In my sermon yesterday from First Corinthians 3:5-9, I used Colossians 3:23 as a supporting scripture for the point that I was making about the importance of Christian servants giving their best to the Master. The Apostle Paul wrote: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” In the Corinthians passage, Paul makes it clear that we have varying duties that are assigned by the Master. We do not get to pick and choose what role we will play in the Lord’s work. He calls us to different tasks, but He has called us all to be faithful ministers and servants in His Church and in the world.
Paul used the analogy of servants working in the Master’s field to describe our duties to the Lord. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I did have the privilege/responsibility of working in our garden and helping on my uncle’s farm. My favorite thing to do on Uncle Frank’s farm was picking up potatoes. My least favorite job in our garden was hoeing the weeds. For me, the best summer job was shelling peas because we could do it while watching television. My worst summer task was cleaning the jars for canning. Much like God, my mother didn’t allow us to pick our assignments. She told us what she expected from us, and we did it.
In 1 Corinthians 3:8, Paul talks about the rewards that we will receive for our labors. He also talks about rewards in the epistle to the Colossians. In the verse following the one I cited earlier, Paul wrote: “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Col. 3:24). Our work for the Lord does not go unnoticed. God keeps a record of our service and will reward us for our faithfulness. Paul also tells us that God sees those who do wrong and will repay them accordingly (3:25). The Bible is clear that God is just and fair in dealing with His people. He will not withhold the blessings or the punishments that we have earned.
Serving in love,