Colossians 3:22-24 (NLT)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
The alarm rang and vibrated into the darkness trying to wake my sleeping form. Allergies kicked in yesterday thanks to the abrupt change in weather so I took some medicine before bed that kept me deep in the morning fog. As I struggled to open my eyes preparing for another day, a sigh of relief came over me. It’s Friday, hallelujah! Just in the nick of time, this work week is rolling to an end. What a week it has been! Like most businesses, there is an ebb and flow of activity. Currently we are there are many tasks vying for my attention. It has been a bit overwhelming. With my prolonged absence with our son, work piled up and there is much to process to get caught up. When I realized it was Friday, the jubilation to finish the week got me up and moving. With consciousness began the powerful revolution of my thoughts surrounding the scheduling and timing of the day mapping out my designated responsibilities. Being a task-driven person, I tend to get all spun up when things are not done and worse when they are not done right. Some might call it a Type A personality. The problem is that sometimes I forget who I work for and the job that I am to complete. It has nothing to do with the expectations of my employer. It is everything that I do in my life. All should be done as a service to Jesus Christ.
What do you do? If you have an employer, than you fall under the category of slave. We are uncomfortable with this term due to the stigma of our past. The blemish in history were mankind took advantage of one another ruthlessly and mercilessly. It has not ended no matter how civilized that we think we have become. It may not be racial any longer but the strong still prey on the weak thanks to the prevailing evil in this world. You and I freely give our time in exchange for money. It is the giving of ourselves. Anyone who invests in our life with an expected outcome becomes our master. Debt can be our master. Sickness can be our master. Anything we allow to consume our time is our master. However, there is One who is truly the rightful receiver of every minute of our day and that is Jesus Christ. He is the reason that I am alive and have the great potential to live forever. His Plan and Purpose for my life is to make my time valuable once again as He has added forever to the end of it. We are encouraged to “try to please them (earthly masters) all of the time” as we are to serve them “sincerely.” Why? You are in covenant with your employer. You have agreed to give them your time in exchange for compensation. This is an oath or agreement between two parties which the Lord does not take lightly. Because we belong to Jesus Christ, anything that we agree to do should reflect Him as our Savior and Lord. We are to “work willingly at whatever you do as thought you were working for the Lord rather than people.” I struggle in this area sometimes and need the reminder that Jesus Christ should be reflected in everything that I do. I serve Jesus Christ. This is not an unpaid position but a highly favorable one.
Psalm 139:13-15 (NLT)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
God made you. He did not just throw some body parts together, install a brain and hope for the best. No God watched closely and acted in divine purpose when He created you to be who you are. He considers you to be a marvelous work. You, my friend, are God’s Masterpiece. Ta-Da! (Ephesians 2:8-10) But He did not just make you a work that is pleasing to the eyes but filled your life with purpose and potential as well. He developed a working plan for our life that is good resulting in a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Then He recorded every single minute of every single day leaving nothing out (Psalm 139:16) so the Lord could make good on His Promise that everything can turn out for your best. (Romans 8:28) There is potential and purpose packed in the life of every Creation of God who made its way to this earth in the form of a human being. We must never take that for granted. What is your life work? What is the one thing you take the most pride in? This is where you will invest your time and energy. Before making such a commitment, one must decide is it worth it. There is only One Thing who is worth our everything including every second of every day and that is Jesus Christ.
Hebrew 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
God gave us a measure of faith to be our substance. This is what our work should be poured into. Developing our faith in the Lord will produce certain works in our life. Faith is a gift from God just as is our salvation. We cannot work for it. Our faith will produce good works in us if there is any substance to it. As we embark on a journey to follow Christ at all costs, we demonstrate our belief that Jesus Christ is the Way. We are surrounded by many witnesses who want to make the most out of this life just as we do. (Hebrews 12:1-2) Jesus Christ is our example. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith who has infused it with great potential. I can have a bag of concrete, a hose connected to a water tap with a wheelbarrow and an assortment of tools but if I don’t mix it all together and do something with it there will be no foundation. This is how faith works, too. God gave us everything that we need to have a rich and satisfying life – now we just have to do that thing we do to make it happen. Faith without works is useless and produces nothing in our life. (James 2:17-20)
James 2:21-24 (NLT)
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Faith requires actions for activation. True belief is demonstrated by what we do not what we say. Our faith and actions must work together. I love Martha. She is quite the worker managing her household and getting the job done. Yes, it was Mary who Jesus commended sitting at His Feet taking in His Every Word. But when faith was needed to raise Lazarus from the dead, it was Martha who ran to meet Jesus. It was this woman who demonstrated the power of great belief. She knew with confidence that even though her brother was dead and all seemed lost that Jesus could change everything. Martha was a great woman of faith who just got a little too busy now and again. What are you doing for the Lord today? If your answer is not everything, than you are missing the greatest blessing of all. God will reward you exceedingly and abundantly above what you could even think to ask for. You do not have to struggle for your supervisor to acknowledge you. You do not have to fight your way up the corporate ladder for an administrator’s attention and approval. If you decide today and every day to work for the Lord rather than people, you will be satisfied.
Ruth was a hard worker. When she returned with Naomi to her family’s home, she decided to get to work. “Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.” (Ruth 2:5-7) Ruth didn’t go out in the field to find a husband to care for her. She was a worker who needed to find work. She did. She worked hard enough to gain the attention of Boaz who would become her “redeemer”. (Ruth 2:2-12) Ruth entered the field a widow with no hope. She left a woman with a future full of hope. God knows exactly what you need when you need it. Faith in God is just that believing that He is doing all that He promised in everything that we do. You do not have to draw attention to yourself others will notice. God will put a spotlight on our life when we do all that He has called us to do. We will be the city on a hill and lamp on a stand when we work for the Lord and no one else. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) Our acceptance of God’s Love for us requires dedicating our life as a living sacrifice to the Lord. (Romans 12:1-3) We have accepted His Gift of Eternal life in exchange for a dead and dying existence with no future. We are a reflection of our Creator and Redeemer. We must demonstrate our belief in everything we do, each day with every season.
Titus 2:1-8 (NLT)
As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
We are really good at telling each other what not to do to honor God in our life, but few understand what we should be doing. Everything we do should be a reflection of our commitment to Jesus Christ. Every single choice we make in the course of the day should demonstrate the wholesome teaching found in His Word. We must be filled with love and patience. Do what is good. Use our self-control. Live in such a way as not to shame our husband-to-be, Jesus Christ. We should encourage others to live wisely as well. As they see us prosper in soul, mind and body, they will want to as well. Faith walks and seldom talks. We are to live wisely doing good works of every kind. We are God’s Masterpiece. His Workmanship is marvelous. We are to be fabulous walking always in mercy, humility and love… even at work and abroad. No more excuses it is time to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and live wisely in the Shadow of His Great Love! It is to be that thing we do!
John 14:12-13 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Fat