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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Scripture: Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

Col. 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Col. 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

Col. 4:1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Teaching: Paul sums up his specific examples of service to the Lord in one all-encompassing statement in verses 23-24 and continues its justification and application in verses 3:25-4:1. We serve the Lord in all the things because we know He is the one from whom we are receiving our inheritance. It is His creation, His promises, His Spirit, His death, His resurrection, and His rule – not ours.

An interesting facet of these instructions is the fact that Paul does not appeal to any sort of natural law or created order as the basis for his instructions: he appeals solely to Christ. While the world may impose or suggest similar kinds of living described in verses 18-22 as right, needed, or as some kind of natural order because they lead to earthly benefit, all of this sort of rationale falls at the feet of Christ. Paul is not interested in teaching ways to gain earthly blessings but rather, eternal blessings.

The inspiration and model for the behavior listed in verses 18-22 is Christ’s own submission to the will of the Father. Because Christ obeyed perfectly, we, too, are called to submit and obey Christ as our Master.

Takeaway: If we make all our decisions and base all our behavior on what is expected by the people of this world, we will inevitably find ourselves living to please the world. Additionally, if we see this world as the only time and place in which to earn riches or take vengeance, we will live to please ourselves in this world. If we rationalize our actions, both right and wrong, as the inevitable outcome of evolution, instinct, or natural law, we merely see ourselves as victims in uncontrollable forces of nature and subsequently eschew any personal responsibility for our actions. But none of this is true, and it is why Paul did not appeal to any of it when giving instruction for how those in Christ should act. Because Christ is King and all of creation is His and He is also our savior, knowing and loving each of us, dying for us, and giving us a new spirit by which He lives within us, Christians have no need for appeal to any other than Christ. Today, remember whose you are, who gives you life, whose promises you believe, and by whose blood you were purchased. Serve Him in the ways in which He calls you to serve, not the ways you think are best.


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