Our text is from Ephesians chapter 6 and verses 5 to 10. We are coming to the end of this great part of the Word of GOD, and we are just concluding with 'Servants and Masters'. May GOD bless that portion from His Word. We see that the life of a true Believer means a daily application of these principles. Day by day we renew our obedience to GOD, and the life of a Believer is a very practical thing. It's not notions and theories and ethics, and that kind of thing. It's not abstract; it's very concrete; it's very practical. People like to see what you believe. They don't want just to hear. They are right when they say to us, 'Talk is cheap'. Lots of people talk big; but empty vessels make most noise. People with the greatest boast, the ones who boast most, have the least reason to that.
There's an old proverb that says: 'There is least wool where there is most cry.' That means when everybody says, 'We've got wool;' that's where you won't find it. When someone says, 'I'm such a good person,' you'd better doubt it. 'I'm such a loving person,' watch your step with people like that. Because they are usually saying things that are not true about themselves. So beware of people who make big claims. Look for the person who doesn't talk much, but who puts into action what he believes.
Some years ago in the Jewish Community Centre I was interviewed, along with a Rabbi, and a Jewish school teacher, and a Christian pastor. The Christian pastor wanted to put something on the radio, and he had me along, and he had the Rabbi along. In the course of our conversation, the Jewish school teacher -- who taught in the Burnaby School Board -- said, 'I was impressed by the claims of Christianity.' He said, 'When I was out in the far East, there was a Christian nurse who was also working with me. She didn't say a thing, but she lived what she believed. And as a result,' said this Jewish school teacher, 'I was prepared to believe what she said; or to accept what she said, even though I didn't become a Christian like her.'
So you see, actions speak louder than words. And as Believers, we are meant to show by our life what we believe. In verse 7, the servants are told,
'With good will doing service, as to the LORD and not to men.' The principle that makes us persevere, even when our bosses aren't good, is that really our true Boss is the Messiah. GOD is our true Boss; these others are, as it were, delegates. GOD has placed us under their authority. He is LORD of all our circumstances. As Believers, He orders our circumstances. Nothing happens to us by chance.
But if we find ourselves under a certain boss, it's because GOD has allowed it, or GOD has determined that it should be that way. And, therefore, we have to turn to GOD when we have problems, and ask Him for His help. So we do 'good service with good will as to the LORD and not to men'; my true Boss is the LORD. It's not man. Man is our secondary boss. Here is another reason why we should serve our masters; because, (verse 8), whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the LORD, whether he is a slave or free. Here is a second motivation: GOD rewards His servants, even if men do not.
I had a friend called Braddick, Mr Braddick. He told me how, as a sales representative, he had to meet a man who was very objectionable, very aggressive. It was always a pain to have to walk into the office of this man, and to get an order for him, (it was in lumber), to get a lumber order from him. The man always gave him a hard time. So Les Braddick took it to the LORD in prayer. And he said, 'LORD, you have said in Your Word that if a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Help me to please You, and make this man more friendly towards me.' But first of all, his focus was pleasing GOD; seeking to obey GOD. The next time he walked in, the man wasn't quite as nasty to him; and he gave him his order and then he said to him, 'Braddick, I don't know why I keep giving you orders.' But he did. GOD is our Boss; and whatever good we do, whether we are abused; whether we are insulted; whether people ignorantly treat us in a bad way; whatsoever good thing any man does, he will receive from the LORD. He gives to every man according to the fruit of his doing.
When Peter was in the house of Cornelius, the Centurion, he said,
'Of a truth, I perceive, that GOD is no respecter of persons, for in every nation, he that fears GOD and does righteousness, is accepted of Him.' Fear GOD and doing righteousness underlines those two main areas that the Bible keeps stressing: faith and obedience. Those are the two areas where Adam fell into sin. He didn't believe GOD; he didn't obey GOD. And all through the Bible, the language is: Believe and Obey; 'Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey'.