Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. – Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
In whatever we do, we aren’t just working for the applause of men. No, the ultimate audience for our endeavors is God. Because of what He has done for us, our response – in whatever we do – should be to honor and please Him. This even includes our work.
This is obviously a great reminder and a great verse, but the verse that follows – our verse to study for today – contains just as great of a reminder:
“knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” – Colossians 3:24 (ESV)
When we “do things,” whatever we do, as I mentioned above, there should be the continual elements thanksgiving and giving praise to God because of what He’s done for us. But verse 24 takes this one step further. This verse gives us three additional reminders of why, in “whatever you do, [we should] work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
* “knowing that from the Lord…” – As followers of Christ, we live with a constant sense of delayed gratification. Yes, we are saved, and we can rejoice in that, but this isn’t our home. Because of Jesus Christ, we have something that awaits us and this comes “from the Lord.”
* “…you will receive the inheritance…” – What awaits us, from the Lord, is our inheritance. As we are reminded in Hebrews 9:15:
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. – Hebrews 9:15 (ESV)
* “…as your reward.” – Our reward, our inheritance, does not come here, it comes later, when we are with Jesus Christ. Our temptation is to seek our reward here and we tend to forget about what comes later. We generally want our “prize” right here, right now. But listen to what Jesus says about the timing of rewards:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1-4 (ESV)
Let this be our perspective as we live with our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ.