Am I In God’s Will?

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;

In Jesus times, the servant was the person doing the work that was given to him by the master.  He may have been a servant that was bought, or a free will servant, but always a servant.  In today’s world, we have employees and bosses.  The positions have different names, but are nonetheless the same as in Jesus time.  As employees, we still have an obligation to work for a boss, and as a result we are, in essence, the servant and he is the master.

When we understand this, we understand how these next few verses apply to today.  we have an obligation to do what our bosses tell us to do with a determined purpose of making him look good.  This is not about whether he is a  good boss or a bad boss, whether he plays favorites or  not, whether he really has he ability to be the boss or not, or whether the task is too easy or too hard.  We have an obligation to do what he asks.  The fear and trembling part is not as much because he can fire  us at any time, it is because we should be doing this work as if Jesus is telling us to do it, not the boss.  Do the work as unto Christ – more on this coming up.

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

By all means, we should not do good work just to receive commendation for it, trying to please man.  This will only add to our pride, which we never want to do.  I am not saying that we should not accept those “good work” comments when they come – we need to acknowledge those with respect.  But out goal in working should not be to get those remarks – we should be doing the job to the best of our ability whether those comments come or not, and no matter how it looks to our fellow workers.  W should be doing that job from our heart, and always, always giving our best effort.

Why?  Because if we believe God is providing for us, than we should believe God placed us in that job,  And if God placed us in that job, when we should ultimately be working for Him, not just our bosses.  I know that you want to do your best for the Lord.  So do it in the workplace, and do it with all your might.  If you are a married, do your job as a husband or wife with the best of your ability as unto the Lord, not your spouse.  If you are unemployed, do all you are able to around the house for your children and spouse, as unto the Lord, not your family.  I could go on but I think you catch my point.  So many people wonder what the will of the Lord is for them.  This is a good place to start!

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.

This verse speaks to anyone who has some kind of authority over another.  It can be a boss at a job, or a father in a family, or someone who hires and independent contractor do some work.  And it’s words are pretty straightforward.  Again, the golden rule is a gauge to live by in these relationships.  First he says to forbear threatening.  Forbear is defined as politely or patiently restraining an impulse to do something.   I can’t even begin to tell you how often I threatened to do some kind of punishment on my kids and did not follow through!  And I did this with employees as well.  I would definitely have been better off forbearing in a large majority of those cases.

There is a proper time for threatening though, and that’s when company policy is broken, or job performance is poor.  We should still do these things in love, as Christians, and we should never be respecter of one person over another.  All should be on a level playing field.  If we find ourselves disciplining one, and allowing another to do the same thing,, we are playing favorites.  This is wrong in God’s eyes.

Aren’t you glad God even gives us direction in employee/employer relations?  Imagine if these simple rules would be followed by every Christian, what a better world we would live in!  I think I’ll start to pray more about that!

 

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Is Time On Your Side?

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

This world is very  deceitful.  It is very easy to hear someone say something that sounds oh, so good, only to find out that they are talking about something completely contrary to God’s word.  This happens a lot in what I call the “grace” churches.  They preach that God is a God of unlimited grace – which I totally agree with.  God’s grace will never run out, and He will lavish me with grace until my dying day.  He is just like that!  But then some of these churches go on from there, and never mention that we must turn from our sinful ways and not take God’s grace for granted.  Paul says “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid!” (Rom 6:1-2).  It is our calling that once we are saved, we turn from our sin.  Slips and falls will happen, but  to continue in unbridled sin is just wrong.

So Paul tells the Ephesian church to walk circumspectly – be cautious and wary of things around you.  We must not be foolish enough to allow false doctrine into our lives.  We must be wise and measure what anyone says against the scripture.  I feel the need to interject something on the scripture we use.  Newer translations are slowly doing away with sin, atonement and hell.  They picture a God who loves all (and He does) and provides a way of freedom for all (which he does) at no cost to us (which he does).  Why is this a problem?  Because first, it does not explain we must repent, or accept the gift, or turn from our sin.  It does not discuss the sentence of hell if we are disobedient.  It is a watered down, grace gospel that is a mere shadow of what God truly said.  Please take caution of what translation you are reading.

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

What do you do with your time?  Right now, I have time on my hands, since I am disabled and not working.  And it may be a while before I can get back to work.  That can be a problem for me if I don’t manage my time.  My mind will wander off to places it should not, and I can easily get caught up in behavior that I should not be involved in.  I need to keep my mind occupied!  So I have these blogs, which take a while each day to put together.  I am cataloging my poetry, which numbers over 1,000 poems, and starting to assemble it for eventual publishing.  I make the most of my time, and I always run out of time to get things done, it seems.

When  am healed of this cancer, and I am able to drive again and work again (by faith, I am believing this will come to pass), I will have  to be diligent in my time management.  I keep thinking that God has given me this time to work on the poetry and publishing it.  It’s a monumental task.  But when I am well, I will have to make the time to continue with at least one of my blogs,  plus get back into the swing of things around the house and at my job.  Redeeming the time is so important.  It is one commodity we all have the same amount of.  How do you redeem the time?

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

If we do not know what the will of the Lord is, we are unwise.  God clearly shows us His will in His word.  It is so important that we understand what God would have us do.  Here are a few things that God’s will entails.

Micah 6:8 says the Lord requires us to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.  If you really want to move closer to God, practice these three things in earnest.  Understanding these three things is a  key to understanding the will of God.

In Mark 16:15, Jesus tells us to  go into all the world and preach the gospel.  This is a mandate.  And we do not have to be pastors or evangelists to preach the gospel.  Our lives are our testimony.  You preach the gospel by the lifestyle you live, if you are living for God. Take every opportunity to share what God has done for you.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are just, pure, lovely, true, honest, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.  when we set our minds on these things, our actions will follow, and we will be in the middle of God’s will.

This is just a start.  Understanding the will of the Lord is as important as the air we breathe.  Do all you can to effectively walk circumspectly, redeem the time, and carry out His will.

 

 

The Mystery of His Will

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

A lot of what Paul says in Ephesians is everyday Christian knowledge. It is good to review the basics once in awhile. In Christ we have redemption through the blood of Jesus. He forgave us of our sins. We did nothing to deserve it. It was by the riches of his grace. And he has abounded that Grace to us in all wisdom.

 I am so glad for the grace of God.  When I try to define Grace I usually use the acronym God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. He bore a terrible death so that I could have God’s riches. He willingly went to the cross. He could have called ten thousand angels when they tried to take him in the garden but He did not.  He knew the future He faced and He did not back away from it. When He was praying in the garden,  He knew what He was going to have to face and He did not back away from it.

Still today, He abounds His grace toward us. He uses His wisdom and His prudence to shower us with grace every single day in the areas where we need it. God is not obliged to give us anything. It’s all by grace that He provides for our daily needs. We can go all the way back to Noah and realize that God can destroy this earth anytime He wants to. But He loves people so much that He won’t do that.  He said He never will flood the Earth again, and I’m glad

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Paul says God has made known to us the mystery of his will. Do you know the mystery of his will? I know a lot of Christians that say “I need to find God’s will for my life”. Well I’m here to tell you today that His will is sitting right in front of you.  You’re reading out of it every single day hopefully. What is the mystery? The mystery is that we can miss it so easily!  What did Jesus come to do? He saved the lost, he healed the sick, opened blinded eyes, made the lame to walk, set the captive free and proclaimed the good news. And He told that the things we have seen him do,  we should do, and that we will do greater things. That’s His will. Then He told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  That’s His will.

Eventually Jesus will return and ,Paul says, in the fullness of time  He wants to gather us all together. But,, until that time we have work to do.  We need to see that people find Christ. That’s His will for our lives. To go out and find souls that are lost and bring them into the kingdom.  We need to ask God to heal, deliver them, and sanctify them, just like He has done for us.  Then we give thanks to God.  Start right where you are, and if God has more for you to do, He will let you know.  His will is right in front of you!    It’s really pretty simple. Why do we make it so complex.

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

WI discussed predestination last lesson, so I will not go back into that.  Paul adds here that we have obtained an inheritance. How did we obtain an inheritance? How many of you know that a will does not go into force until the one who left the will has died? I bet all of you answered yes to that one. Well the word of God is God’s will. And the Word was made flesh and came and dwelt among us (John 1:14). His name is Jesus. And Jesus went to the cross and died.  When Jesus died, God’s will then came into force. It became our inheritance. That’s another reason why it is our duty  to carry out His will.  But along with that, we inherited all the blessings of the word.  The fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23), the gifts of the spirit (I Cor 12:8-10), the blessings of obedience (Deut 28:1-13).  I could go on and on.  I have  a few friends who are talking about reading through the bible this year, and this is one reason that is a good idea – you will get to read all the blessings that are ours because of this inheritance.

Now we are not to carry out this will to glorify ourselves and bring praise to our lives! We do all these things in order to bring glory to Jesus Christ and God the Father. He deserves all the praise and all the glory because He’s the one that makes it possible. Never forget that