Work As For The Lord
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)
Whatever you do, do it for the Lord.
Paul, the author of this letter to us and the church at Colosse, had just written about forgiving one another. Why do we forgive? Because God forgave us. Why are we thankful? Because God gave us all we have. Why should husbands love their wives? Because this is the way God treats you. Why should a slave work hard for their master? Because they are working for God and not people. We serve the Lord Christ, not people.
“17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (NIV)
If you are a wife stuck in a bad marriage, work at being the wife God wants you to be and be thankful.
If you are a husband, who is married to a nagging wife, love her as God intends you to love her and do it for Him, not just for her or for yourself; and be thankful.
If you are still a child under the authority of your parents, good ones or bad ones, obey them as if obeying the Lord; and practice thanksgiving.
Fathers, work at being the most encouraging father you can be, not because those brats are not getting on your nerves today, but because they are God’s little people and He wants to love them through you. Work at being the best father you can be and do it for the Lord; and thank Him for the opportunity you have to do His work.
If you are an employee, serve that cruel taskmaster to the best of your ability, not for his sake but because you are serving God; and be grateful your Father in heaven has counted you worthy to suffer for Him.
“It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (verse 24)
We live to serve God and to bring Him honor and glory. We are not in this world to have a good time, although we will enjoy life if we live according to God’s plan.
We are not in this world to amass enough wealth to live well in old age. We can, however, trust God to see us through this world and into the one He is preparing for us.
We are not in this world to be appreciated by others. At the same time, God loves us and will continue to love us for all of eternity. Have you thanked God today for loving you enough to die for you?
We have a choice before us. Will we live for people, ourselves or others? Or will we live for God?
As we listen to the sermon, and sing songs of praise and thanksgiving are we doing so for ourselves, or for God?
God has accepted us. Will we accept His love or reject it?
We act as if we have no choices. Take gratitude for example. You can look at gratitude as if you have it or not and you have no choice in the matter. You are grateful for something if you like it for some reason. You are not grateful if you do not like it.
If I take this view of gratitude, I will be thankful for green beans if I like them, but I will not be grateful for them if I do not like them. However, I can choose to thank God for green beans even if I cannot find anything about them that I like.
We used to teach our children to say please and thank you. Previous generations learned to express thanks and appreciation, even for things they did not especially like. It was the socially acceptable thing to do.
We have taught these younger generations that it is only right to express thanks and appreciation, when we like, or feel good about, what we have been given.
God teaches that we are to be grateful for the life He has given, even if we do not like the circumstances He has placed us in.
The flesh says to do what feels good. God says to do what we know to be right, even when it does not feel good. The Spirit says to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The flesh says to love God if He answers our prayers in the way we want Him to answer them. The flesh expects God to be our servant, instead of living with God as our Lord.
We even serve in the church and begin acting as if we are the ones that others must follow. We expect others to do things the way we want them done or we threaten to leave or resign. Brothers and sisters this should not be so. We have one Lord. And He is not any of us.
We must learn to listen to one another and allow God to lead us as we share together. Sometimes it is hard work to sort through everything until we reach a consensus about what God would have us do.
Listening to one another and loving one another, means we are seeking to understand one another’s concerns. Too often, we do not listen and address the concerns of others, we are too anxious to be understood and get our point across.
We begin to assign motives. We say things like “they just want to be in control” or “it’s a control issue” or “they always want their own way.” We are not in the business of assigning motives to others. If we are going to do the work of God in God’s way, we need each other. We need to love one another and work at showing our appreciation for what others are doing and listen, especially when our concerns seem to be in conflict.
When we have found ourselves to have been in the wrong, we need to confess those faults to God, and then to those we have hurt. God wants us to live at peace with one another. That means we need to be reconciled when the peace has been disturbed. We begin that process of reconciliation by admitting when we have been wrong. This opens the door and makes it easier for others to admit when they have crossed a line.
We too often focus on the wrongs of others, and too seldom listen to the Spirit when He is pointing out our faults or leading us to confess our faults to someone else.
We live for the Lord, not for ourselves. He is a gentleman and never insists we change. He is patient and waits for us to accept His teachings.
Forgiving the faults of others and confessing our own faults are primary building blocks of becoming the loving people Our Father has planned for us to become.
We work at being the children of God, not for ourselves, but for others and for Our Lord. He loves us, and will patiently insist that we change and obey Him. We work for the Lord. He does not work for us.
Do our prayers reflect this truth? Do we pray for our will to be done or for His will to be done?
Work as for the Lord. He is our boss!