Col 3:22-25 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
Just as Paul had instruction for husbands, wives, children, and parents, he also had instruction for those in a place of service. The idea of slavery is morally abhorrent to most of us in this day. However, there are still lessons to be learned from Paul’s instruction to servants.
The word translated as “servants” is defined by Strong’s as “a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency).” It is a simple truth of our existence that we are all servants in one capacity or another. We all serve the Living God, either involuntarily or voluntarily. Every beast, fish, fowl, and creeping thing serves the purpose and design of the Creator. Moses, in obedience, served the great I AM, and Pharaoh, in his disobedience, still served the will and purpose of the same I AM.
It is good for us to serve those who are in authority over us. Children should serve the godly will of their parents because it is good in God’s sight. When we agree to employment, we should serve our employers with a sincere desire to see them prosper because it is good in God’s sight. We should serve our officials by keeping the laws that are set down for us (as long as they do not violate God’s law) because it is good in God’s sight. Even when our service is purely voluntary, we should be obedient to whoever has authority over us.
Our obedience in service is to be sincere and earnest. We are to obey not only when men are watching but especially when they are not. The reason our service is to be rendered in this manner is because we are not serving men. Our pledge and our dedication belong to God, even when men seem to prosper from it. Our ability to serve comes from God. Our carnal nature seeks to be served: it is only in the heart that God gives that we truly find a desire and willingness to be servants.
We may labor long, hard hours for a paycheck so we can provide for our needs and the needs of others. How often, when we receive that paycheck, do we stop and bow our heads to the Lord of glory and thank Him for it? When was the last time that we thanked God when we got in our vehicle to go to work or church or on vacation? We often acknowledge that our heavenly treasures come from His hand, but we fail to see that all of life’s blessings come from Him. It behooves us to recognize every day that we serve the Lord Christ and every blessing comes from Him.
He is not swayed in His judgment. If we do wrong, we will not get a pass because we are going to sing His praise in Eternal Heaven someday. Even though David was a man after God’s own heart, his wrongs were not overlooked. The fact that Peter would someday be a leader and strengthener of his brothers did not stop Jesus from calling him out when he was wrong. There is not enough good in the whole world to persuade Him to ignore our wrong, no matter who we are.
We are servants, and as servants we should seek to please God who is Master over all of heaven and earth. It is to Him we should look for reward and not put our trust in men or give men praise. We should know that we receive all reward from the hand of Lord because we serve Him. The experience of our own lives should attest to this truth and to the fact that He does not play favorites when it comes to wrongdoing.
May we pass the time of our sojourning here in reverence to our Master who judges without respect of persons (1Pe 1:17)!