“Serve Lord Always
Valiantly Everyday! (S.L.A.V.E)”
Ramesh C. Reddy
The italicized parts of the devotional
were originally sent through email on Tuesday, November 17, 1998 at
12:28:15 p.m. to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) students
and others who wanted to receive daily devotionals at the University
of Pittsburgh while I was serving at IVCF! It is being republished
on Pittsburgh Standard today.
The non-italicized part
of the devotional were orginally published in Pittsburgh Standard on
May 07, 2012 at 7:06 a.m.
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"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ
Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons. Grace and
peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Philippians 1:1-2, NIV)
Paul is writing this while he is chained in jail. When we realize that
and look to the contents of this letter, there is still so much joy. The
question is where does Paul get all this joy when he is locked at jail
in chains. Throughout the following days, I hope to look at the Book of
Today, I just decided to look at the phrase
'Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus!'
How do you introduce yourself to others?
I asked myself why is it so significant in the way Paul introduces himself
so significant and amazing that Paul introduces himself and Timothy here
'servants of Christ Jesus' because he could have introduced
himself as one who is trained thoroughly in the Jewish law, an apostle
of Jesus Christ, or even as a saint in Christ Jesus. Yet, Paul
acknowledges being a servant to the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing Christ as
his Master. It is important to realize that servant and SLAVE can be
used interchangeably at times.
I asked myself what are the roles of a servant/slave?
servant/slave should not make up his own rules but is asked to follow the
rules of His Master.
servant/slave is asked not cling to his own rights but give them up to be
obedient to the Master.
servant/slave is one who serves others before he serves himself.
4. A servant/slave is one who is submissive to the Master.
I asked myself why does Paul want to see himself as a servant and be a
servant of Jesus Christ?
is setting an example right away that he is one that does not want to
make up his own rules but wants to follow the rules of His Master, Jesus
Christ. He does not want to cling to his own rights but give them up to
be obedient to His Master, Jesus Christ. He wants to be one who serves
Jesus Christ before serving himself. Paul sees himself in submission to Christ, His Master no
matter what is happening in his life. He wanted to imitate Jesus Christ who came not to be served
but to serve and give His life as a ransom for humanity. Therefore, Paul
knows His allegiance belongs to Christ and following His example of
servitude. Jesus came back to life and saved Saul of Tarsus on his way
to Damascus so Saul changed his name to Paul and decided to become a
servant of Jesus Christ.
I asked myself what
are the implications for my own life?
Just as Paul, introduced himself
by his name and then as a 'servant of Jesus Christ'. I should not
hesitate to introduce myself as a 'servant of Jesus Christ'
and realize that whatever positions I like to hold or be
called by, I need to see myself as a SLAVE to Christ and live my life as
a SLAVE of Jesus Christ. Because if I am not a SLAVE of Jesus Christ,
then I am a SLAVE of Satan. There is no middle ground.
I ASK YOU NOW!
I ask you now dear friend, who will you be a SLAVE to in life?
friend, it is important for us to realize that whatever positions we
like to hold or be called by, we need to see ourselves as slaves!
This is a radical concept because people don't like to see themselves as
slaves. We do not like to think about being a SLAVE to anybody because
we want to have our own freedom and do our own things. But the fact of the matter is
that each one is a SLAVE. The question is whether we will
be a SLAVE to Satan or SLAVE to Christ! If we see ourselves as
a SLAVE to Christ then we will want to be obedient to Christ and follow his
teachings. This in itself is because of God's abundant grace working in
our lives so we will not cling to our own rights or want to do what we
think is right from a human perspective but want to rather do
things from God's
perspective taking our standard from God's Word.
It is not about what we think is right
but what we know to be right.
Jesus came to serve and we should not do any less. We should have an
attitude of servitude towards others.
Jesus who became a
servant to redeem us will become our example to live a life of servitude
to others. We can have a life of joy being a SLAVE to Christ because the
alternative may look better temporarily but it has terrible consequences
in this life and the life to come.
If we do
not see ourselves as a SLAVE to Christ, then we will become a SLAVE to
Satan and a SLAVE to every sin that will hold us in bondage. When that
happens, we will be obedient to the lusts of the flesh and use
sin as an excuse to let it rule over us and be our master. In essence,
we will be allowing Satan to rule our daily activities. This is not
something anyone should choose. Lord, I don't want that, please
help me Lord!
When we decide to serve only ourselves
over others, we start ignoring the Lord's ways and seek our own ways
whether it has to do with academics, career, relationships, fun
activities, etc. We may even think we are serving the Lord but the
Lord looks at our motives. Friend, Satan is the father of lies and
can be so deceptive and lead you into deception. On the surface,
Satan will make you think what you are doing is not wrong but then
later, Satan will condemn you. Not so, with Jesus Christ. Jesus
loves you so much that when you become His slave, you will realize
it is better to be a slave to Jesus Christ then being a master of
your own fate and in essence being a slave to Satan. I don't want
that for you or me friend!
"But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it
desires to have you, but you must master it." (Genesis 4:7, NIV)
We do not want to give
Satan a foothold in our lives. If that happens, we will want to be
the master and everyone else to be our SLAVEs because we will be possessed
with our own desires. This is not the Way of the Master: Jesus Christ
who came to serve and give His life as a ransom to redeem humanity.
battle should belong to the Lord and not to us. Just as Paul was
joyful serving Christ Jesus being the SLAVE of Christ, we too can have
joy when we yield our lives over to the Master. Only when we follow the
Way of the Master will we be willing to impart peace and grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ in other people's lives. It starts with us and we need
to be right with the Lord Jesus asking Him to be the Master of our
The amazing thing is that when we are slaves to Christ,
we are also seen as His children. Just because we are slaves does
not mean we are not His children. Paul refers to Himself as a
servant of Christ Jesus but also sees himself as a child of God. If
we see ourselves as a child of God, we are also children of Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior. You have to read the New Testament to
understand the concept of 'slave' and 'children of God'
can only happen when we realize that sin marred our relationship
with God and there is nothing we can do on our own to be redeemed
and saved if it were not for the sacrificial death of the Lamb of
God to save us. Jesus became a SLAVE and died a criminal's death on
the cross even though He was perfect to save you and me from the
power and allure of sin. He shed His precious blood for you and me
to save us. That is exciting to know friend. You
can come as you are no matter where you have been or what you have
done. You can come to God through Jesus Christ who wants to be the
Lord and Savior of your life. Let Jesus be the Master of your life
friend. He who created you knows you so well and let Him guide you
friend so you can be a joyful SLAVE to Christ Jesus.
Yes friend, now is the
time of Salvation. You may have lived your life for the lust of the
flesh being a SLAVE to sin but it does not have to be that way. No
friend, you can have Jesus Christ change you and transform you by the
Power of His Love and He will friend. Yes, He will! You will slowly be
transformed by His grace which is a process, for Sanctification in
Christ is a process. It can only happen when we yield our lives to
Christ who justified us by His grace. May you serve Lord always
"Serve Lord Always Valiantly Everyday!" (S.L.A.V.E)/"Who
will you be a S.L.A.V.E to in life?"
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that you are our Master. Thank you how much
you love us and care for us. We are forever in your care. Lord you want
us to be servants as you became a servant though you are God. Help us to
live our lives in such a way that we will be seen as your servants Lord
Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord you also see us as saints and we are your
children. We come to you with all our flaws and ask you to forgive us
please Lord. Please deliver us from being SLAVES to the sin that binds
us and the enemy whose main desire is to keep us away from serving you.
Protect us in the shadow of your wings. Thank you Lord we can be delivered from anything in your perfect
timing. Lord, we also know that there are areas in our life that we will
have to endure through until we see you face to face but we thank you
that you can give us the strength to go on and a way out against
temptations. We thank you that when it comes to sin, we need not live in
it because through your Holy Spirit working in us, you will help us.
Thank you so much Jesus! We acknowledge you as our Lord and Personal
Savior and ask you to be the Master of our lives. Please take away
all our sin and cleanse us with your precious cleansing blood to
give us new life. Help Oh Lord please. Thank you so much Jesus for
being part of our life and that you have heard our prayers and
answered us. In Your
Name We Pray Jesus! Amen!
You are my all in all. You are my Prince of Peace,
Rock, Savior, and Friend. You are my Holy Father guiding me through to live a
life of righteousness, holy righteousness. Oh God, I need you more than ever. I
need to feel your hands around me holding me tight. I need your love to surround
me so that you can glow in my life. Help me please Jesus. I desire in your
presence. Thank you for guiding me to live a life of righteousness. Oh God you
love me more than ever. You hear my voice when I cry out to you. When I seek
your face, you fill me up. You are my all in all. Thank you Jesus so much for
your help no matter what I face, your grace is available and you take my case.
Thank you for hearing us and answering us. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! AMEN!
(Most of the prayer is from a vineyard song called “All in All”)
No matter what you feel in your heart, know that Jesus has come in
and resides with you! You are not alone! To make your walk strong with
the Lord, spend time in prayer talking to Him as you would to a friend.
You don’t need special words to talk to the Lord. Spend time in His Word
reading Psalms and turning them into prayer. Next allow God to heal you
and speak to you through the Gospel of John or Gospel of Mark before
moving on to other Books of the Bible! Slowly, let the Lord show you to
which Scriptures He wants you to go to next. It is also important to be
part of a body of believers to help you grow in the faith. Find a Bible
believing church that preaches the Word of God from Genesis to
Revelation proclaiming Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord who
brings us hope, healing, and help!
May the Lord's presence and peace fill you with His love now and
Friend, if you have prayed this prayer and meant it in your heart, you
are a new creation in Christ and all old things are passed away and
everything has become new! You may feel something or may not but don’t
base it on feelings but base your new life in Christ on the promises of
our Savior who will never leave you nor forsake you! Amen!
Feel free to email
if you want to meet to study the Bible, pray with,
talk about Spiritual issues or whatever is on your mind! My number is
"This is my
work and I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work
within me." (Colossians 1:29, TLB)