Daily Bible Study - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society
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Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Monday 05 December
'Tain't what you do (it's the way that you do it)’ was a jazz song first recorded in 1939 by Ella Fitzgerald. The apostle Paul would have agreed with that. There were probably many slaves in the congregation at Colossae, and he knew that the way in which they did their work was a fundamental part of their Christian testimony. They obviously needed to do the right things, but it was important that they did them in the right way, whether or not their master was watching them. They needed to give their best because the service they were giving flowed from their relationship with God. He was always watching, even if their master wasn’t, and they needed to work willingly, as if everything they did was being done directly for the Lord.
These words might be 2,000 years old, but they are just as important today. It’s very easy for us to focus on the people around us. We want to give a good impression and please them. We want to be liked and well thought of. But Paul would encourage us to recognise that the audience which really matters is God himself. He sees the way we work for our employer, help in church or assist our neighbour, and he is looking to us to give our best.
A key word in these verses is the word ‘willingly’. The way in which we work springs from a deep place. The Greek literally means “from the soul”; that is to say the way in which we work arises from our relationship with the Lord. There is all the difference in the world between the person who does a job grudgingly and the person who does it willingly. God wants us to be the kind of person who does their work joyfully because we know that, before anyone else, we are doing it for him.
QUESTION To what extent are your actions moulded by the fact that God sees everything you do?
PRAYER Lord God, help me always to give my best in everything I do today. Amen
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