We love to think that we are in control of our own lives, the masters of our fate. Like Frank Sinatra’s famous tune “My Way,” which declares, “Let the record show / I took all the blows / and did it my way.” Very few of us want our life to be about serving someone else and their goals.
Yet in the opening verses of Romans, Paul clearly describes his relationship with Jesus as one of servitude. He opens by calling himself, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus” (v. 1). There are many titles Paul could have claimed, maybe “accomplished apostle” or “insightful preacher,” but he chose to be called “a servant of Christ Jesus.” That was his true identity.
Jesus had radically changed Paul’s life. Jesus was the one who had stopped him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–18). He changed him from a man who wanted to kill and punish Christians to one centered on proclaiming the “gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1). The central title used for Jesus in these verses is “Lord” (v. 4). Paul reminds the Romans that Jesus is “our Lord” and that we “belong to Jesus Christ” (vv. 5-6).
Part of the good news of the coming of Jesus is that we can have a relationship with Him as Lord. This is good news because if we were not servants of Jesus, we would be enslaved to sin and separated from God (Rom. 6:6). But in Christ we are free to joyfully accept His rule. Jesus is Lord! “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Ps. 2:12).
>> To be a Christian is to be a willing and devoted servant of the Lord Jesus. We are not called to live life “My Way,” but in humble obedience to Jesus. When you make your next decision, try to consider not your way, but what your Lord and Savior would have you do.
Dear God, forgive us when we act like a defiant child. We recognize that You hold our future, and You alone know what is best for us. Today we lay every plan and every dream before You to do with as You please.