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Ephesians 6:5-8

Do Good Work

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.

"Servants" (Greek: douloi) refers to anyone who was bound in servitude to another person whether involuntarily or voluntarily. A voluntary servant could be someone who loved his master and decided to remain in his service, even though he might have been set free, or it could be someone who sold himself into servitude in order to pay some debt. In this latter sense, everyone who is employed by another is a servant to whom this passage applies.

Today, slavery is illegal in most countries, but the majority of us will be employees at some time in our lives. It is, therefore, important for us to understand this passage of scripture, for it tells us to be obedient to our employers "according to the flesh." We should perform our duties in a way that pleases them. Whatever they say to do, do it to the best of your ability. However, the commandment only applies to the flesh, to the physical act of doing your very best work. It does not apply to your mind and spirit. You are not to submit your thoughts or your spiritual beliefs and spiritual obedience to your employer. Those belong to God.

Furthermore, you are not to serve your employer with mere eyeservice, i.e. only when he is watching you. Your are to serve him with singleness of heart (sincerely) and with fear and trembling, just as you would serve Jesus Christ. Everything you do should be done to please Christ, whose servant you truly are, serving Him from the heart, because you desire to please God.

We live in a time when people think that it is demeaning to give service to others. They work for their employers only to get their paychecks. People take very little pride in their company, their profession or their work. Anyone who has had a cell phone or any other device that did not work properly can tell you how difficult it is to get service. Go into a store when the manager is away and you will have trouble finding a clerk to help you. We have all experienced the discomfort of having to interrupt the convenience store cashier's telephone conversation with her boyfriend in order to pay for our purchase.

These are all instances of people doing their jobs with eyeservice as menpleasers. No, they did not please you very much, but they would behave quite differently, if their employers were standing there watching them. He writes the paycheck and they want to please him (i.e. when he is looking).

The sad thing about our present situation is that many of these people who work only to get their check each week are Christians. They do not understand that they are working for God and that He is watching all of the time. Everything that we do should be to bring glory to God, but we cannot do that when we are not serving others.

It is easier to serve men when we know that every good thing that we do for others, whether we are obligated or not, whether we are seen by men or not, or whether we are slaves or freemen, will be returned to us a hundred times over by our Lord. Do your very best all of the time and in every circumstance, even if your employer is cruel and unfair, giving the glory to God. You never know when your good service will change someone's life for eternity by leading him or her to Christ.

Before The Throne:

Pray for your employer. Ask the Lord to show you ways to serve him more effectively, so that you can bring glory to God through your work. Pray that your employer would not ask you to do things that are against God's will and for the wisdom to handle the situation, if he does. Ask the Lord to help you lead your employer to Christ, if he is not already a Christian. Pray for your fellow employees in the same matters.

For Further Study:

** be: Gen 16:9; Psa 123:2; Mal 1:6; Mat 6:24; 8:9; Act 10:7-8; Col 3:22; 1Ti 6:1-3; Tit 2:9-10; 1Pe 2:18-21; ** according: Phm 1:16; ** with: 1Co 2:3; 2Co 7:15; Phi 2:12; 1Pe 3:2; ** in: Jos 24:14; 1Ch 29:17; Psa 86:11; Mat 6:22; Act 2:46; 2Co 1:12; 2Co 11:2-3; as: Eph. 1:1-23; 1Co 7:22; Col 3:17-24;

(v.6) ** eyeservice: Phi 2:12; Col 3:22; 1Th 2:4 ** doing: Eph 5:17; Mat 7:21; 12:50; Col 1:9; 4:12; 1Th 4:3; Heb 10:36; 13:21; 1Pe 2:15; 4:2; 1Jo 2:17; ** from: Jer 3:10; 24:7; Rom 6:17; Col 3:23;

(v.7) ** good: Gen 31:6, 38-40; 2Ki 5:2-3, 13; ** as: 1Co 10:31;

(v.8 ) ** whatsoever: Pro 11:18; 23:18; Isa 3:11; Mat 5:12; 6:1, 4; 10:41-42; 16:27; Luk 6:35; 14:14; Rom 2:6-10; 2Co 5:10; Col 3:24; Heb 10:35; 11:26; ** whether: Gal 3:28; Col 3:11;


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