“But if your servant says to you, ‘I do not want to leave you,’ because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.” — Deuteronomy 15:16-17
What is a bond-servant? It’s not a term we use in everyday language, but it is an important concept for followers of Jesus to adopt as a part of their identity in Christ. Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude all called themselves bond-servants of Christ. Where did each of these individuals get the concept?
In Deuteronomy 15:12-18, Moses instructs the people on how they are to treat Hebrew slaves. An individual most likely became a slave because of some debt he had incurred. After the slave served an individual for six years, he was to be set free in the seventh year, generously supplied for their return home. However, if the slave sensed the love of the master and had been treated well while in his care, he could choose to remain as a slave forever. He would be given a permanent marking with an awl through his ear so that everyone would know that he chose to remain as a slave under his master’s care.
Here are some things required to become a bond-servant of Christ: see the goodness of the Master; choose it of your own free will; be willing to relinquish rights to ownership; humility; a no-turning-back mentality; trust in the Master to provide all you need; obedience to do what you are asked to do; take care of what belongs to the Master.
Are you willing to be called a bond-servant of Christ? This goes beyond how a determined athlete would respond to a respected coach — it is a lifestyle and has eternal impact. How would choosing to be a true servant of Christ change your family, team, church and community?
— Mickey Weston, Chicago White Sox chaplain
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to