I reread this today and was convicted and challenged again. I love when scripture does that to us.
James 1:1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
James was the brother of Jesus the Christ. At the same time he called himself the Servant (Î´Î¿á¿¦Î»Î¿Ï; doulos)a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subservience):âbond (-man), servant. of Jesus. The word means slave.
From: Î´ÎÏ deÅ deh’-o A primary verb; to bind (in various applications, literally or figuratively):âbind, be in bonds, knit, tie, wind.
James was bound to his brother as a slave.
The English definition of Slave is ”
1: a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2: one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
3: a device (as the printer of a computer) that is directly responsive to another
4: drudge; toiler
(Merriam Webster online dictionary)
Wow! If James was held in service as if owned by God and Jesus Christ what does that mean? He considered himself owned by his own brother. I would do anything for my brother if he needed it, but it’s not the same as me considering myself a slave to him. I don’t ask his permission to carry out my daily activities, or his blessing. I live my life and he lives his and if he has a need, I can then decide to step in and help. I am definitely not completely subservient to his dominating influence.
Can you imagine if we lived truly subservient to God’s influence in our lives? A dominating influence means that He has more influence than anyone or anything else in my life. Can I say that? Could I write this simple greeting? Jason Forsman, slave to God and to our Lord Jesus Christâ¦ Wow! Just the depth of really being able to say that.
Am I really a device that as soon as God sends the command, He can expect results. If my printer is slow I get frustrated, but how many commands do we as the secondary device completely ignore, or mess up? How many sheets of paper have we shot out that were not clear or splotchy? Have we even been able to get any of them right? Wow! Intense!
What has the dominating influence in my life? Our lives have so many influences. Some we choose and others we can’t choose. When we continue to pile things on it makes us fickle. We never stick to anything because we don’t know what to choose. There are so many options. There are people pleasers who never want to say, “No.” to anyone so in the end they end up wearing out or going back and forth so much that they find themselves in situations where they can’t please anyone because they are spread so thin. If we were able to truly give God dominance in every situation and decision we may at times have to say, “No.” to people we used to try to please all the time. Wow!
A slave to God. Some would say the hardest part about obedience to God is hearing His voice. I think the hardest part is not in hearing, but in not ignoring. We hear His voice and His prompting all the time. The issue is we so often choose to drown it out with all the other things and people of this life. God, please help me hear and be obedient as one who is your slave, without hesitation.
James as the slave of God and Jesus Christ writes to the 12 tribes who are scattered in the dispersion. Israelites around the world are the audience. Î´Î¹Î±ÏÏÎ¿ÏÎ¬ diaspora dee-as-por-ah’ From G1289; dispersion, that is, (specifically and concretely) the (converted) Israelites resident in Gentile countries:â(which are) scattered (abroad). (Strong’s)
G1289 Î´Î¹Î±ÏÏÎµÎ¯ÏÏ diaspeirÅ dee-as-pi’-ro From G1223 and G4687; to sow throughout, that is, (figuratively) distribute in foreign lands:âscatter abroad.(Strong’s)
Not sure if he meant the Christian Jews who had gone out missionally or who had been scattered by force and persecution. Historically it was scattered by persecution, but I believe some went out by choice too. This letter is for Christians though. This is not for people who don’t know God, but for people who have made a decision to be slaves to Him. To these people he simply starts by saying, “Greetings.”G5463 ÏÎ±Î¯ÏÏ chairÅ khah’ee-ro A primary verb; to be full of âcheerâ, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well:âfarewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice. (Strong’s)