Colossians 4:1-2

In Colossians 4:1-2 Paul begins by continuing his teaching for slaves and masters, which in today’s terms would translate to employees and employers. As he wrapped up the last chapter he focused on the employee. Now he shifts focus to the employer. “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” As Christians become a new person in Jesus Christ, they will be just and fair to those who work for them. It is a terrible thing for a boss to cheat or mistreat his workers, but far worse for a Christian to do it. Paul asked masters to make a recognition that would undermine the very foundations of slavery.  That’s what becoming a Christ Follower does to us – it rocks and changes how we live.

Guzik explains “Without making an overt protest against slavery, Paul seemed to understand that if he could establish the point that slaves were equals in the body of Christ, full human beings with both responsibilities and rights (that they should be treated in a manner both just and fair), then in time the whole structure of slavery in the Roman Empire would crumble – and it did.” Being a Christ Follower is not about maintaining the status quo. When we receive Christ, He becomes not only Savior, but also Lord. It needs to change how we live in every area. And since we spent a third of our life in the workplace as either an employee or employer, the impact of being a Christ Follower should change everything about our work.

So Paul has addressed some sensitive topics – wives, husbands, children, masters and slaves – all with some significant yet simple directions on how God’s design for the family and workplace should be lived out. And then he follows those somewhat tough words with this verse: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Let’s face it, change is always hard. And asking people to follow God’s design for authority will be change for most every person. So Paul starts with telling us to pray, but not just start praying, but to continue steadfastly. If we’re going to succeed in living God’s way we need to do it with prayer. Trying to do it on our own will fail.

It’s not about effort or trying harder. It requires our heart to be rewired and changed. Spurgeon wrote about the importance of prayer in our efforts to follow God. “Heaven’s gate is not to be stormed by one weapon but by many. Spare no arrows, Christian. Watch and see that none of the arms in thy armoury are rusty. Besiege the throne of God with a hundred hands, and look at the promise with a hundred eyes. You have a great work on hand for you have to move the arm that moves the world; watch, then, for every means of moving that arm. See to it that you ply every promise; that you use every argument; that you wrestle with all might.” Prayer is our secret weapon as Christ Followers, and we need to use it wisely and well!

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