Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven, (4:1).
Remembering that there are no chapter or verses in the original writing, Colossians 4 continues Pau’s train of thought on how we are to conduct ourselves in earthly relationships as spouses, parents and children. And before he closes his letter, sending instructions and greetings to the church in Colossae, Paul turns his focus to the relationship between the master and slave.
Yesterday, we recognized that when He Is Our Life, He will live His life through us by faith, and we will treat others in the same way He treats us. But, let’s be honest, old habits die hard. At the time of the writing of Colossians, slavery was a part of the culture and an accepted means of paying off one’s debts; and the treatment of the slave was left up to the master. The only hope for a slave was that he or she would be fortunate enough to belong to a master who was just and fair.
And then Paul reminds us, we too are slaves to Christ, and we belong to Him, Our Master in Heaven.
Consider Him, Our Master in Heaven
Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person, (4:1-6).
And from these six verses, we will learn much about Him, Our Master in Heaven.
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who grants us justice and fairness (4:1).
- He is Our Master in Heaven to Whom we are to devote ourselves in prayer (4:2).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who is worthy of our gratitude (4:2).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who opens doors for the proclamation of His Word (4:3).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who frees us to speak of the mystery of Christ (4:3).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who teaches us what we ought to speak (4:4).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who grants us His Wisdom towards the lost (4:5).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who motivates us to maximize every moment of life (4:5).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who seasons our speech with grace (4:6).
- He is Our Master in Heaven Who leads us in our responses to others (4:6).
How do we respond to Him, Our Master in Heaven?
There is one massive difference between earthly masters and Him, Our Master in Heaven. He does not force our allegiance.
Paul calls himself a bond-servant, a servant by choice.
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1).
When we think of a servant or a slave, we typically view that as an involuntary station in life. But God has given us the choice; the choice to live as the bond-servant of Him, Our Master in Heaven, or to follow after our dead and earthly ways.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth… 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry, (Colossians 3:1-2, 5).
Oh, that we would daily remember, because He chose us, we can choose to walk in the compassion, grace, humility, forgiveness and love of Him, Our Master in Heaven.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity, (Colossians 3:12-14).
In all of God’s faithful dealings with His people, He has never forced anyone to serve Him. The choice is, and has always been, ours.
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24:14-15).
And as Joshua admonished God’s people to choose whom they would serve, Jesus did as well; for anything that competes with our allegiance to God, must be put away in order to serve Him, Our Master in Heaven.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth,” (Matthew 6:24).
He is so holy and so worthy, and still He desires us to belong to Him! Does it not blow your mind, that He gives us the choice?
Oh, today, that we would be filled with such gratitude as we choose to remember that He is always fair and just, so holy and so very worthy of our reverent worship and obedience. Oh, that we would choose today, and every day, to put away anything that would hinder us from offering our whole life in sincerity and truth, to serve Him, Our Master in Heaven.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire, (Hebrews 12:28-29).