Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 6:5-9
Ephesians 6:5-9 5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
We have come to the fourth and final relationship in Paul's discourse on the Spirit-filled home. He dealt first of all with our relationship with the Lord, "Be filled with the Spirit." I've mentioned being filled with the Spirit in almost every devotion on these verses because it is the prerequisite to having the rest of our relationships in the home right. If you will stay right with Him, you will have a much easier time staying right with others. Today's verses deal with something uncommon in this day but not in that day. Servants and masters. Those days have faded away in most civilized countries but there is still a lesson to be learned. The terms we use today are employee and employer and the same principles stand. Paul addresses servants first, and so will we. This addresses, in our case, the employee. Most people reading this today will fall into this category, we have a person or company we are working for. We are commanded to be obedient to the ones who have authority over us, according to the flesh. This relationship can be the hardest one of all to keep right, with our wives we have a natural affection that makes loving them easier and the same with our children but to be submissive to another man to whom we have no natural affection, to a man who is flawed and sometimes unfair, to a man who doesn't always have your best interest in mind but his own. This can be extremely hard at times, but we are commanded to be obedient, with fear and trembling and in singleness of heart. We ought to have respect for our employers. How many times have we sat around the break table while everyone at work abused the employer with their words and complained about everything imaginable? This is not Christian behavior. I worked with men who complain and cursed about their employer and the job they were given until finally, they talked themselves into quitting, and then they found out the hard way that the job they had was a blessing and not a burden. It is important to keep in mind that if you have a job you are doing a lot better than many, there are people who would love to be in the position you are in. This service we render to our employers should be "As unto Christ." We ought to serve our authority as we would serve Christ. Imagine the witness this would be, if Christians were the best workers on the job, if the Christians had a reputation for working hard and joyfully. If we served others like we serve Christ what would that look like? Would your service to others be whole hearted and joyful? Or would it be cold and half-hearted? I'm afraid many people's service to others is cold and half-hearted because their service to Christ is as well. Serve Jesus with all your heart, body, and soul; Serve others in that same manner and your life will without doubt stand out above the crowd. You may be surprised at how your employer takes notice of the good service you provide. You may be serving a wicked, filthy-mouthed boss, let your good service to him be a service to Christ and it will make serving that man much easier. I've worked for men who lied, cheated, and stole, I had to remind myself constantly that it wasn't them I was serving but my Savior. If you will do this you will be a light to your co-workers and your employer. We aren't to serve with "eyeservice, as men-pleasers." Meaning, don't do one thing while the boss is looking and another when he leaves. How many times have we been on the job and someone said "The boss is coming." Production picked up and men made themselves busy, that is eyeservice. Our service ought to be of a higher caliber than that, when the boss comes around he should find the Christian workers on his crew doing the same thing they were doing before he arrived. Verse 8 reminds us again that we are the servants of Christ and this is a service that should spring from the heart of one of his servants. The truth is our master is always watching, whether our authority according to the flesh is there to see our service or not our heavenly authority is always there to inspect our service to others, be sure your service to others would be appropriate in His eyes; "With good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men." Without a doubt, there are also those of us who fall into the category of the employer instead of employee and those of us that fall into both. As employers we are to render to our employees all the same things we just spoke of; "Ye masters, do the same thing unto them." That phrase turns all the instructions for servants into instruction for the masters as well. As we say, "What is good for the goose is good for the gander." How much easier would our service to men be if they were men worthy of honor, men who treated their employees fairly, men with integrity. Serving these types of men is a joy, and makes the service of their employees much easier. Be the type of boss that men enjoy serving, Proverbs 29:2 "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." If your authority is abused it makes it very hard to respect, a man who rules by threats may be feared but never respected and will get the same kind of service he renders to the ones under his authority; "Forbearing threatening." In conclusion to this discourse, Paul says "Knowing that your Master is in heaven: neither is there respect of persons with him." Be the kind of master he has been to you. It is no coincidence that every relationship mentioned in this section is comparative to our relationship with Christ. He is our Groom we are His bride, He is our Father we are his children, He is our Master and we are his servants. In every relationship, you have in the home or out of the home our goal as a Spirit-filled Christian should be to serve Christ. Be the kind of Groom he has been to you; Has he forgiven you and forbore with you, and loved you? Then do all those things for your spouse as Christ has done them for you. Be the kind of father/mother he has been to you; Has He trained you and lead you in the right paths? Has he chastened you and loved you? Has he fed you and clothed you and cared for you? Then do all these things for your children, as Christ has done them for you. Be the kind of master He has been to you; Has he given you the tools to work with? Has He paid the price for your living? Has He given you good, profitable work to do? Then do all these things for your employees, as Christ has done them for you. We are commanded to render the service that Christ would render to His people, whether we be in authority or servitude. If you are in authority, be the kind of authority he has been in your life. If you are in servitude, render to those in authority the same service you would render to Christ. He is in heaven and he sees all and knows all, Servants and masters are all under His authority, there is no respect of persons with Him. So, let us all render unto Him the service He deserves. Whether we are serving our employees or serving our employer is all serving our Savior.
According to the Riches of His Grace!