“You Are Serving the Lord Christ”
Summer soon will be over, and we will return to our normal schedules. The rest and relaxation of summer break (even if only a one- or two-week vacation) will give way once more to “the daily grind.” As with all things, the Bible gives us God’s word to bear upon this aspect of life. Through Paul in Colossians 3:23-24, the Holy Spirit says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
This passage teaches that as we Christians work our “real-world” jobs (for kids and youth, this corresponds to school), we are actually “serving the Lord Christ.” He is our boss even more than our supervisor, manager, or teacher is! It is only sensible, then, to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Furthermore, Paul teaches “that from the Lord [we] will receive the inheritance.” The inheritance to which Paul here refers is eternal life in heaven with God; as he writes earlier in Colossians, the Father “has qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light,” which is to be moved “from the domain of darkness … to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (1:12-13).
In applying these texts from Colossians to our daily lives as believers, we ought to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance,” which is deliverance into God’s eternal kingdom, “as your reward.” Students, this means do your best in school. Do your homework faithfully and don’t cheat on tests. Use the intelligence that God has given you, and seek to increase your knowledge by paying attention in class and by studying your books diligently. Adults, this means to do your best at whatever work you do because all work is a calling from God, if you are a Christian.
Martin Luther understood this and had this to say on the matter: “A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and every one by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another.” So, Christian, whether at work in an office, factory, field, or classroom, work to the glory of God in Christ Jesus, for he will reward you in heaven—not because of the work you do on earth but because you are his child.
This post was originally written for the Calvary Baptist Church August 2011 Newsletter, which will be released this Sunday, July 31, 2011, prior to morning worship.