We have begun our verse by verse study through the book of Romans. Today we mark our third installment of our time together. If you have missed any of our previous discussions they can be found on the Road Through Romans Page.
Now on to today’s thought
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— ” Romans 1:1
Today I simply want to focus on the word “called”. Paul declared himself to be a servant, a slave of God, and the scope of that was explained in yesterday’s post, but this word “called” defines the boundaries of that slavery.
The word “called” which Paul uses here in Romans 1:1 is the word kletos. It means to be invited.
You see Paul was a slave of Christ but he was not forced into slavery. He was invited into it. God’s servants are not servants by force. They are servants by free will. I do not serve God because he has made me serve Him. I serve Him because I have chosen to do so.
Slavery to God comes with its consequences. It has its price to pay. But I don’t serve God in spite of the price. The price is not my focus. The blessings are what I set my eyes on. I serve God because of the love that serving Him releases into my life and because of the incredible blessing walking in that love creates in the present and will create in eternity.
We are invited into this slavery not forced to it. Answering the invitation may remove certain “rights” from my life but I have to say you cannot beat the benefit package. I may endure a cross now and even more so in the future but there is a joy that is set before me that makes any cross worth it all.