you in the last week, What does he mean by slave of God? Your answers vary:
“It means we do what God says to do.”
“We are on God’s agenda rather than are own.”
“We belong to God.”
Does this fit well with our modern, individualistic mindset? I think we tend to think of ourselves as our own boss, on our own team, and independent rather than anyone’s slaves.
Consider a few things, however.
Finally, being a slave to God is doing his will. James role was to shepherd his flock and he did it willingly and blessed many. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, blessing others, sharing the gospel, adopting, nursing, building, planning, loving – all for the sake of our master’s glory. It is actually an honor to be a "slave of God."
As Bob Dylan once said, “Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”