Colossians 3:18-4:1
Thursday, December 29, 2012
Key Verse: 3:23 Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”

Dear Lord Jesus thank you for giving me this day where I could spend time reading and writing. It is not easy to get away from distractions, but you have provided the way. I also thank you for my kid’s willingness to go to spiritual conferences. I pray that they may grow spiritually and not be swallowed up by the world. I pray that they may be good Gospel co-workers in the gospel work. My they have a close relationship with Jesus and love Jesus and share their faith with the new generation. I pray that the Well conference may be life giving and change lives. I pray that a new generation of shepherds and Bible teachers may be raised up. I pray that you may help msn Mark to get his green card and find direction for his nursing studies. Please grant me one word of God in my heart. I thank you and I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Jesus Christ is the Lord of relationships, whether in the family or the workplace. Christian households are characterized by mutual edification.

1. Wives and husbands (3:18-19).

Verse 18-19 read, “ 18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them”
The marriage relationship represents Christ and his church and is characterized by love and respect for one another. Wives, submit to your husbands as the church submits to Christ (Eph 5:22-23). Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25), not harshly, but gently.

My marriage with Julie must reflect Jesus and his relationship with the church. This is one of the major reasons that Jesus implemented marriage. But so often I don’t reflect Jesus in my marriage. sometimes I get angry and fall into self-centered feelings of depression. When I do I become too focused on myself and my own problems and my own issues. I neglect concerning about my wife and my mission to present her to the Lord as a radiant bride through the washing of the word. I pray that I may reflect Jesus’ love and Jesus’ character in my relationship with Julie so that the people of the world may see Jesus in our relationship.

2. Children and parents (20-21).

Verse 20-21, “. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers,[a] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged”

Children should obey their parents to please the Lord in everything. Parents, especially fathers, should not embitter or discourage their children.

It was not easy for me to read these verses because I break most of them . It was like reading the ten commandments with insight that I am guilty of breaking most of them in my heart. I do embitter my kids and discourage them with my angry reactions and unreal expectations. I am reminded of some of the issues that this new generation has with the church. The think, “do my friends do this too me? Do they embitter me? Why should I put up with this at my home or at church?” And they are right.

Jesus does not embitter me. He does not rebuke me until I am discouraged to even try to preach the gospel. He is patient and he encourages. He is always there to counsel to try again. So often he whispers, “Try this way.” and I ignore him, being too afraid to try. But he does not embitter me . He just keeps coming to me and whispering new suggestions, new direction. He makes it very nice to listen to him and follow him. I should be a very similar father and be an encourager and not an embitterer.

3. Slaves and masters (3:22-4:1).

Verses 3:22-4:1, “. 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. Colossians 4: 1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”

In this context, slaves were domestic servants who lived with a family. Today we can think of it in terms of employment. We have a tendency to curry favor. But when we are working for the Lord, we will obey him with a sincere heart with hope in his reward, not man’s. God is just and does not show favoritism, so masters should also treat servants justly, knowing we will all answer to the Lord.

I need to serve the Lord at work. I need to be a good nurse and be part of the team and do well to promote the unit and encourage others. I should strive for higher education and leadership roles. I realize that I am not just serving people but I am serving the Lord, Jesus. This is gives absolute purpose and meaning to my life. I pray for all my kids to realize that they are not just studying for themselves. I pray that they see their time in school as a time of serving the Lord.

Prayer: Jesus, let me serve others as serving you.

One Word: Serve others as working for the Lord

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