You will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:24b
Read: Colossians 3:22-25
Listen: Colossians 3
Our text for the week comes from Paul’s letter to the Jesus community in Colossae. Colossae was an important town on a prominent Roman road. Paul writes to encourage the believers in the face of cultural threats to their decision to follow Jesus.
Paul reminds the Jesus-followers of their new identity in the first two chapters. Paul doesn’t want them finding their identity in work or social status. Paul’s radical, counter-cultural idea is that they should find their identity in Jesus. He writes in Colossians 1:13-14, “For [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” In chapter three, he transitions into how their identity should impact their actions. Their new identity is to change the way they live.
Their new identity affects everything, and Paul specifically relates it to work. He tells the slaves in the church that their new identity gives them an inheritance. In the first century, slaves rarely received an inheritance, so they had little motivation to see the household estate flourish.
Similarly, many of us see no significant benefit from whether our employer flourishes or barely breaks even. However, our work should flow from our identity as Jesus-followers, not from whether or not we expect something from our employer. As Pastor Jeff Manion tells us in this video clip, we should be finding our identity in the fact that God adopted us and gives us an inheritance.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Write “Identity” at the top of a page in your journal. Create a list of all the different areas of your life where our culture tells you to find your identity. Write next to each line, “My identity is in Jesus. I am adopted, he bought me, I’m his.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.