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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Colossians 3:23-25 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.

As written by the apostle Paul to the church at Colosse, the lesson text applies to the relationship and duties of servants to masters, but its meaning certainly has a much broader application to Christian responsibilities throughout the world, in all ages. Life is filled with our interactions and reactions to others, that involved every aspect of our sojourn here on earth. We communicate with others in words - the things we say. The physical efforts we put forth for ourselves and for others are our deeds - the things we do. Previously, in verse seventeen, Paul gives us one of God's commandments regarding the things we say and do. They are to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus,and with thanksgiving to God. We are to prayerfully seek guidance from our heavenly Father in all we say and do, giving Him the glory for all good that we may accomplish during our life on earth.

By inspiration, Paul gives us another guiding commandment from God regarding the things we say and do. The lesson text says that whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. The word, whatsoever, is all-inclusive - no action is excluded. The things we do are also all-inclusive - they include both the words we say, as well as the deeds do. Whether we are speaking to our children, a classroom of students, or, as president of the United States, delivering a "State of the Union" message, we are to do so heartily, as to the Lord. Whether we are putting handles on ranges in an assembly line, designing giant GE jet engines, or, as president of General Electric, making decisions that will affect the economy of the entire world, for generations to come, we are to do so heartily, as to the Lord. From the simplest statement, to the most profound proverb; from the most menial task, to the greatest of accomplishments, mankind is to put forth their best effort, at all times, and under all conditions. The talents and abilities given each of us are given by our Creator and Heavenly Father. They are not to be used sparingly, but are to be used to their fullest extent, full-heartily, as if we are saying and doing everything, to please and bring glory to our Heavenly Father.

On this subject, notice what wise Solomon, had to say. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest (Eccl. 9:10). Not only are we to say and do everything with all of our might, but also we are to do it now while we are alive. Opportunities to use device(s), ...knowledge, (and) ...wisdom, to do the will of God, cease when life here on earth ends. The apostle Paul lends much credence to this truth when he wrote, whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Although the things we say and do are for the benefit of mankind, the glory must be given to God.

Our allegiance, then, is to God, our Heavenly Father, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Why? Again, Paul answers this question. (Because) ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God (1 Cor. 7:23-24). All mankind belongs to God, because we are His creation. Christians have an additional reason to glorify God - because our dedicated servitude was purchased with the precious blood of His Son, and our Savior. Whatever our earthly calling is to do, it is to be done as if for, and in the presence of, God. The Christian that truly loves God, will serve Him by serving the physical and spiritual needs of their fellow man. Telling God we love Him isn't sufficient; it must demonstrate our love for Him, through acts of love for our fellow man. Although Paul's preaching was for the benefit of all mankind, his allegiance was to God, as a servant of Jesus Christ. He confirmed this to the Galatian churches when he wrote for do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal. 1:10).

Our eternal inheritance depends on whom we serve. Faithful servants of Jesus Christ will inherit eternal life in heaven, while the end of the unfaithful will be eternal death. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). There will be no exceptions, because, with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are assured a righteoous judgment, because in His judgment, there will be no respect of persons.