Wednesday, 25 March 2020 Ephesians 6:1-9
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving God and not men…” -Ephesians 6:7
The book of Ephesians was written by Paul to the young Christian Church at Ephesus to encourage them to keep the faith and to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1). He gives instructions to everyone in the congregation as to how to conduct himself / herself as a Christian in a pagan society- so that the world around them would know that they are different because of the Master whom they follow.
In today’s Scripture Paul addresses 4 sections of society 1. Children 2. Parents with emphasis on Fathers 3. Employer 4. Employee. All of us reading the scripture today fall into one or more of the above categories and how we play our roles depend on who leads us or rather who instructs us.
The first teaching is for the Children to “Obey their parents in the Lord…” We are living in a time where we see that obedience in children is on the decline. Here Paul exhorts the children to obey because they are in the Lord. When we claim to be children following the Lord Jesus Christ then there must be a marked difference between us who follow Him and others who don’t. And this is seen in our attitude and approach towards our parents. How is your obedience towards them, is it immediate or delayed? It’s said that delayed obedience is disobedience. Always remember the obedient are rewarded- God promises the obedient children a long and a blessed life. ( Eph 6:3)
The second teaching is to Fathers. Where are the godly fathers these days? We have intelligent, educated, logical and realistic dads who would argue how these instructions laid down are ancient. But the calling over Christian dads is very serious. God calls them “to bring up children in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Paul, here is advising fathers not to follow the parenting pattern of the world, imposing on them rules and regulation so they could excel in this world. Rather he expects them to receive from the Lord and be an example of the Heavenly Father to them. It is an utmost and urgent need for fathers to emphasize the importance of Matthew 6:33- “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things [everything we need in life] will be given to you as well.”
The third instruction is for Slaves or in our present-day language “Employees.” The call is to obey our authorities just as would we would obey Christ. (Eph 6:5) Sometimes they might not deserve our honor or appreciation, yet God tells to show all respect so that God’s name and the teaching you’ve received may not be slandered (1Tim 6:1). God expects us to remember at all times that it is Him we are serving (Col. 3:24) and that our reward is not from man but from God (Eph. 6:7).
The last instruction is to Masters. They are called to remember that they have to give an account of their behavior to their Heavenly Master (Col. 4:1).Very often masters forget that they are watched by a Greater Master and hence use the positions for their own benefit as their hearts are far from God. Jesus through his life showed the world how a leader/ master needs to be. He emphasized on servant leadership. Are you reflecting your Master’s style in your positions of authority?
May these instructions given to the Ephesian Church be imbibed our lives because “ Whom we serve will determine what we do.”
Think on: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” Col. 3:23