“…I charge you (command) therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Tim. 4:1)
It is one thing to walk before men, and live according to the opinions and dictates of men. It is quite another to live and walk before the Almighty God, who knows all, sees all, and IS “…all in all.” Paul writes to the Colossians: “…And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (3:17) Later on in his epistle, he writes: “…and whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and NOT unto men…” (v.23) Why does he write this, and why is it so very important? The answer lies in the “object” of living, or serving. That object will either be men, or God. True lasting service and living, is first and foremost, unto God. Paul made himself to be a servant to all men, but he did so because he was first and foremost the servant of God. There are two reasons for this. God is a “REWARDER” of those who diligently seek Him. He is also, according to Paul’s words, … the Giver of “the reward of the inheritance.” (v.24) He is the Giver and the Realization of every good and perfect gift, the One who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ for time and eternity. The total fulfillment of these truths in heaven one day will be the full unveiling of reward of the inheritance. Secondly, we “…serve the Lord Christ.” When we come to Christ, we become sons and daughters of God the Father. But we also become the servants of Christ. Our allegiance is to Him, solely and supremely. The true servant of Christ comes to serve, as did his Master. His service is unto men, but it is a service that is according to the will of God, and by the Spirit of God, for the glory of God.
Paul wrote of his calling as an apostle in the following manner: “Paul, and apostle, NOT OF MEN, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.” (Gal. 1:1) It was clear to the apostle who the OBJECT of his living and service was…and it was NOT men. Although he would serve men, he would do so in the will of God, for Jesus’s sake. With regard to his singular devotion to Christ, he would write: “…do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (v.10) The context of this statement deals with preaching the true Gospel of Christ, as opposed to any other taught by any one else. The principle here is that Paul’s devotion was to Christ, first and foremost, to be faithful to Him. He realized that his calling was from above, that the gospel he had received came by the revelation of Christ, and that he was responsible BEFORE GOD to preach and teach the truth, by the Spirit.
Dear Father, give us increasingly to realize and grasp, that our calling to Christ is from heaven, from Yourself. Enable us to love and please You in all things, by a knowledge of Your will, and a living, vital faith in Christ. By the Spirit, accomplish this in and through our lives, and in those to whom You send us. Grant to us the aroma of the heavenly, the aroma of Christ’s life, as we serve You in truth by the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.