We all work for somebody. We all have tasks we don’t particularly like. Today we are discussing working as if working for the Lord.
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One of the key things about Cell Life Church International is that there is not a clergy class. Most leaders in the church around the world do not rely on donations or a church salary to live while they minister. Most of us work regular jobs outside the church to earn money to provide for our family’s needs. Kelly and I are no different. We both work regular jobs. Most of the credentialed ministers of Cell Life Church International are like this.
It can be difficult when working a job outside the church. You may find yourself working for someone who is not a Christian or you may have a boss who does not ascribe to Christian ethics. You may find yourself working with others who do not do their best or do their share of the work. There may be tasks that you do not like. You might even think you deserve more money, time off, or consideration for all of your labor.
The Apostle Paul addresses this in the book of Colossians. Let’s read Colossians 3:22-25.
(22) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. (23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (24) since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (25) Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
This passage was written almost 2000 years ago and still applies today. Slavery has been irradicated throughout much of the world, however, we believe these same principles apply to workers and bosses just as much as they applied to slaves and masters.
Today we are going to talk about a work ethic and integrity that may not result in earthly rewards but will result in eternal rewards. Let’s discuss working as if we are working for the Lord.
Work With Sincerity and Integrity
The first area of working as if working for the Lord we are looking at is working with sincerity and integrity. Let’s read Colossians 3:22.
(22) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
Paul is telling us to obey our bosses in everything and to do it whether they are watching or not. This comes to an issue of sincerity and integrity. But he goes on to tell us to obey them for the right reasons.
Obeying the person or people you work for is important. Your job usually depends on you doing what you are told to do, and the way you’ve been told to do it. The only time we do not have to obey those in authority over us is when we are told to do something contrary to scripture. Obedience to authority is also spoken of in Romans 13:1-2 which says:
(1) Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (2) Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Again, when what we are told to do violates scripture, we can politely disobey. Otherwise, we are to do what we are asked to do by who we work for and those placed in authority over us. There are eternal consequences for us and for those we work for and put in authority over us.
Paul tells us to do what we have been told to do whether we are being watched or not. This is integrity. We are to perform our tasks with our whole heart as if working directly for the Lord, and not to only gain favor with those we work for.
Please understand, scripture is not telling us to do anything illegal or something that goes against scripture, but otherwise, we are to do what we have been tasked with as if it were the Lord himself tasking us.
Work For The Lord
That leads right into the next area. We are truly working as if it is the Lord giving us our tasks. Let’s read Colossians 3:23-24.
(23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (24) since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Working with our whole heart goes back to working with sincerity but also implies giving our all. When we are working for the Lord we are not to do just enough to get by or the bare minimum. We are to give our best and do our best. That is working with your whole heart. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, he lives in your heart. Working with our whole heart means we are representing Jesus as we work.
We have all had jobs where we thought we deserved more pay, more time off, or other perks. Almost all secular employment is like that. However, for the Christian, we are to trust that the Lord will provide all of our needs, and our reward for performing our jobs with our whole heart and with sincerity may not come until we are with the Lord in Heaven.
That is difficult at times here on earth. It is difficult to toil day in and day out with a boss who mistreats us or is a tough taskmaster. It can be hard when we are paid less than what we deserve.
Our eyes are to be focused on Jesus, not ourselves, and in that, we know the Lord is watching over us. We know that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. We also must remember all the Lord endured for us.
Do all you have been asked to do with your whole heart whether you are being monitored or not, and trust you will be taken care of by the Lord.
Work Knowing The Lord Is Watching
Continuing in that same thought we know the Lord is not only watching us but he is watching out for us. Let’s read Colossians 3:25.
(25) Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
The Lord is watching everything. Nothing happens in this world without him knowing it and seeing it. He knows you and wants to protect you. Jesus teaches us this in Luke 12:4-7.
(4) “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. (5) But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (6) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. (7) Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Not only is the Lord watching out for you, but He is also watching those you work for and those placed in authority over you. The Lord shows no favoritism.
We must do our best when working, just as if we were working directly for the Lord and He will reward us accordingly. He will also reward us accordingly if we do not do our best, do just enough, or worse, do poorly on purpose.
He will also repay our bosses and those in authority over us if we are mistreated, misrepresented, or not compensated appropriately.
Everything we do, as Christians, we represent the Lord. We encourage you to look at how Jesus interacted with the authorities and the leadership around him. He always showed grace and compassion for everyone and forgave them, even a tax collector.
We do not need to fight the battles with the people we work for. The Lord will fight those battles for us in His perfect timing. We must just continue to do all we have been asked to do as if working directly for the Lord.
We are ministers where we work and go to school. We are always watched and represent the Lord at all times. This is the most important part of this teaching. You represent Christ in all you say and do. The Lord knows none of us is perfect, but at the end of the day, we must have done all we can as if Jesus were working right alongside us. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when I meet him face to face. Work as if you are working for the Lord.