Bonded By Gratitude
Ephesians 6:5-7 (NKJV)
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men
Even as I read in the book of Ephesians about the things the apostle Paul has to say with regard to us Christians living out the calling worthy of our Lord, the part about bondservants and masters caught my eye and aroused interest within me. It says in the Old Testament that a bondservant, as the word suggests, is a servant that is ‘bonded’ to his master. Going even deeper, this kind of relationship can only be established when the servant decides and agrees to spend the rest of his life serving his master wholeheartedly. And of course, we know that when Paul talked about bondservants and masters in Ephesians 6, though he was referring to our masters in the flesh, we ought to know that as servants of the Most High, each of us is most importantly and foremost, a bondservant of Christ before anything else. In order to live that out, we have to remember that this relationship we have with God is very certainly a two-way relationship. It is not just about us receiving and receiving but it’s really receiving so that we may give back to His Kingdom and to give to others. Thus, it is of utmost importance that we come to a point where we are obedient to our Father, not just because people tell us to do so, or because we are just doing it for the sake of doing it. It may not be wrong to be like that in certain seasons but it should never be a prevalent or permanent condition that we are in. When we understand truly how much God has done for us and are truly touched by His love for us, obeying does not become so much of a sacrifice any more than it is an act of gratitude.
Very central to this idea of being obedient to Christ is the fact that we have to know that what we do unto others, we are really doing it unto God Himself, for His glory and for His Name. Many times when it comes to people of authority in our lives: our teachers, employers, maybe even our pastors, we tend to look at it as doing things for their sake and for their sole benefit. However, if we know who we are really doing it for, our attitudes would be very much different. In Matthew 25:34-40, it talks about God separating the goats from the sheep, and interestingly, when God called the righteous to inherit the Kingdom, He said it was because they showed Him compassion and kindness when He was in need of it. This, of course, made them all confused because they didn’t know when they did that. God then proceeded to say that when they did it to the least of His people, they did it unto Him. Since God Himself says that what we do unto others we actually do unto Him, this has to be something that we always bear in mind whenever we are going about our daily lives and activities. We have to know that when we submit and obey to physical authority, when we are obedient to those who are above us, these are the things that we do for God and unto God. When we know that God is our Lord, we would not want to disobey Him because if we understand the truth that we are His servants, bondservants at that, we will realize that a servant never refuses his master. Thus we always obey the Lord, not just out of pure obligation but out of a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude.
So today, make a decision to recommit your life to God, understanding your new found identity and purpose in Him, and asking Him to continually reveal the vastness and greatness of His love for you, that you may be so overwhelmed by His goodness that you would be able to find it within your spirits to want to obey Him and love those around you the way He loves you.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonders of Your love. Lord, we just want to take this time to express our gratefulness and thankfulness for all that You have done for us. We pray that even as we continue to walk this life and run this race for You, You would reveal to us the greatness of Your love and the power of Your might, so that we will always stand in awe of You and be confident that You are more than enough for us. We pray that even as we live out our lives as Your bondservant first, You would also mold us to be hearers and doers of Your Word, to show love and compassion to the people You have placed around us, knowing that all these we do unto others we are actually doing it unto You. Thank You Father for this life that You have given us that we may make an impact for You, and in Jesus’ Most Mighty Name we pray, Amen.