"James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,..." James 1:1 (NASB)
James was an excellent example of someone who knew and understood his purpose. At some point in life we’ve all asked ourselves or wondered why we exist and what our purpose is in life. We go to college or vocational school, we train, and we learn new skills to improve ourselves so that we can discover what we are to do or to become in life. The perpetual question, “Why am I here?” has repetitiously crossed the minds of countless individuals, Christian and non-Christian alike. We want to make sure that we know our purpose and know that we are fulfilling our purpose while we are here on this earth.
As we look at James chapter 1 verse 1, we see that James expressed his purpose and to whom. James, with confidence, identified himself as a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. His identifying statement is significant in many ways because James is telling us that he is owned by God and the Lord Jesus. He is also stating that his purpose and his reason for existing is entirely in his spiritual relationship - by being who God made him to be and by doing the will of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is also important because James was the brother of Jesus and a pillar of the church in Jerusalem. James could have easily greeted the brethren by emphasizing his earthly familial association with Jesus as his brother (Galatians 1:19). Too often, we are familiar with hearing someone mention another person or something else simply because they believe that doing so will add greater weight, importance, or influence for a desired outcome. In contrast, James did not mention or emphasize that Jesus was his brother but he focused on his servanthood to the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, James greatly emphasized his submission to his Lord and Savior by identifying himself as a bond-servant or slave of Christ.
Likewise, as an introduction to his fellow brethren in Christ, James could have focused on his position as a leader in the church of Jerusalem. Most likely you've encountered someone who enjoys frequently mentioning their leadership position and the power that accompanies the role to possibly persuade or dissuade others. Yet, in this opening statement, James strictly focused on being identified as someone who belonged to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as his purpose, which was determined by His master.
So, when you begin to ask yourself, “Why am I here?” or “What is my purpose?” think about James and how he could have identified himself with his earthly relationship to Jesus or his prominent role as an influential leader in the church. Yet, James knew that God’s purpose was also to be his purpose. James knew that because he was a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ, that his Master also determines his purpose. James knew that his purpose was to do the will of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Subsequently, James addressed the brethren with the most important identification that they could and should choose to embrace. Like them, you too should believe, identify, and embrace the reason for your existence, which is to live your life as a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,