Summary: Work. It’s a four-letter word to many people. But it doesn’t have to be that way. God wants us to go through even our work life energized, passionate, and joyful. Here’s how.
Yesterday, I was in the checkout line at Guan Eagle. I said to the cashier, a young man in his 20s, “How are you.” “I’m here.”
Work. It’s a four-letter word to many people in NE Ohio.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. God doesn’t want it to be that way for you. He wants us to go through life energized, passionate.
Text: Colossians 3:22-4:1, p.
Series: The truth about truth in a whatever world
Life Under Construction. Get some flyers and use them as personal invitations to others. The "personal invite" is always the best way to get people interested.
You have the opportunity to turn your job into an act of worship.
We’re going to read the words “slaves” and “masters” in these verses. God has already in this letter undermined the institution of slavery and raised up the principle of equality. Colossians 3:11 says, “There is no distinction between slave and free, but Christ is all and in all.” And Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither… slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The leaders in the early church were not called to be social reformers. Their calling was to tell people the good news of salvation in Christ. Slavery is not condoned; it’s just recognized.
The truth we see here was ultimately revolutionary, because in time, as Christ-followers like William Wilberforce applied its truths, this brought the downfall of slavery as an institution. But it was also immediately revolutionary in that it brought fullness to the Christian’s life, whether slave or master.
22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
Colossians 3:22-4:1 (NASB)
If God commanded slaves, who had nothing to say about the conditions and circumstances of their work, to give faithful, ungrudging service to their masters, then surely He commands us today who enter voluntarily into employment and who receive wages for our work.
My work will be my worship when I…
1. … stop serving selectively. v. 22a
We try to make ourselves and our work look better than we are and it is. We act all busy and hard-working when the boss is watching and then we are slackers when no one is looking.
We should be diligent in our tasks even if no one is there to observe us and then to reward us for our hard work – no seeking to gain favor with the boss. So what keeps me motivated? It’s “fearing the Lord.” When no human supervisor is checking on us, the Lord Jesus sees all, especially the hollowness of work outwardly correct but without the heart put in it.
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth…
Note: This is the antidote to bull-headed service.
God isn’t suggesting submission to immoral or hurtful commands. There are times when obeying God means disobeying a boss. But most of our troubles at work aren’t caused by a good verses evil struggle. It starts when you are asked to do unpleasant things.
The Greek word translated “obey” is actually a combination of the Greek words for “listen” and “under.” It means to "get under the authority of your master, and listen to what he tells you to do. Considering the working conditions of slaves in those days, that was a strong statement.
You servants must submit yourselves to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
I Peter 2:19 (TEV)
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that
God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.
I Timothy 6:1 (NIV)
Work that counts is work that costs.
My work will be my worship when I stop serving selectively and when I…
2. … start serving passionately. vv. 22b-23
… not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of
heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord
rather than for men…
Note: This is the antidote to half-hearted service.
This is describing work that is only done when the boss is looking. External service results in half-done jobs. The room is swept, but the dirt is pushed under the carpet. Work breaks extend until the boss returns.