Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the proving of things unseen. By Faith we are able to see God creating the World by simply speaking it into existence. Able saw an invisible God and offered to him a more excellent sacrifice. Enoch saw an invisible God that was so real that he lived his entire life just to please this invisible God. As a result Enoch never tasted death.
Now if you want to please God you must have faith such that you can see Him who is invisible. And if you are going to know God in a close and intimate way like Able and Enoch, you must believe first, that God, our Creator God, REALLY IS and second, that God rewards those who diligently seek to know Him!
Do YOU See God? Do you see Him every day? Is it your HOPE to know God in an intimate way, a daily substantiating, with daily evidence of His presence and power in your life? Of course you do! Then you need FAITH! Faith is the FOUNDATIONAL Component of HOPE! If we can’t see the possibility of the thing we are hoping for, we lose all hope. How do we increase our faith?
I believe our faith is increased when we learn to honor our social authorities. Here is the Biblical Key:
You are thinking, this verse applies to slaves! Not Me! No, this verse applies to every employee, every student, every soldier, every athlete with a coach, every person that has someone telling them what to do. Masters includes our employers, bosses, teachers, coaches and so forth.
- Let as many as are employees under hire count their employers or bosses or managers worthy of all honor.
- Let as many as are students under education count their teachers worthy of all honor.
Ephesians sheds further light on this:
Paul wants us to understand and realize that we are actually slaves of Christ. When we honor our boss, our teacher, our coach, we are really honoring Jesus Christ! When we do, we will grow in FAITH! The phrase from the above verse, “doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” says the following that we need to pay attention to:
- Obedience is required to see the will of God.
- This obedience requires a heart change and heart dependence upon God
- This is enthusiastic obedience, because you are doing it unto our Lord.
- This Obedience is rewarded by God.
Put another way by the New Living Translation: “As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:7 (NLT)
Give extraordinary affection to the Lord by giving extraordinary service to your boss, your coach, your teacher. Paul paints this picture clearer in the relationship between husband and wife. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3. The word affection is the same word used of how we are to serve our masters and therby serve our Lord. We are to serve withthe passion of “goodwill” toward our Lord. We are to render affection with enthusiasm, from our heart. This is really needed in marriages. No one enjoys a heartless, dull passionless marriage. To have this passion and enthusiasm for service we must realize:
We Are Servants of Jesus Christ.
What does being a SLAVE of Jesus have to do with honoring my SOCIAL AUTHORITIES? More importantly, how will this allow me to SEE GOD in a real and personal and everyday way? Let’s continue our personalization of Hebrew 11 for more insights into the role of faith, honoring social authorities and seeing and knowing Him who is invisible.
- If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to quit your job and start building this huge boat because a big rain is coming, it takes faith to see Him and believe he is real. The reward of doing your job with enthusiasm is enjoying life when all those around you are drowning.
- If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to leave your home and family and move to a desolate, foreign country, it takes faith to see Him and believe He is real. The reward is a heritage of Salvation and blessing for a people more numerous than the stars.
- If that same invisible voice tells you to take your only boy whom you waited almost 100 years before having, and lay him on an altar and stab him with a knife, it takes a great deal of faith to actually lift that knife over your boy and plunge it into his heart. The reward is eternal life because your faith has been counted as righteousness.
- It takes a great deal of faith to spend your life looking for an invisible city with eternal foundations, designed and built by this same invisible God. (Hebrews 11:10)
- If a bush becomes engulfed in flames and this invisible God starts talking to you, and He tells you to back to a country you fled from because you were wanted for murder, it takes faith to go back and face the mightiest ruler on earth and tell him to let your people go!
- When this same invisible God tells you to walk straight into the sea to escape this mighty ruler, it takes faith to believe He can part the waters and dry up the ground.
Hebrews continues to list people who all saw this invisible God, saw him in a real, intimate, personal way. They heard Him speak, they heard Him direct their lives, and they responded with heartfelt obedience. To them this invisible God was real, personal, powerful and worth following, even if it meant leaving home, moving to a strange country, sacrificing your children, sacrificing your own life. NOW, is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your boss as if he was this invisible God?
- If your boss told you to go out and build a huge ark, would you do it?
- Is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your teacher as if she was this invisible God?
- If your teacher told you to go tell the principal to dismiss school and let the student’s go home, would you do it?
I have had many jobs in my life, as I’m sure you can also attest to. I have been a door to door salesman selling goods made by the blind, a casual laborer loading trucks for a trucking company, a parts counter, an o-ring installer, a dishwasher, a waiter, a bouncer in a college cafeteria, a janitor at Sears, a salesman, a General Manager working for my Dad, then a company President, General Manager for others, then started my own company, but even as Company President I went out striping parking lots with my family, finally am doing the greatest job in the world, ministering the Word of God.
I have gained some valuable insights from dealing with social authorities. Insights that have increased my spiritual understanding of the ways of God. Insights that are so important in understanding how honoring your boss or any social authority can increase your faith in God!
As I see it, in learning to Honor Social Authorities, in learning to Honor Jesus Christ, you have three choices:
1. You Can Be A Slave. (Doulos)
You can do only as you are told. You do only so much because your primary motivation is your self. What you can get or not get by doing just enough to stay under the radar. You don’t want to get beat, you don’t want to get in trouble. So you have to look busy, just not too busy. There are different levels of slaves. God indicates this when he cursed the son of Noah: “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” Genesis 9:25 (NIV)
I have to admit I did not enjoy being a janitor. I saw it as a temporary job, and did only enough to get a passing grade. I was only doing it for myself. I was like Onesimus.
I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. Philemon 1:10-13 (NKJV)
Onesimus had run away from his master because he had stolen some things. Paul says he was unprofitable. But something happened to make him profitable. He discovered Jesus Christ. Was he still a slave, yes. Did he have to answer for what he did, yes. But in the mean time he discovered the value of seeing that as a Slave, he could serve Jesus Christ. Paul said he was now ministering to him in his chains. You can function as a slave at work or school, you can just get by and have an ok life. Some people work only to play. They just want money to be able to do what they want. They just want an education just so their parents will get off their back. This “slave” mentality is evident everywhere you look in society. It can either be because you have been beaten down before, or a boss has stabbed you in the back before, or a teacher has ignored this or that. So you lowered your expectations, you retreated and now do only what you have to.
If we are to advance beyond simply being a “slave” in our Christian walk, and grow in our faith to see Him who is invisible, we must understand “God’s Profit Principal”
God’s Profit Principle
Realize this, you are at best an unprofitable servant if you only do what you have to for your social authorities, in fact anyone over you.
If you are going to increase your faith, you must move beyond being a slave and doing only what you have to toward your authorities, and especially God! But remember, as Christians we should never lose sight of the value of those “menial tasks”.
We must realize that Jesus set the example for all Christians to do menial taks. Jesus came into this world as a slave, surrendering all his rights so that he might become as one of us. However, as a slave, he gave us an example, that we should always do our best. That we are never too good to do even menial tasks.
If you only do as you think you are required, at best you are only an unprofitable servant. You are only overhead, an expense item. We need to be like Jesus, willing to do anything and everything to honor our authorities. We need to be like Onesimus, and move to the next stage and become an enthusiastic servant unto Jesus Christ himself.
2. You Can Be A Profitable Servant. (diakonos)
JOSEPH went from slave to profitable servant
Joseph had more than one opportunity to really mess up his life by not growing in faith. To become profitable requires faith. As Joseph certainly demonstrated. At every phase of Joseph’s life he demonstrated that two undeniable beliefs:
- Overwhelming belief that God Is
- Overwhelming belief that God rewards those who diligently seek him.
Joseph could have got made at his brothers, mad at God, started being rebellious to his captors, they would have killed or maimed him and that would have been the end of the story. Or he could have stolen from Potiphar, taken his wife, served only his interests, and that would have been the rest of the story. At many points in his life he could have made a decision that would have put himself first and ruined the entire Bible. But he didn’t. As a result of having a heart that sought the success of his Jailer, his master Potiphar, his King Pharaoh, he became the most powerful man in the most powerful kingdom on earth. God rewarded Joseph because Joseph was a profitable servant toward his authorities. He always did more than was required of him.
Jesus had the same attitude:“… The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
Apply your heart to becoming a profitable servant
You want God to Honor you? Honor your boss. Honor your teacher. Honor your coach. Don’t just do enough to get by. Do more! Your hearts desire is that in serving your authority, you are serving Jesus Christ. If you want to be a profitable servant to your boss, work not for yourself, but work to make him successful. If you want to be a profitable athlete or student, let your coach know you want to do whatever he needs to make him successful as a coach. Same with your teacher. Your servant’s heart will be contagious. There may be a student you can influence, another team member you can push to greatness. By honoring your social authorities, you will learn to see Him who is Invisible. Your faith in God and His power in your everyday life will grow. Once your faith starts to grow, and you discover the value of becoming a profitable servant, you will go to the next step.
3. You Can Be A Friend Of God
Jacob, son of Isaac was called a servant of God. Jacob had suffered most of his life because he was selfish, focused on what he could get out of life. He had been an unprofitable servant because of his selfish ways.
Finally at Bethel, he discovered the secret of becoming a profitable servant. Dying to what you want and desiring only what God wants. After wrestling with the angel all night, the Angel crippled Jacob, giving him a constant reminder that his strength was not sufficient. If he was to become Israel, he would do so in and through Jehovah’s strength.
In Isaiah we also see that while Jacob was called servant, Abraham was called “my friend” by God. Why? I believe Abraham was called My Friend because only Abraham had learned to really trust God no matter what. Abraham had a deep-seated fear that began in his early days in Ur of the Chaldees. While he was willing to leave home and follow God, while he went beyond what was expected and gave Lot the better land, went after the Kings to get his brother back, bargained with God to try to save Sodom, even made sacrifice to Melchisedek and refused spoil from the King of Sodom; Abraham had a deep down fear. He was afraid that his beautiful wife Sarah would be taken from him, and he would be killed. He really doubted God’s ability to protect him. So before they even left Ur, he had Sarah swear that if anyone asked if they were married, she was to lie and say she was his sister.
“And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”‘ Genesis 20:13 (NIV)
This happened once in Egypt, and then again in Philistia with Abimelech. The last time, God confronted Abraham through Abimelech, and Abraham repented of his deep-seated distrust of God. Genesis 20 says that “Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.” Genesis 20:17-18 (NIV) He didn’t need to pray for himself. God had already seen the change in his heart. Within weeks, Sarah conceived. This total trust that Abraham had for God was revealed a few years later when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac.
Abraham did not hesitate, he knew that God was his friend, and would never do anything to harm him. He knew that God would raise Isaac from the dead.
You must trust God with everything in your life. You must be willing to sacrifice everything you own, hope to own, hope to accomplish, everything upon God’s altar. This means your job, your salary, your advancement at work, your standing in school, at sports, whatever you want. You are willing to place it on the altar. If you are going to increase in faith, if you are going to become a profitable servant, if you are going to learn to honor your social authorities, you must give your all to Jesus Christ.
Each one of us can become an intimate friend of Jesus Christ. We simply must be willing to do whatever He tells us. He has given us His heart. He has revealed his word to us. A friend will listen, will learn and obey.
- Not because you have to
- Not because you want some reward.
But because you love him with your all your heart, your soul, your mind and with all your strength.
SO, why should I honor my social authorities?
- so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.
In other words, when we fail to honor our social authorities, it results in disrespect for the name and character of Jehovah God. It even results in people ignoring and then despising God. Christians should be the hardest working employees, students, athletes. Regardless of your abilities, whatever we do, do it heartily, as if Jesus Christ was right there, watching. Sure, there are a thousand excuses for doing less than that. Your boss is a so and so, the teacher is so and so, the coach is so and so. Do you want to grow in faith? Do you want to see Him who is invisible? Learn to see Him in the face of those bosses and those teachers that you don’t like. Don’t give unbeliever’s another chance to say you Christians are all alike. You’re all lazy, dishonest, so and sos. When we fail to honor our social authorities, even when they are harsh, we give them a reason to blaspheme God!
We Discredit the Very Thing We Preach
- Our Actions Speak louder than our words.
- With our children, our grandchildren.
- Christians should work harder than any other employee
- They should be honest and trustworthy
- They should never argue, complain or talk back.
The Greatest Test You will ever face as a Christian is how you respond when you are treated like a lowly servant.
God wants each one of us to become mighty in our faith. He wants each one of us to see Him and how much He is at work in our everyday lives. He wants us to know the power of His grace. He wants us to see His power behind our bosses our teachers our coaches.
The Hebrew Children were complaining about life in the desert. They wanted this they wanted that. People were turning away from God, they were blaspheming God. That is when God told Moses to place a brazen serpent on a cross. All who looked upon the cross in faith would be healed. Have you been complaining about work, about school about this and that. Have you been slacking in your love for God. Have you been causing others to stumble by you poor attitude. You need to look at the Cross this morning. You need to have your heart and eyes opened to the reality of God and His power. You need your eyes of Faith restored.
WE WERE ALL SLAVES OF SIN
Everyone of us started life as a slave, a slave to sin and to Satan. The price on our heads was greater than any of us could ever hope to pay. Jesus Christ, our creator God became clothed in this flesh and through His obedience to the horrible cross, paid the price on our heads in full. He wnet down to the devil’s slave market and through the price of our freedom through the gates of Hell. All that is required is for you to open your eyes and by faith believe that what the Bible says Jesus did is true. Jesus redeemed your from the deadly chain of sin dragging you down to Hell. He broke that chain and by faith you are free. You are free to become a slave of Jesus.
But praise God, Jesus doesn’t want to hold you down. He doesn’t want you to plod along in life with no Joy no passion No LIFE! He shows you that it is possible to have an abundant life in Him.If you see Him in your life and in every authority you face, if you serve as unto Him, He will reward you with blessing after blessing. You will discover the joy and power of becoming a profitable servant. But even more than that. Our great Savior calls you to become His friend. By learning to give your entire life to Him, and obey Him in all you do, you will be the abiding branch, the dearest friend fo the greatest friend you can ever have. Jesus Christ himself.
Are You Living By God’s Profit Principle? Will Heaven’s Door be open to You when You Die? Is Heaven’s Door of Honor and Blessing open to you while you Live?