Servants of the King: 28th June

Our study for this topic is explored under three areas (related to text from Acts 9) Kingdom

  • Who are we serving: Acts 9:5 – ‘Who are you, Lord?’
  • To what service are we called: Acts 9:15 – ‘Carry my name’
  • How are we helped to be servants of the King: Acts 9:17 – ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’

Who are we serving? (who are you, Lord?)
Read together: Acts 9: 1-5
Individual reflection -1
Think about:
V4: why do you persecute me?; v 5: who are you, Lord?’; and v 6: ‘ I am Jesus’
Think about a cause/movement that you used to pursue (passionately!) - but don’t any more. Who headed it up; how did you relate to them; what changed about the cause?
Some prompting questions during this reflection:

  • Have we pursued other causes(than following Christ) with too much passion/commitment?
  • Why?
  • How did we feel when we stepped away from them?
  • What followed on from this change?

Share as you feel able what came to mind

Some commentary that might help
There is an enlightening here for Saul – a turning around (one definition of conversion) from one passionate cause to another – the only important one, the Kingdom.
In a moment that is an ‘eye opener (literally and spiritually, when Ananias heals Saul), the truth of Jesus, promised King, is revealed to him.
Before that, Saul asks with whom he is speaking.
He gets a clear answer. Jesus tells him.
Because of Saul’s pursuit and ‘murderous ‘ (Acts 9:1) intentions he recognises not only the name - but the claim as well; ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting’.
Jesus is ‘the Christ/Lord’ (remember this is a title not a name)
The message is clear (for Paul) - you are pursuing the wrong cause, heading in the wrong direction
The King of Israel promise has been fulfilled -though not in the expected ‘way’.
So this is Paul’s mission – to include people in the only true cause.

To what service are we called? (carry my name)
Read together: Acts 9: 10- 16; and Philippians 3:20-21
Individual reflection – 2
Think about this new ‘cause’ that is ours – the living kingdom and gospel; the transforming power of Jesus.
Think about whether we bring the same engagement to this ‘cause’, as the ones we’ve discussed above.
Consider Paul’ future about to change (just before Ananias spoke with him); and the promise becoming fact, as he became ‘my (God’s) chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles’.(Acts 9:15)
Think about how ‘easy’ (or otherwise) it is to engage with God’s cause; and to be a servant to Jesus’ commands.

Some prompting questions during this reflection:

  • In what ways does Jesus - Phil 3:20 ‘the Lord Jesus Christ’ – expect us to carry God’s name to others?
  • What does ‘being a servant’ – like Paul – imply in that context?
  • How should I be involved in Christ’s kingdom in 2009?

Share as you feel able what came to mind.
Some commentary that might help
Jesus instructs Saul/Paul ‘you will be told what you must do’.
In order to move forwarding the right cause (and away from error), Paul will become a servant of the King.
Do we embrace the notion that being a servant implies obeying orders, instructions, the governor, the boss… in this case the King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian living of - and for each other - cannot be an isolated event, so the servants in the Kingdom are part of some bigger group, within that service of the Kingdom.

How are we helped? (be filled with the Holy Spirit)
Read together: Ex 4: 10-13; Acts 9:17-20
Discussion together
Share your answers to these questions as you feel able

  • Are we tempted to let someone else be the servant/doer of God’s work? (as Moses did in Ex 4: 13 ‘please send someone else to do it’)
  • Are there church/corporate body barriers that we have to deal with?
  • What might we start doing - today – that overcomes some/all of the above feelings?

Some commentary that might help
Jesus calls us to change and become servants and co- workers in his Kingdom.
In becoming a servant (who God wants us to be – to know/love/serve Him), we have a unique opportunity to be stewards and builders of God’s kingdom here and now.
The Holy Spirit is a gift of endless comfort and support in doing that.
This is the kingdom way - expressing service to others, and by our response promoting a community of the people of God.
We are in this community as the people of God, the stewards of the truth of love and its outworking. We are called to harness the power of the Spirit’s gifts to make God’s love real and alive among all.
Final thought/question
How should we act knowing that the Holy Spirit is a channel of holiness each day?

Edward Bonner, 18/06/2009