Bible Study

This is a copy of the Sunday School Lessons presented to an adult class each Sunday.

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Retired, Lobbyist in Washington,DC - Management - BS Chemistry and various continuing education courses

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bible Study - Identity (6) - Life on Mission - 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 - May 28, 2017

Bible Study – Identity (6) – Life on Mission – May 28, 2017

This is lesson six (6) and our final lesson in our series entitled “Identity: My life of Faith.”

Our focus scripture is 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.

We can better share the gospel when we step into the shoes of others.

I understand what you are dealing with or going through – been there and done that or experienced that or had to deal with that, etc. that is identifying with those to whom you are ministering.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-6:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
4 He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so our comfort overflows through Christ.
6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in the endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer.

Life with purpose! Life on mission!

The headquarters for the Apostle Paul was Ephesus. Bible scholars believe that Paul wrote his first letter to the Christians in Corinth from Ephesus between 55 and 56 A.D. This first letter or what we refer to as First Corinthians covered a number of issues the church in Corinth was facing e.g. immorality, lawsuits, prostitutes, marriage and Christian liberty.

In discussing Christian liberty, Paul dealt with the issue of food offered to idols, then whether or not those who make up the body of believers should support their pastor e.g. paying him a salary.

Then we come to our focus scripture verses 19-23 which deals with social relationships and verses 24-27 which deals with self-discipline to fulfill GOD’S call. Let’s explore!

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 9:19-22:
Free to Serve

19 For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people.

The Apostle Paul had made a decision. He was not obligated to anyone upon earth. He was free in CHRIST to live his life upon earth until he left his earthly body and went to heaven to live eternally with GOD and CHRIST. But Paul had a wealth of experience. He was a Jew and had studied under the best Jewish teacher, Gamaliel as recorded in Acts 22:3:

3 He continued, "I am a Jewish man, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and educated according to the strict view of our patriarchal law. Being zealous for God, just as all of you are today,

Who was Gamaliel? Acts 5:34 reveals:

34 A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while.

The Apostle Paul was also a Roman citizen and a zealot for GOD before his conversion to CHRIST on his trip to Damascus to round up Christians.

Paul had experienced much in his life including experiencing and living the truth of JESUS and salvation through faith in JESUS. Thus Paul could fit into the shoes of the Jews, Gentiles and skeptics. He understood what various people wrestled with when they considered placing their faith in JESUS and the truth of the passion of JESUS.   

By the same decision making process, Paul made a decision to become a slave to all people and share the gospel of JESUS to all. He was not obligated to do it but he knew the eternal value JESUS provided for all who place their faith in HIM. Paul did not want anyone to miss that opportunity during his lifetime or the lifetime of those to whom he had opportunity to share the gospel.

When we, as Christians, realize our inheritance, through faith in JESUS the Good News of salvation from sin and its consequence, eternal death, our desire should be to share with all whom GOD gives opportunity.

So why do many of us not have the passion to share JESUS with others?

Often, we are hanging onto the flesh life while trying to be a Christian in our own strength and unwilling to yield our lives to JESUS. It is all about relationship. We must yield our flesh life to GOD through faith in JESUS and trust HIM to lead, direct, guide and provide. That is a calling.

20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law-though I myself am not under the law-to win those under the law.

When Paul was speaking to fellow Jews, he thought like they did. He shared his struggles of dealing with this Christian movement called, The Way.

21 To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law-not being outside God's law, but under the law of Christ-to win those outside the law.

Those outside the Mosaic Law were the Gentiles. Paul quickly pointed out that he was not under the Mosaic Law but under the law of CHRIST or under GOD’S Grace. He was not under the letter of the Mosaic Law but under the Spirit of the Law, which CHRIST fulfilled when JESUS gave HIS life upon the cross. Paul understood this important distinction and could explain it to the Gentiles.

22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some.

When Paul was around, among or ministering to those who were weak, he did not do that which he was free to do. He restrained himself out of respect for those who did not believe that they had the freedom to do a certain thing. It is like someone may have the freedom to drink an alcoholic beverage but if you know of a person who is an alcoholic, you refrain from drinking to support the person who has this weakness.

In Paul’s culture, this was in the area of eating food offered to idols. The pagans offered meat to the pagan gods and afterwards that meat was offered in the marketplace at a significant discount. Many of the Christians bought that meat, cooked it, ate it and thought nothing about it. But there were other Christians who consider doing so was a sin and a denial of their relationship with CHRIST. So Paul would abstain from eating meat which he knew had been offered to idols. He did not want to have the wrong influence on those who abstained from eating meat which had been offered to idols. 

Why? In places of pagan worship, they offered the things which appealed to the flesh such as sex to attract worshippers. It was a form of enslavement to the lusts of the flesh and contrary to the worship of the One True GOD, through faith in JESUS.

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 9:23-24:

23 Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits.

Paul disciplined himself to lead others to salvation through faith in JESUS. His joy was seeing others know, embrace and live the truth of faith in JESUS. He knew the eternal value for a person placing his or her faith in JESUS, HIS passion, which included most of all, HIS resurrection as proof of eternal life.

24 Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Every person is in a race called life. All are participants. Life is terminal. Death/eternity awaits every person in this race. 

JESUS finished this race ahead of every person and HE won. HE conquered sin and it consequence, eternal death. JESUS was the first fruit of being resurrected from the physically dead to eternal life. HE showed each of us what is necessary for each of us to win this race, which is placing our faith in HIM, HIS birth, HIS life, HIS death, HIS burial, HIS resurrection, HIS walking upon earth for 40 days after HIS resurrection, HIS ascension into Heaven, HIS taking of HIS seat at the right hand of GOD, HIS Father, and the Father sending the Holy Spirit to earth to indwell all who place their faith in JESUS to acknowledge, confirm and assure that they have been born Spiritually into the family of GOD and are GOD’S Sons or Daughters.

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 9:25-27:

25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. 

However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
There is the physical and the Spiritual. Those who reject JESUS as their Savior will get to the finish line of life, which is physical and eternal death. Those who accept JESUS as their Savior will get to the finish line of physical death but will inherit eternal life through faith in JESUS.

Do you recall last week’s lesson of the sheep and the goats? That is the final judgment. I know some will question, “Is it true?” “Surely a loving GOD will have mercy on me, want HE?” Will HE, when you have been presented the truth and rejected it?

JESUS gave an example when HE was teaching as recorded in Luke 16:19-31:

The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 "There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day.
The Jews considered anyone rich had the right relationship with GOD and would be acceptable to GOD because had blessed them with physical wealth.
20 But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was left at his gate.
The Jews considered that those who were poor or in ill health had sinned and were out of favor with GOD, thus their poor plight in life. GOD was against them and was punishing them.
21 He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man's table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores.
22 One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side.
24 'Father Abraham!' he called out, 'Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame!'
25 " 'Son,' Abraham said, 'remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony.
26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.'
27 " 'Father,' he said, 'then I beg you to send him to my father's house-
28 because I have five brothers-to warn them, so they won't also come to this place of torment.'
29 "But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.'

We have GOD’S Word, the Bible. It reveals truth and makes clear the path to GOD through faith in JESUS. Do you recall John 14:6? JESUS told HIS disciple Thomas:

6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

30 " 'No, father Abraham,' he said. 'But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31 "But he told him, 'If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.' "

Back to our focus scripture:

26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air.

27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Paul was not running the race of life without purpose. He was focused on JESUS’/GOD’S calling for his life to share the Good News with those with whom he came into contact. It did not matter about his or her race or background because Paul could relate to anyone because all people were created by GOD and were in need of salvation.

Our attitude can make or break our opportunity to share the Gospel with others. May the Holy Spirit make us and mold us such that when opportunity is available that we, who know the truth of salvation, share it. Life on mission is sharing the message of salvation with those GOD gives us opportunity. May those of us who know the truth have the courage and conviction to share the truth of salvation through faith in JESUS!  Blessings!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bible Study - Identity (5) - Life in the Community - Matthew 25:34-40 - May 21, 2017

Bible Study – Identity (5) – Life in the Community – May 21, 2017

This is lesson five (5) in our series entitled “Identity: My Life of Faith.”

Our focus scripture is Matthew 25:34-40.

Loving JESUS means personally helping those in need.

Most of us know that mankind needs food, clothing, shelter and water in order for the human body to live upon earth and sustain physical life. There is another need that sustains mankind eternally. Every person has a human body/soul/spirit, which we call the trinity of mankind.

The body is that which we all see. It is what I refer to as our earth suit. The human spirit is the life force or the force that gives the body physical life. The human spirit absent from the human body means physical death.

The soul is the manifestation of the essence of the combination of the human spirit and the body. When the body rules, it reflects the manifestations of the desires of the flesh, which can range from good to the most heinous debauchery. When the spirit (not the Spirit) rules it manifests itself in various ways from good to evil depending upon ancestral attributes we have inherited and community/family influences. 

[The lower case “s” refers to the human “spirit” and the uppercase “S” denotes the born-again “Spirit” which still dwells with the human body until physical death. It is the born-again Spirit that goes to Heaven to dwell with GOD which will be housed in a special body, crafted by GOD, for Christians to be in until they return with JESUS at HIS second coming. At that instant all born-again Christians will receive their eternal Glorified bodies.]

This leaves each human vulnerable to life choices based upon heredity and community/family influence. So what can change that destiny? It must be a power greater than the will of the flesh, which involves the human spirit. That is why GOD allowed JESUS to come to earth in the flesh.

JESUS was born in the flesh. HE lived upon earth as a human, was tempted as all humans are tempted, yet without sin. HE was subject to physical death. HE willingly gave HIS physical life upon the cross by the shedding of HIS blood to pay in full the penalty for sin and was buried. GOD raised HIM from the physically dead on the third day to receive HIS Glorified body to confirm that both sin and death had been conquered through JESUS. The resurrection of JESUS demonstrated to all who place their faith in JESUS, that GOD has the power to resurrect the physically dead. 

Thus, JESUS stated in John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

So what does that do for humans? When we place our faith in JESUS and what JESUS did to conquer sin and eternal death a miracle takes place in the life of each person. He or she is born for the second time; Thus the term “born-again.” 

The second birth is a Spiritual birth into GOD’S family. The human spirit is transformed from “spirit” to “Spirit” by the transforming power of GOD. Each person born into GOD’S family not only has eternal life but GOD gives each born-again person the Holy Spirit to indwell his or her human body to confirm and guarantee that GOD and JESUS are real and the person receiving JESUS as his or her Savior belong to GOD’S family.

Both the “spirit” and the “Spirit” live on beyond the death of the human body or what I refer to our “earth suit.” If our “spirit” has not been born-again by the power of GOD through faith in JESUS the person will face judgment by GOD. 

The person that has not been born-again is referred to as a goat in our lesson. The person whose “spirit” has been born-again “Spirit” by that person placing his or her faith in JESUS is a sheep in our lesson. Which are you? The choice is yours to make. Your decision has eternal value either to be in Heaven with GOD and JESUS eternally or separated from GOD eternally.

At the moment of salvation, the process of sanctification begins in the lives of Christians. Sanctification is to be set apart to serve GOD and is an earth life/Spiritual process.  

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12: 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Every person has a choice: (1) Whether or not to receive JESUS as his or her Savior (2) Whether or not to allow JESUS, through the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead, direct, empower, enlighten his or he life. Each born-again person has the choice of self-rule or Holy Spirit rule. Once a person is born into the family of GOD, HE does not take away his or her right to choose. GOD’S desire is for each born-again believer to yield his or her will to HIM and be willing to obediently serve HIM as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Often, we worry that GOD will ask us to do something that we would not want to do. What does that reveal? It is a trust issue between the person and GOD. It indicates there is work yet to be done in the area of trust. GOD calls HIS children to be plumbers, computer experts, garbage collectors, doctors, mechanics, pipe fitters, lawyers, CEO’S, business men and women, pastors, 
missionaries and the list goes on.

Life upon earth is a training ground to build a loving, intimate, knowing, relationship with GOD through JESUS as empowered by the Holy Spirit.

So what does all this mean? In light of our lesson, the question is, are you a sheep or a goat?

Let’s explore!

Let’s read Matthew 25:31-33: (Lead in scripture)

The Sheep and the Goats
31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.

JESUS was referring to the final judgment and HE is the Judge. Sheep are those who have placed their faith in JESUS and the goats are those who have not. JESUS told the sheep or righteous to go to HIS right. JESUS’ right is the favored position of power, strength and blessings. JESUS instructed the goats to go to HIS left.  JESUS’ left refers to the non-favored position of weakness, terrible judgment and darkness.

All will be judged by JESUS. JESUS stated in John 5:24:

24 "I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

What is JESUS Word? Let’s read what JESUS said as recorded in John 14:6:

6 Jesus told him (Thomas), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

At the instant a person receives JESUS as his or her Savior, he or she has eternal life and will not come under judgment. What will Christians receive? They will receive the rewards for obedience to the leadership of the LORD. King JESUS will say -----

Let’s read Matthew 25:34-36:

34 Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

JESUS issued an invitation to those on HIS right “to come” and to “inherit” the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Do you remember Ephesians 1:3-4? - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ;

4 for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love

All are called to salvation. Some will accept and some will reject. GOD did not make us robots but HE gave us all freewill to choose. How do you choose? GOD chooses you, do you choose HIM?

“Kingdom” as used here refers to the final kingdom where GOD rules.

35 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;

36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.'

Salvation cannot be earned by the works we do. But when we become Christians our Spiritual eyes are opened to the needs which are around us. 

Christians work as a natural outflow of their changed hearts. It is natural that JESUS pointed out that they ministered to HIM in these various ways – hungry and HE was fed, thirsty and HE was given drink, stranger and took HIM in, naked and clothed – sick and cared – prison and visited HIM.

I see these different ministries as those of us who know the truth ministering to those who need the truth and that need is manifested in various forms physical and Spiritual. There are those who need salvation and those who need to be encouraged and mentored along their life’s journey. Ponder each of these examples JESUS states and consider what they mean to you. Often, we have to meet the physical needs before we can minister to a person’s Spiritual needs. 

Then there are those who are in ministry and we need to minister to them as well. The Holy Spirit will guide and direct our paths. 

When Christians minister it flows naturally from their changed hearts. They do not see it as a chore but as a natural part of their new lives in JESUS and being a child of GOD. When Christians see GOD at work; that is our invitation to join HIM in that work.

Let’s read Matthew 25:37-40:

37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?

The righteous are the born-again believers through faith in JESUS and as such they are righteous. Righteous means to be in right standing with GOD; justified; just-as-if-I-never-sinned. Do you remember 2 Corinthians 5:21?

 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Christians are not made righteous by the works they do but by what JESUS willingly did for all who will place their faith in JESUS.

Works of obedience comes from the natural outflow of the Christians new life in JESUS through the renewing of their mind. Christians do not do what they do to receive a reward but to meet a need – physical or Spiritual – as led by the Holy Spirit.

38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You?

39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?'

40 "And the King will answer them, 'I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'

Ministering to others as led by the Holy Spirit is ministering to JESUS. It is not ministering just to those of prominence, position or stature but to the very least. All people need salvation.

Let’s read Matthew 25:41-46:

41 Then He will also say to those on the left (goats/unsaved), 'Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!

42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink;

43 I was a stranger and you didn't take Me in; I was naked and you didn't clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn't take care of Me.'

44 "Then they too will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?'

45 "Then He will answer them, 'I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.'

46 "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

We who have the light of JESUS are to share the light of salvation through faith in JESUS with those who are lost in sin and under the penalty of sin, which is eternal death. Those who do not know the truth have only what the world has to offer which does not satisfy. We who know the truth are not to hide the light of salvation but we are to be the sweet fragrance to those who are dying eternally. 

Let’s read in 2 Corinthians 2:15:
15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

How do you smell to others?

It is time for us as Christians to take off our old clothes and to put on our new clothes and live as JESUS desires for us to live among the people of the world. 

Let’s read Ephesians 4:21-24:
21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Christians it is time that we stop trying to live as the world wants us to live but it is time for us to be all that JESUS desires for us to be in a world of people who are lost and in need for the message of salvation.

Allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to renew our minds and create within each of us, as Christians, the desire to share the Good News of JESUS in our community. Christians are not where they are by accident but by design to minister to the community in which they have been planted.

How do we define community? Is it family, families, towns, cities, states, work places, churches, socials, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, other countries and the list goes on. Or is it a combination of where people live, 
work and socialize?

Only the Holy Spirit can bring the proper perspective to where we, as Christians, are to obediently serve. GOD calls all Christians to serve. Each one of us will choose whether or not to serve. Will you step up to the plate when GOD calls you to serve? Will I? Christians are vital to the community in which they live.


Saturday, May 06, 2017

Bible Study - Identity (4) - Life at Work - Colossians 3:22-4:1 - May 14, 2017

Bible Study – Identity (4) – Life at Work – May 14, 2017

This is lesson four (4) in our series entitled “Identity: My Life of Faith.”

Our focus scripture is Colossians 3:22-4:1

Your work is a reflection of your relationship with CHRIST.

The old saying goes, “If you love what you are doing, it is not work.” I was blessed that I enjoyed what I did for most of my work career.

When Adam and Eve sinned, Genesis 3:17-19 reveals:

17 And He (GOD) said to Adam, "Because you listened to your wife's voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it': The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust."

The consequence of sin was not only eternal death but resulted in mankind having to work.

The Apostle Paul is the author of Colossians. He wrote the letter to the Christians in Colossae sometime during 60-62 A.D. while in prison (house arrest) in Rome. For some reason Epaphras was in Rome and visited Paul and reported to him the problems in Colossae. Epaphras had founded the church in Colossae and was meeting in Philemon’s house. Onesimus was the slave owned by Philemon. Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Colossae addressing some of those issues. The letter to the Christians in Colossae focused on “Who CHRIST is, what HE did, what that means to the world and to correct false teachings.” 

The general outline for the letter to the Christians in Colossae is:
-         Exalts CHRIST as the very image of GOD (1:15)
-         The Creator (1:16)
-         The preexistent sustainer of all things (1:17)
-         The head of the church (1:18)
-         The first to be resurrected (1:18)
-         The fullness of deity in bodily form (1:19 and 2:9)
-         The reconciler (1:20-22)

The first four verses of our focus scripture, 3:22-25, addresses slaves and the last verse (4:1) addresses masters. We do not think in these terms today but the principles of authority apply. The word “slave” comes from a Greek word meaning to “bind” and generally translated “slave” or “servant.” Let’s explore!

Let’s read Colossians 3:22:
Do your work with integrity and dependability to those over you.

22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don't work only while being watched, in order to please men, but [work] wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.

Paul made it clear that he was addressing “human masters.” It was without question that Christians are to obey their true Master, JESUS. Christians were to consider their human masters.

The word “master” is translated “lord” meaning “human” and the word “Lord” meaning “divine.” As employees, we are to obey our human employers e.g. those who have authority over us “in everything.” However, Christians are not obligated to do what GOD does not want them to do. Of course, if we refuse, then we will suffer the consequence. The idea is that Christians are to perform their work with integrity and dependability whether or not the “boss” or “master” or “supervisor” is watching. Christians work as unto their LORD/GOD.

Christians are to work “fearing” or out of respect for what JESUS has done for them. The word “fear” is not to be afraid but to show respect and honor. Christians represent the community of faith in JESUS and by their actions bring honor and respect or dishonor to JESUS and GOD. Christians in the workplace are to let the light they have in JESUS be revealed by doing the very best job possible with the right attitude. Does that mean that their masters will always appreciate it? Not necessarily. But often it will be recognized by our human masters but for sure it will be recognized by JESUS/GOD. Such recognition may not be revealed until we see JESUS face to face as we enter into Heaven.

The Apostle Paul continued with this concept ----

Let’s read Colossians 3:23-25:
Do your work enthusiastically for CHRIST.

23 Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,

24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord-you serve the Lord Christ.

25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism.

The Apostle Paul draws our attention to the concept of lord (human) and Lord (divine.) The Christians’ true master is the Lord and whatever they do, they need to keep this in their minds because when this life is over, we will all face our true Master Who rewards based upon obedience. Christians will receive their rewards based upon their true heart and not based upon appearing to be obedient. Only GOD knows our true hearts, intentions and motivations. We might fool man but we will never fool GOD.

-         Christians are to be enthusiastic. Being enthusiastic about what we do reveals the right mindset and eagerness to obediently serve GOD. Such an attitude establishes the right work ethic to do a good job and reflects our relationship with GOD. Wisdom comes from GOD and Christians have a resource that transcends earthly knowledge. GOD’S desire is for Christians to excel in all they do because they represent HIM as HIS children.
-         Our work “something done for the Lord and not for people.”
-         Obedience is promised “the reward of an inheritance from the LORD.”
-         The reason for obedience is that “Christians serve the Lord CHRIST.”
-         Disobedience has consequences “For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done.”
-         GOD does not show “favoritism.” When JESUS taught HIS disciples to pray, one statement upfront was “thy (GOD’S) will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” GOD expects and honors “obedience.”

Paul made clear the responsibility of Christians. Now, onto earthly, human lords or masters ----

Let’s read Colossians 4:1:
Do what is right and just as CHRIST with you.

1 Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.

The English Standard translation translates “supply” as “treat” or another translation renders “supply” as “deal with.”

Those who have earthly authority over others have a huge responsibility. They are under the authority of GOD. This does not mean those with authority over others are to be wimps but they are to work as unto their Lord. Those with authority are to set the standard of excellence for those under their authority. They are to lead by example.

All supervisors, business owners, hierarchy of management, etc. are to set the right example. They are to execute their jobs to run the business with which they have been entrusted to be efficient, make a profit, maintain a safe work environment, properly train, maintain excellence and the list goes on. If a business is not profitable, it will fail and employees and their families will be hurt and suffer.

The owners of a business or those in management in a business are under the authority of GOD to run the business that has been entrusted to them efficiently, safely, fairly because GOD has entrusted it to them. That does not mean they are to put up with employees that do not measure up to the requirements of the business which has been entrusted to them. They can counsel, retrain and do that which is necessary to have a productive employee but if that employee does not measure up then termination is in order. Owners/Management must keep an eye on itself. Those with authority are accountable.

Many of us have either been in or seen upper management milk a business, organization or company for what they could get out of it. I was told that a person very high in management of a certain company, “if the CEO of that company asked you to go buy a box of chocolates for his girlfriend but you needed to work on something vital and critical to the company, he was to drop what he needed to do and go buy the box of chocolates.” How would or should you respond to such a request in light of our lesson?

Whatever we do as Christians, we are to do as unto the LORD. This applies to our home life, business, social, volunteer life and the list goes on. There does need to be balance in our lives and when we work as unto the LORD, HE gives balance. The old saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” After six days of work, GOD rested. HE set the example.

In Genesis 2:15: 15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.

Man was made for a purpose. Man and ultimately mankind were to have a personal relationship with GOD. Sin broke that relationship but the love of GOD provided a redemptive process to restore that broken relationship through JESUS, GOD’S only Son. The original responsibility of mankind has not changed. We are to manage the earth and all that is in it and upon it. But that is impossible without a personal relationship with GOD through faith in JESUS and believing what JESUS did for us upon the cross. HIS shed blood paid the price for sin, in full. But each one of us must choose to accept the free gift of eternal life that faith in JESUS provides. The choice is up to each of us. 
Now is the moment for salvation. Will you accept JESUS as your Savior?