Prayer Chain XII

“Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended up prayer.” – William Booth (Founder of the Salvation Army)

For Vocation in Daily Work:

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

boss has a title

Almighty God, we ask that you watch over our staff and membership, guide them in thought, word, and deed by your gracious favor and divine providence; keep with them a keen sense of peace and joy as they live out their days in service and vocation. Provide for them safety, discernment, and strength to serve the community, and one another, with the kindness of heart and charity in action. We ask this all of you, our sovereign Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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weekly scripture

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV).

Commentary:

3:22–25. Slaves are exhorted to obey (the same word is directed to children in v. 20) their earthly masters. “Earthly” is literally “according to the flesh”; only Christ is master of the spirits of believing slaves. This obedience is to be with sincerity of heart, not simply when their masters are watching them or to win their favor. Also, slaves are to work with reverence for the Lord. Working with an awareness of God’s character and presence enhances the dignity of the labor of even slaves. In fact, whatever (cf. v. 17) slaves should be with all their heart[s] (lit., “out of the soul,” i.e., genuine and from within, not merely by outward pretense) and for the Lord, not for men. While slavery was certainly undesirable, Paul’s goals did not include restructuring social institutions (cf. 1 Cor. 7:17–24). Principles in Colossians 3:22–25 for Christian slaves may be applied today to Christian employees. If more Christian employees today served their employers with genuine concern and as though they were serving God, quality and productivity would increase dramatically! It is the Lord Christ whom all Christians are serving. (This is the only place in the NT where the term “the Lord Christ” is used.) After all, the final “payday” (an inheritance … as a reward) is coming from the Lord (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10). He will judge without favoritism (cf. Rom. 2:9; Eph. 6:9), that is, in full justice, repaying wrongdoers and rewarding those who serve Him.

In these verses (Col. 3:22–25) Paul made numerous points about the motives, attitudes, and conduct of Christian slaves. Such instruction was remarkable in a master-slave society.[1]

Footnotes:

[1] Norman L. Geisler, “Colossians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 683–684.

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