Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:5-9
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service,as people pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.” (Ephesians 6:5-7)
One of the great biblical truths that was rediscovered during the Reformation is the belief that all work is a holy vocation. This means that all work is seen as ministry to the Lord; It is a holy calling and therefore it is sacred.
This idea of holy vocation goes back to the time of creation. God made the man in His image (Genesis 1:26) and made him vice regent over His good creation (Genesis 1:28). He also gave him the responsibility to work in the garden of Eden — “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Thus vocation is a holy calling from God that was instituted at the time of creation.
Paul now picks up on this idea of work being a holy vocation in our passage today. He combines the idea of holy vocation with the authority structures God has established. He states that slaves (employees) are to be subject to the authority of their masters (employers). As we have seen God established authority structures for civil government, for the family and for the workplace. Employees are responsible to submit to these God ordained systems.
Because vocation is a holy vocation we are to work with integrity — “with a sincere heart.” This means that we are to ensure that we do quality work that meets the expectations of our supervisors. We are to our our work from the heart recognizing that we are first and foremost servants of Christ. This also includes the motivation for our work — “rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.” Our primary goal is to please Christ and not simply to please men.
Therefore Christians are to have a good work ethic. We must recognize whatever work we do to be a holy calling, a holy vocation. We are to be subject to those in authority over us, doing our very best work as unto the Lord. “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).
Lord God, You have given me the responsibility and the privilege to work. I know that all work is a holy vocation. Let me do my work heartily as unto You. Let me glorify You by working with integrity and with a sincere heart.
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