40 day bible challenge
Day 20 | Colossians 3:18 – 4:1
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.
Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. colossians 3:18 – 4:1
A bit of background
Colossians is a letter, written by Paul, to the church in the town of Colosse. The first two chapters deal with the heresy the people there were committing and then we arrive at the third chapter, which lays out the rules and groundwork for living a good and holy life.
“The themes within these verses are as relevant to students and young people as they are to the people they explicitly mention.”
The verses in this passage can sometimes feel irrelevant to students, as they primarily talk about times in life most of us have yet to experience, such as marriage and having children, but the themes within these verses are as relevant to students and young people as they are to the people they explicitly mention.
our home lives
Take the first verse for example. It deals with the theme of submission, and in the same way that we submit ourselves to God, so we must submit ourselves to others, and have a servant heart. We should not be too proud to serve others, and we should in fact strive to serve them, as Jesus did as the Servant King.
In much the same manner, the second verse commands us to have unselfish love for others, and to not be embittered when someone wrongs us, but merely to forgive them out of love and to go on loving them regardless. The next two verses discuss the parent and child relationship, which, although it again seems irrelevant contains key principles for our lives, that we should not provoke, or embitter or go out of our way to annoy people, as Paul says this can lead to them becoming disheartened and drift away. He’s not saying that we can never have an issue with anyone, but that we should not seek to break their spirit, as this can have long lasting effects on their spiritual life.
our working lives
The end of chapter 3 tells us how we should live our working lives. It instructs us to work at everything with ‘all our heart’ as we are not working for any human or earthly gain, but we are in fact working for the Lord and his glory, and so we should put all our energy and focus into it, and we will receive an ‘inheritance from the Lord as a reward’ as it says in verse 24.
The final verse, 4:1, commands us to treat people rightly and fairly in all aspects of life, as regardless with how much power you have here on Earth, you have a master in heaven, and so you should seek to be as fair and just as he is in all areas of your life.
So even though this passage may not seem like we need to pay attention to it at this stage in our lives, it’s still incredibly relevant, packed with the basic and crucial principles we should be embodying. Love others unconditionally, do not be afraid to have a servant heart and submit yourself to others, and most importantly of all, whatever you do in life, be it a job, or university work, or school, or something else, put your whole heart and all your being and energy into it, for you are working for the Lord.
We’re doing a 40 Day Bible Challenge as a Student Church to engage more with the Bible and the daily podcasts we do here as a church.
To listen to today’s podcast on the same passage as above click here.