Search Party by Pastor Nicky Farmer August 2017
As Unto Christ
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men (Eph 6:5-7).
I have been struck recently by the repetition and emphasis of the above underlined phrases, which do vary slightly in each case, but I will consider its first appearance: “AS UNTO CHRIST.” In this particular application, the Spirit of God in Paul addresses slaves and holds them to the highest level of respect and diligence in their service to their earthly masters. He challenges them that their service should be no different than their service to Christ Himself. On a more universal basis, this principle also holds true in all of our relationships and through all the service that we render to others. Perhaps our service to others sometimes falls short of our service to Christ because we fail to see it as service to Christ.
Two recent situations in my own life have challenged me in this respect. One was the blessing of being hosts to a sweet Christian couple who were traveling across country. It was such a blessing to serve them by providing overnight accommodation in our home. I was eager to make sure that they were well provided for and had all that they needed that night and for breakfast in the morning. Since we do not usually have fresh eggs on hand, I went out of my way to get some, in case they wanted any in the morning. As I was driving back to the house with the eggs, one of the little neighborhood children who frequently likes to come over popped into my mind. This child is a sweet little blessing with all the normal interest and energy of any other child and enjoys interacting with my children, and with us, when he comes over. Naturally, the addition of an extra child tends to make for an increase in help and oversight that the children need.
The devil and/or my flesh (they are in cahoots you know) would tell me, “You don’t need an extra kid right now, you’ve already got four of your own.” I found myself agreeing with this negativity and coldness crept into my heart towards this child. Do you see now why he came to mind when I was happily driving home with the eggs for our esteemed guests? The Lord and my conscience caught me red handed. Did I count it as much of a joy and privilege to serve this small creature as I did the Christian couple? Apparently not, and that is a problem. Surely if I served all individuals “as unto Christ,” then I would not show partiality, which is sin (James 2:9).
…Getting back to our text, it seems that if all our service, and all our treatment of other people was done “as unto Christ,” and “as in the presence of Christ,” then we would not find these irregularities in our lives. These situations challenge us to check our hearts and ask ourselves: “How close to Christ are we really living?” Do we have a revelation of His nearness? Do we live for His presence and seek Him for Himself alone? Wow!
Christ holds us to the highest degree of accountability regarding our treatment of others. Truly the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is so much higher than any other written law. We are not talking here about the gross abuses of our fellow man sanctioned in the Ten Commandments. We are talking about the refinements of the Spirit of God that He wants to make in all of us. How beautiful He truly is! May we seek Him more as we see the height of what it means to serve and interact with others: “as unto Christ.”
Pastor Nicky Farmer