It is often we come to a point in our relationship with our Heavenly Father where we need to choose whether we serve Him out of a spirit of sonship or of a spirit of slavery.
We have been delivered from being Sin's slaves to become born again as sons and daughters of God.
But often we walk not in that knowledge but act and behave as if we are still under slavery.
When we serve in different ministries and use our gifts and talents in various services, do we serve with pleasure and willingness, out of a grateful heart or are we serving out of duty as servants/slaves only?
Yes, often we can begin to serve without much emotional desire or joy, but as we mature, we need to understand and grow to serve with the knowledge that our service pleases our Father because we do so willingly and joyfully.
Look at the example of the two brothers in Luke 15:11-32.
The younger son sinned and felt unworthy to be called a son. He returned (repented) but wanted to be called a servant/slave only. BUT what did the father do? He ran, threw his arms around his son and kissed him!
Wow! Our Heavenly Father still accepts and loves us though we sinned and; when we return, He embraces us and still calls us 'son'!
So let this knowledge sink in: "We are much loved because of our Lord Jesus" - hence let us serve with this immovable understanding that our Father knows us and loves us.
The older son - never strayed, always faithfully serving yet what of his heart? Was he serving with gratefulness and pleasure or is it in duty only? Look at what he says in Luke 15:29 "Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders."
He was a faithful son yet he serve as a slave! See the father's reply in Luke 15:31: "`My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours."
Like this father, our Heavenly Father is well-pleased that we serve Him faithfully but let us guard against the attitude that we serve because we HAVE to and not because we WANT to. Let us come to the full realisation that our Father is ALWAYS with us and have gave us ALL we need to serve Him (not just resources but all the joy and strength we need to serve Him willingly and with pleasure!)
So which son are you? Are you feeling guilty and unworthy to serve? Are you feeling angry and unhappy that you serve?
Look to our Lord Jesus, our Elder Brother. He served His Father and our Father with joy and pleasure.
Let us do so every day with the Holy Spirit's help as sons and NOT slaves.
"Duty says I have done enough. But love asks can I do more?"