Today’s study was written by Denis Johnson. This study of Ephesians was originally developed for my church, The Father’s House, as a compliment to the Hope is Here message series this August. Check out http://www.tfhny.org for message videos and more information.
Day 14 – Whole Hearted Serving
Slavery is one of those biblical topics that quickly remind us that the Bible was written in a different time. Paul is certainly not endorsing slavery, but he had no concept of a world without slavery. Just as we could not imagine the absence of the internet, or electricity, Paul could not imagine a life without slavery.
The spectrum of slavery was wide in Paul’s day. Some slaves were like family, while others were abused. Paul’s message to the masters and slaves alike was the importance of mutual responsibility, and wholehearted serving. As you read today’s text, think about the areas of life where you could seek to serve wholeheartedly, and offer mutual respect.
READ – Ephesians 6:5-9 (ESV)
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
REFLECT – Take a moment to answer the following questions in a journal or the notes app on your phone:
- Question 1: List the ways in which the slaves and masters are to treat one another.
- Question 2: What does wholehearted serving as if you were serving the Lord look like in your working or school relationship?
RESPOND – Pray that God would give you insight and direction in your interactions with your employers and employees.
Share your thoughts and response below.