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Colossians 3:23-24 & meaning...

Whatever 

you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

Context

Colossians 3 [21.] Fathers, don’t provoke your children, so that they won’t be discouraged.

Colossians 3 [22.] Servants, obey in all things those who are your masters according to the flesh, not just when they are looking, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will receive again for the wrong that he has done, and there is no partiality.

Colossians 4 [1.] Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.


Meaning:

  • Work as unto the Lord:

Wholehearted Effort: The instruction to "work heartily" implies a wholehearted and diligent approach to one's tasks. It encourages believers to invest their best efforts, skills, and dedication into their work, regardless of the nature of the task.

For the Lord, Not for Men: The perspective shift is profound. Instead of working primarily for human approval or recognition, believers are called to see their work as an offering to the Lord. This transcends the limitations of earthly recognition and taps into the eternal significance of work done for God.

  • The Promise of Reward:

Inheritance as Your Reward: The assurance that "from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward" emphasizes the idea that our earthly efforts are not in vain. God sees and rewards the faithfulness and diligence of those who work with a heart for Him.

Eternal Perspective: The promise of an inheritance as a reward introduces an eternal perspective into the concept of work. It highlights that the ultimate recognition and reward come from the Lord and extend beyond the temporal to the eternal.

  • Serving the Lord Christ:

A Profound Identity Shift: The closing statement, "You are serving the Lord Christ," reinforces the transformative aspect of this perspective shift. It's not merely about tasks or responsibilities; it's about recognizing the divine significance of our service.

Elevating the Ordinary to the Sacred: Whether in mundane or significant tasks, the understanding that we are serving the Lord Christ elevates the ordinary to the sacred. Every act of service becomes an offering to the King.


Practical Application:

Integrity and Excellence: Colossians 3:23-24 challenges believers to approach their work with integrity and excellence, regardless of external recognition. The focus is on the intrinsic value of work done for the Lord.

Finding Purpose in the Mundane: The perspective that every task is an act of service to the Lord Christ injects purpose into the mundane aspects of daily life. It transforms routine activities into meaningful contributions to God's kingdom.


Cross-References:

1 Corinthians 10:31: "Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." This parallel concept emphasizes the overarching principle of doing everything for the glory of God, aligning with the mindset encouraged in Colossians 3:23-24.

Ephesians 6:7-8: "With good will, doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is bound or free." This passage from Ephesians echoes the idea of serving with the Lord in view and the promise of divine reward.


Conclusion: Colossians 3:23-24 provides a transformative framework for approaching work and service. It calls believers to work heartily, with a focus on the Lord as the ultimate audience and source of reward. As we embrace this mindset, every task becomes an opportunity for worship, and our service becomes an offering to the Lord Christ.


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PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible