Working unto the Lord pt. 2

Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

March 29th, 2017


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Knowing business is ordained by God, that most jobs can be used to serve the Lord in, and that diligence is the first word to describe both how God conducts Himself with His business and desires for us to possess: we should ask the question how can I be diligent in business and not slothful?  Our Father provides us with wisdom in regards to being diligent at work, and with wisdom being the principal thing that it is, it is up to us, the sons and daughters of God, to be the living manifestation of this godly diligence at our specific job.

Our Father says this,

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:22-24)

There are a few simple instructions of proving diligence at work.  First of all, they relate and correspond to “obey in all things your masters according to the flesh”.  The son and daughter of God does this knowing their “Master in heaven” is instructing them to do so.  In fact, when you “obey in all things your masters according to the flesh” it is being done “to the Lord”.  Therefore, the principle of diligence is obedience, but what sets it apart is the kind of obedience our Father is looking for.  The kind of obedience is: “in all things”, “not with eyeservice”, “in singleness of heart”, “heartily”, in knowledge of “the reward of the inheritance”. 

 

Notice the absence of any conditions.  In other words, our Father doesn’t say, “obey in all things, if your master is kind and treats you with respect.”

 

Obedience – In All Things

It is presumed and implied that when our Heavenly Father says to “obey” our masters according to the flesh “in all things” that He doesn’t mean, even if they ask us to sin.  We are to never participate in sin and unrighteousness; nevertheless, when it comes to everything else we are to “obey in all things”.  All too often we cut corners or do not carry out what is asked of us at our jobs.  Yet, godly diligence as taught by our Father would obey in all things.  As sons and daughters in the secular workforce we ought to comply and yield to the commands and instructions of our “masters”.  Notice the absence of any conditions.  In other words, our Father doesn’t say, “obey in all things, if your master is kind and treats you with respect.” 

 

 

With this understanding written on our enlarged hearts we can have joy no matter what our job is and who are boss is – because we “serve the Lord Christ”.

 

The reason for this is because we are to “obey” with a difference set of eyes, the eyes of our understanding, looking at things eternal.  We “obey in all things our masters according to the flesh” “as to the Lord”.  We are to perceive our obedience toward our earthly employer, supervisor, boss, etc as if God was our supervisor and boss.  With this understanding written on our enlarged hearts we can have joy no matter what our job is and who are boss is – because we “serve the Lord Christ”. 

 

Obedience – Not with Eyeservice

Eyeservice is obeying and being diligent only when we are being watched by our master - our superior.  The opposite of such inconsistent obedience is what Paul explains to Titus,

“Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:9-10 )

The way our Father teaches us about “obeying” in business is if we only serve when eyes are on us we end up “purloining”; that is, we take the time from our “masters” and we take wages from our “masters” for service not rendered, without their knowledge.  Therefore, we ought to be faithful and “shew all good fidelity”, thus “please them well in all things”.  If you have ever been a superior or master, whether at work, or at home as a parent this concept isn’t foreign.  You understand and appreciate when your child or employee utilizes the time allotted to serve in all things of the job or what is requested it is greatly appreciated.  Here in Titus we see the nature of the obedience when something is asked of us, we do not “answer again”; that is, dispute, argue against, or contradict.  This also means that we are not to turn around and gainsay with our coworkers and grudgingly speak against what was asked.  This kind of disobedience is hypocritical and is described by our Father as “menpleasers”.  We say, “yes” to our superior, supposedly pleasing him/her, but only serving when they are watching.  Then we “backbite” toward fellow coworkers pleasing them.  None of these are godly, nor how Christ labors for and with His Father, nor should be how we work as we learn godliness.  Instead, we should “shew all good fidelity”, “not answer again”, “not purloin”, and to “please them well in all things”. 

 

This also means that we are not to turn around and gainsay with our coworkers and grudgingly speak against whom asked you and what was asked.

 

Obedience – Singleness of Heart

 This description by our Father regarding the nature of our heart when it comes to our “obeying all things your masters according to the flesh” contrasts that of obeying as a “menpleaser”.  Part of being a “menpleaser” is constantly altering what they think or do based upon the audience.  They do one thing and say one thing in front of one and do another thing and say another in front of another for the sake of pleasing them.  Singleness of heart is diligent and faithful to obey all the time in all things because our reverence of and to God.  Sons and daughters of God are to “fear God”.  They understand even when their “master” isn’t watching their “Master in heaven” is.  Although, they may not fear their master according to the flesh, they do the one “in heaven”.

 

Obedience – Heartily

In all things that we are to obey we are to do it heartily; that is, with vigor, zeal, eagerness, and in sincerity.  The reason for obeying in all things your masters according to the flesh “heartily” or from the heart is because it is “as to the Lord”.  There is an obvious distinction between your “master according to the flesh” and your “Master in heaven” not only in character, but also in distance, nevertheless “in whatsoever we do” and are asked to do, we are to do it “as to the Lord”; thus, do it “heartily”.  We are to “heartily” work “as to the Lord” and “not unto men” although, most likely, when we do we will “please them well in all things”. 

 

Obedience – The Reward of the Inheritance

Our “masters according to the flesh” will reap the profit and benefit of godliness effectually working in you.  At times, they may reward you in words, gifts, a raise, in honour, etc; however, at times and many times they will not provide the exact reward for your faithfulness and diligence; however, our “Master in heaven” will reward you rightfully so.  Therefore, when you think you’re not receiving the measure of your obedience, remember: 1) you are still getting paid, and 2) more importantly, to use the eyes of your understanding of the eternal reward that our “Master in heaven” will give which is greater than some mere mortal reward that will perish and pass away in this life.    

 

May these principles of wisdom provide you the godliness your obedience ought proceed from at work, as well as, the diligence that all you do ought to be seasoned with.  I pray that as these things begin to dwell in you your pre-work routine would be one of praying these things and work them together in your mind regarding your specific and unique work at your job, as well as, that they would fill your mind throughout your day as you encounter things contrary to our Father’s mind. 




working unto the lord Pt. 1

Josh Strelecki, Pastor - Teacher

March 3rd, 2017


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“not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”

                   The Bible has much to say about business, work, and labor.  Our Father teaches in many passages about the topic to provide the student and those who love Him: how to understand business and how to labor in it.  Truly, with the spiritual knowledge and understanding we receiving from the Spirit teaching us the Father’s spirit, all things work together for good – even the work we engage in and the business we run or are a part of.  In other words, we can work unto the Lord to glorify Him and by doing so gain insight into the life to come.

 

Business – God’s Idea or Man’s

First, God ordained business.  God is a busy God.  This is evident in creation and His interaction with man on the earth.  The Bible itself is a testimony of His work and labor.  God has always been busy, but with the Spirit’s ministry today is working.  For instance, Paul writes,

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Php. 2:13)

“Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.”  (Col. 1:29)

When you trace the ordinance of business its’ genesis is in Genesis.  Adam is straightway told, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish….” (Gen. 1:28).  Adam is told to “till the ground” (Gen. 2:5), in regards to the garden “to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15).  Shortly thereafter, animals are brought to “Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Gen. 2:19).  Therefore, Adam was created to labor with God in God’s business on the earth and upon him being given the “breath of life” (Gen. 1:7) he is exhorted and commanded to labor with God in His creation.  Therefore, God ordained business and it is reflective of His character.

 

Choosing A Job

Once the son and daughter of God understands their Father ordained business, it should be understood, considering their new identity in Christ, being “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11) that working unto the Lord involves godly discretion between an iniquitous business and one that is not, although it may possess sinful business practices.  It should go noted that although sin takes place within many businesses and these are integral to many business practices, 1) we should not participate in these sinful business practices, but 2) this doesn’t necessarily indicate the overall business is sinful.  Wherefore, we must make the distinction between businesses that are sinful and businesses that are not.  In other words, some businesses are outright iniquitous, but others are not. 

 

 

Diligent is steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent.

 

Working unto the Lord

When the son and daughter of God removes themselves for an iniquitous business and begins to labor and work in another field it is important, upon understanding their Father ordained business, to know how their Father works that they may manifest Him in their flesh, in their bodies when they work: thus, work unto the Lord.

When the Spirit teaches us how to work in and at our job, there is one word the encapsulates how our Father works and how we should; that is, diligent.  Diligent is the opposite of “slothful”.  Diligent is steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent.  There is liberty in the proving of God’s will for you to be diligent in business, as far as, to what degree; however, diligence is the founding principle of how we work unto the Lord.  David taught Solomon how to reign as king in Israel with diligence.  This principle was reflective in Solomon’s writings in Proverbs.

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.  

(Pro 10:4)

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

 (Pro 12:24)

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

 (Pro 12:27)

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.  

(Pro 13:4)

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.  

(Pro 21:5)

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.  

(Pro 22:29)

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  

(Pro 27:23)

The sluggard is told to consider the diligence of the “ant” in Proverbs 6:6-8.  The Lord warns His servants they will be judged upon their “sloth” (Matt. 25:26).  And in Romans, as well as, in Paul’s other epistles we are taught godly diligence.  It is this diligence comprised of “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” that is part and parcel of the constitution of our “zealous[ness] of good works” (Tit. 2:14).

 

The sluggard is told to consider the diligence of the “ant” in Proverbs 6:6-8

 

I, therefore, leave you with a few passages for your study, as well as, for our future consideration. 

·         Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.  (2Cor. 8:7)

 

·         Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  (Eph 4:28)

 

 

·         Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.  (Eph 6:5-9)

 

·         Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.  (Col 3:22-25)

 

 

·         And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.  (1Th 4:11-12)

 

·         For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.  (2Th 3:10-12)

 

Do you diligently work unto the Lord, serving Him and not man?  Do you work “heartily” unto the Lord at work?  And, to what degree to you prove this diligence at work?  I pray you do this, the will of God, from the heart unto the Lord and not unto men.




The Word of god


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Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

December 2nd, 2015


The Word of God & All Things

The Word of God is the sole means the Holy Spirit uses and relies upon to sanctify those in Christ (1 Cor. 2:10-16). This ought not be a surprise to us. Words are spirit and they impact our spirit (John 6:63). Therefore, it makes logical sense that the Holy Spirit's modus operandi for sanctification would be first and foremost in our spirit by virtue of words. In fact, the Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13).



SufferING & Glory


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Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

November 24th, 2015


As a reader and/or student of scripture, one of the prominent matters in all of God's Word is: suffering. Its' prominence is not only found in one book, but many books (argument could be made that it could be found in all) and over the length of time itself. The sons of men throughout the majority of time have been exercised thereby. It is something produced, experienced, and useful. With suffering comes its' effects: hurt, pain, stress, weakness, despondency, seclusion, etc. Nevertheless, with suffering comes the deep measure of hope from God.



Doing Church

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Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

November 19th, 2015


WHAT ARE WE TO DO IN THE CHURCH?


Unfortunately, all too often, Christians miss the boat when it comes to what they ought to be doing in the local assembly, as one who trusted Christ as their all-sufficient Savior from the debt and penalty of their sins. There are numerous and various reasons for this. In fact, even the most faithful Christian can misstep in their walk unto God. God, in His word, isn't shy or bashful to clearly and honestly share the failures and miscues of those whom He has used to accomplish various ends.



The Simplicity That Is In Christ

Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher

February 17th, 2015


This issue of “simplicity” has been a matter that has been employed countless of times.  If you had a nickel for every time one used this issue in a conversation we all would be rich.  I am not saying there isn’t a context for this, for Paul uses it in 2 Corinthians 11:4; however, often times it is pulled out as a “crutch”.  If someone doesn’t understand something they will say it is wrong and say something to the effect, “doesn’t that take away from “the simplicity that is in Christ?””  Yet, Paul uses this expression in a specific context and actually describes “the simplicity that is in Christ”.  This doesn’t mean the expression is always employed improperly; however, important nonetheless to get a general understanding for now what Paul is referring to.