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Ephesians 6:5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;
Slaves for Christ
6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Back in my working years, this portion of scripture was impressed on my mind as a form of attitude adjustment, more than a few times. I worked in a tool room machine shop for an automobile manufacturer. Our job was to make and repair the parts for the machinery that produced auto engines. The boss followed the practice of giving the hot repair job to the horse who would do the work. He let it be known that this wasn't necessarily right, but that's the way it was. Many times I would have to tear down a setup that I had going to do an emergency repair, while some of my fellow workers were doing little or nothing. I would get a bit angry, and the angrier I got, the faster I worked ( I think the boss was well aware of this). But in the process this scripture would come to mind and I would realize that, "I'm not working for this boss, I'm working for Jesus.'
This was written to the Ephesians when slavery was a fact of life. The slave had absolutely no rights, and I'm sure he worked more than a 40 hour week. Yet he is told to work cheerfully as unto the Lord. The master also was instructed to use Godly principals in dealing with the servant. Each one, master and slave, would one day stand as equals, naked and unadorned, at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10), where all the thoughts and intents of the heart would be revealed (Hebrews 4:12). It would be terrible to hear Jesus say, "Do you remember that time when you thought the boss wasn't looking and you slacked off. Didn't you know that I was watching and expecting you to perform the task that you had been given for my glory (Colossians 3:17) ?”
The man who was a slave for 60 years on this earth may well have an exalted position in the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:30). Likewise the man who was well off and a master here on earth, may only be saved by the skin of his teeth (I Corinthians 3:15).
Eternity gives things a whole new perspective, doesn't it.
Other scriptures that would often pop up for my admonition in regard to work are:
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
I've worked some rather unpleasant jobs in times past - a rubbish dump come to mind - just to put beans on the table and feed my children. The unpleasant job went so much smoother when I realized that I should be thankful for that which I had been given and began to do the work joyfully. This was what the Lord had given to provide for my means and I should be grateful, rather than complain. There were a lot of people who would have been happy to be in my place on that dump. Also, speaking of jobs we don't like: It's very possible that God has placed us there because somebody needs to see our light (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:16).
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
So often we hear, "Give and it shall be given unto you," in an appeal for funds. Actually this goes far beyond money. It should be our mode of living.
I remember years ago, that my father paid me to paint the trim on his house, before I had finished the job. Big mistake on his part. I lost all incentive. I remember saying, "Dad, I won't paint today because it looks like rain." In his replay, he misquoted Ecclesiastes 11:4 and said, He that regards the wind and the rain shall not reap.” This admonition from my father stuck with me the rest of my life. I got busy and finished the job and it never did rain. Wise words from a wise father.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
In summary: Work as a slave of Christ, not to please men, but to please Him. Work cheerfully and diligently, knowing that it is He who gives the reward. Don't regard circumstances, just do the task at hand with all of our might. We know that Jesus is watching and we can be assured that our sinner co-workers are also.
"Yeah", replies the Yankee, "We have slow trains in Rhode Island too."
Keep Looking Up!
Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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