Colossians 3:23-24 NIV – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Our reward is not a promotion, compensation, better grades, or recognition. The kingdom of God is our promised inheritance and reward. Nothing in this earth can compare to this! As we serve Christ alone, our heavenly Father promises that we will receive the kingdom of heaven here and now through the Holy Spirit that is at work in us.
In thanksgiving, let’s worship to the song “More to Come” by Passion (Click here).
Prayer: Thank you that the kingdom of God is my inheritance. Thank you that even today, I can taste the blessing of your kingdom here and now through your Spirit that is at work in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Are we weary and burdened in our work? Our studies? At home? Let us come to him, cast off every other yoke, and take his yoke upon us and learn from him because he is gentle and humble in heart, and unlike every other master that exists. He gives rest – easiness and lightness – to our souls. We come and put down every other burden and bow before him as Lord. We see and feel his yoke of discipleship, of following him coming upon us. And although it may look like any other yoke, as it is placed upon us – we find that it is light and we are actually finally truly free.” (Brenda Rapp)
Let’s worship to the song “Singing Over Us” by Worship Central (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, I lay down all of my burdens before you and bow before you as my Lord. May I experience your yoke that sets me free today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Colossians 3:17 NIV – And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
In thanksgiving, we are acknowledging “the sovereignty of God in everything that we do, because he alone is the source of all goodness, and we are his creatures who are to fulfill his will on earth.” [David Pao, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 255]
We are to work diligently and with thankful hearts as part of our life of worship unto God. If somewhere along the way, our work, studies and ministry has become drudgery, it is because we have forgotten that all that we have is a gift from God. But as the Spirit empowers us, we can receive and live afresh in thankful worship, to glorify and serve him.
As we ask for a fresh filling of his Spirit today, let’s worship to “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Prayer: God, will you fill me with your Spirit so that I can live in thankfulness in all that you have called me to do! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Colossians 3:23-24 NLT – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
“But Christian slaves – or Christian employees today – have the highest of all motives for faithful and conscientious performance of duty; they are above all else servants of Christ, and will work first and foremost so as to please him. Not fear of an earthly master, but reverence for their heavenly Lord, should be the primary motive with them.” [F.F. Bruce, NICNT: The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, 168-169]
The difference between drudgery and delight is that our work is to be done unto the Lord alone. We can be doing the same work, the same deed, but when we do it to please him, delight will replace drudgery. When our work is done for anyone else other than to the Lord, including ourselves, we are robbing God of his glory. In the process of working excellently for the Lord, God receives all of the glory from our lives.
Let’s worship to “Yours” by Elevation Worship (Click here) as we declare that we serve Christ alone and no one else.
Prayer: Lord, may I live to please you and you alone and may you receive all the glory from my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Genesis 1:1, 31, 2:15 NIV – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good… And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day…The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
“Christians are people who have been set free to enjoy working…The redeemed man or woman is freed from the tyranny of necessity. The Christian is to cease from care about food and shelter and to trust a Heavenly Father… He may work as hard as ever, but the ache has gone from the drudgery… He, more than any man, may discover the joy of working for love of God.” [John White, The Fight, 208]
God takes great delight in his work and he invites us to do the same alongside him. Worshipful work can fulfill God’s purpose in creation. Even before sin enters the world, it is clear that participation in his work is a part of God’s design and intent for humankind. Let’s step into that reality as we respond to his invitation to work alongside him.
Let’s worship to “The Awesome God You Are” by Matt Redman (Click here).
Prayer: God, thank you for inviting me to participate in your work. Thank you that you take great delight in your work, and I can experience your delight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
“Christian faith transforms identity because it transforms relations… It is no accident that the New Testament lists of sins to avoid are lists of community-destroying acts and the lists of virtues to embrace are lists of community-enhancing acts.” [Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are, 93]
It’s important to note that these verses takes place within the body of Christ. It is in community that we learn to live as imitators of God, living out our genuine faith. We are not to simply get rid of our old ways, but made completely new in how we relate to one another. Let’s pray that our relationships with one another will become more authentic as we imitate God, reflecting and embodying God’s love and that it will overflow onto others outside our church as well.
Let us worship to the song “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher (Click here).
Galatians 5:16-18 – So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
“God has authenticated us as those who are truly his own. To put that in another way, it is as we live the life of God empowered by his Holy Spirit that we demonstrate ourselves to be the authentic people of God.” [Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 716]
Walking and imitating God is an ongoing process. Imitating God and walking in the way of love is a daily decision and does not need to be grand gesture. It is a simple choice to walk in the path that God has already set for us in Christ. By sealing us with his Holy Spirit, we can walk in ways that are like God. It is the Holy Spirit that daily empowers and enables us to imitate God. Let’s pray that God will empower us through His Holy Spirit to walk in the path that God has already set for us in Christ.
Let us worship to the song “Anointing” by Jesus Culture (Click here).
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Rather than focusing on right or wrong behavior, how we can practically imitate God is to imitate His character. We need to imitate God’s character to walk in his way of love. And practically, we can focus on any one attribute of God. One aspect is to live holy because God is holy – God has set us apart for himself, so we are to live as those who are set apart for his purposes. Holiness is not just about distancing ourselves from things (or people) that pull us away from living for God. It’s more about drawing near to God. Let’s pray that God will help us to identify those things in our lives that pull us away from him.
Another aspect is having the mind of Christ. Our minds are battlefields. Rather than fighting futile battles that goes on in our minds, let’s pray that our thought life and minds will be renewed and centered around God and his purposes.
Let us worship to the song “Don’t Ever Stop” by Passion (Click here).
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB) – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
“If humanity is created in God’s image and likeness, then God’s character is the primary role model deserving commitment from us. Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:1 for believers to imitate God at first glance may seem a bit outrageous, but if humans are created in God’s image, then what makes better sense? Much about God we cannot imitate – his power, his knowledge, or eternal being – but imitating God’s character is the most important part of our identity formation.” [Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are, 147-148]
As plainly as these verses say to be imitators of God – we can simply turn and obey, because we have Christ in us. We imitate God because he is our loving Father and we want to be more like him. We imitate God because he loves us. Let’s pray that our life response to him will be to say yes, and begin to take steps toward imitating him more in all areas of our lives.
Let us worship to the song “More Like Jesus” by Passion (Click here).
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV) – Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
What validates us as genuine and authenticates Christians is Christ’s love for us and in us. God calls us his beloved children, and his ultimate demonstration of his love for us is in his son, Jesus laying down his life as a sacrifice. This is our starting point. It’s not about what we feel, think, hope for, or desire. It’s about what God has already done for us in Christ and who God says we are – that is the absolute truth for us!
Let us pray with thanksgiving that we are so loved by God, and our lives are determined and authenticated by God’s love for us in Christ first and foremost.
Let us worship to the song “Love Won’t Give Up” by Elevation (Click here).