So after 25 years of following Jesus and being heavily involved in mission to the point that you have personally influenced the planting of many churches, how do you begin to write a letter to people you have never met and who you don’t know? What credentials do you use?
So with that we begin a new journey together.
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus” Romans 1:1
Before he mentions his calling, his commission and the purpose of his life. Before all the ‘doing’ of his life he starts with a simple statement of who he is, a servant.
He uses the word doulos. Our English translators (most probably to combat the negative implications regarding the modern slave trade) use servant or bondservant but it is slave, doulos.
A slave of Christ Jesus.
After God had rescued His people from slavery through the Exodus He gives them His law. One of the first things God starts to unpack in His Law to Moses is the freeing of slaves. The rule was that slaves were freed every 7 years. However if the slave loved working for their master they could stay and be paid for their work and enjoy their life within that household. If that happened the master would, “…take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (Ex 21:6) They became a bondservant, doulos, one who has chosen to be owned.
Paul had been to the door and had his ear pierced, he was a slave of Christ Jesus, for life.
Who is the door? Jesus. (John 10:9)
Jesus is the portal, the doorway into a new season for your life.
There is no breakthrough without pain. Paul was already aware that he bore on his body the marks of Jesus (Galatians 6:17). Perhaps you bear those marks also? Maybe you have marks that no one can see? Marks are healed wounds and they become the vehicle of hearing God; our earlobes become pierced and He speaks powerfully and intimately as He would also tell Paul later that, “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
There is no other way for more of God and more of His power and work in our lives. There is only one prayer: “…pierce my ear …”
So insert your name: (Paul) a servant of Christ Jesus. I have chosen to be owned by Christ Jesus. I belong to Him. Tell Jesus this today. He has your ear. That mark is now the opportunity of intimacy. It repositioned you. Those who understand what I am saying know that the Lord opens the door of new seasons to those who have been pierced to the door.
That is the greatest introduction of yourself that you will ever give.