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YOUR BOSS

1 PETER 2:18

“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.”

It’s easy to be submissive to your boss when he’s nice and treats you right, isn’t it? But Peter doesn’t say that. If he had just stopped with “gentle.” Right? But he continued on with “but also to those who are unreasonable.”  Come on, Peter. Couldn’t you to pull up short once?

But that word “unreasonable” needs explaining. It’s more than that. The word means crooked, perverse, unfair, curved or tortuous. Have you ever had a boss like that? I have once, a long time ago, and it was tough. I wish I could say I was always submissive, but I can’t. But he was my boss, and God intended for me to submit.

APPLICATION

This is one of those verses our children need to hear early in life. They will have to submit to others all their life. When they get their first job, they may have a boss who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. They may have teacher who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. Submission is not weakness. It’s strengthening. Why? Because our ultimate submission is to God who gives us the strength to submit to others.

I remember counseling my own children regarding bosses they have had. My advice has always been to submit (unless it was illegal or immoral). If God gave them the job, then He intended for that boss to be in their lives for a reason. I know my children both learned from “unreasonable” bosses in their past, which has prepared them for where they are now.

Are you one who is always complaining about your boss? Stop it! Begin praying for your boss. Ask the Lord to give them spiritual eyes. If they aren’t saved, pray for their salvation. Maybe the Lord intended for you to be there under them for just such a purpose. Thank God for your boss today.

Father, thank You for those who are authorities in my life. May they be blessed with Your love and mercy. Give me the attitude to bless them in Your name.

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OBEDIENCE

TITUS 3:1

“Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,”

This is the third time in the letter to Titus Paul has told us to be subject to someone. He tells wives to be subject to their husbands (2:5). He tells slaves to be subject to the masters (2:9). And now he tells us to be subject to those who are in authority, the rulers in our lives. Now, who are they? Anyone who has legal authority over you (police, judges, elected officials, etc). If we all did that, there would be so much less anarchy in our society.

And the word “obedient” has an interesting meaning. It’s not just the act of obeying. It’s being persuaded that what you are asked to do should be done first. It’s like when your boss, whom you don’t really care for, gives you a task to do. You do it right then, not because you want to, but because he is the boss and he wants it done. You obey those rulers and authorities unless you are asked to do something immoral or illegal.

APPLICATION

This is another one of those no-brainers. We teach our children how to obey. They must place themselves up under your leadership in the home in preparation for doing the same at school or on a job one day. When they understand that all authorities in their lives have been placed there by the Lord, they will submit much easier (or at least we hope they will).

Once again, they watch how you do this. If they see you constantly trying to get out from under your authorities, they will learn to do the same. When is the last time you prayed for the rulers and authorities in your life? Get your children to pray with you for your elected officials and law enforcement. Then the next time you have an encounter with one of them, your attitude may be just a little different. Praying for someone will do that.

So many Christians don’t get this. They try to hold on to “their rights” to the point that they become almost rebellious in their spirits. We have no rights. They were all nailed to the cross. Our response to those in authority should be “yes” whenever possible. Ask the Lord to give you a submissive spirit. Ask Him to show you how to pray for those rulers. Perhaps the Lord is preparing you to lead.

I am thankful for those You have placed in authority in my life. I know You establish kings and kingdoms. Show me today how I can best serve.

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SOLDIER FOR CHRIST

2 TIMOTHY 2:3 

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 

The Greek word for “soldier” is used twenty times in the New Testament, each time referring to a Roman soldier except in today’s verse. This is the only time the word is used to describe a soldier for Christ. I think that is pretty important. Unlike other soldiers who are taught to kill and destroy the enemy, the soldier of Christ is told to “suffer hardship.” Hmmm. 

Soldiering is hard. Being a Christian soldier is no different. We are called to follow orders. Whose orders? Of our Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ. A soldier responds without questioning the orders. If He says do it, we do it. It’s that simple. 

APPLICATION 

Let me ask you something, Mom and Dad. Do you expect your children to follow your directions? Or do you let them decide how to run their own lives? If you expect obedience and they don’t respond correctly, what happens? There are consequences, right? As there should be. 

Teaching our children to follow our directions and guidance is important not just because they are under our authority. We are teaching them this principle for life. Submission to authority is key to life. Those children who do not learn this at an early age will struggle with those God places over them in authority. Soldiering is hard, remember? 

Do you have your soldier boots on? Are you ready to march wherever the Lord leads? Or are you questioning His commands? We all want to enlist in the army of Christ, but most of us don’t want to follow His commands. We will read His Word and ignore the passages we don’t like. Just obey. He will never lead you where His grace cannot cover you. 

You are my Commander in Chief. I will follow wherever You lead. I am ready to suffer with You. 

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YOU ARE CHARGED

1 TIMOTHY 6:13

“I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,” 

Unfortunately, when we hear the word “charge” we automatically think about a financial transaction. Paul had no concept of Mastercard or Visa, lol. This word “charge” had an entirely different meaning. This Greek word means “to charge, give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper (necessary) channels.” It also originally carried a military meaning as when an officer would give a command to an inferior. 

You are charged by God to carry out the duties in His army. God expects us to comply. Now, He won’t make us. He never will. But obedience is expected. Where do we find these “charges”? In His Word. It is full of commands from the Father. All we have to do is read His Word and then follow His commands. Easy peasy, right? I wish.

APPLICATION

Have you ever given your children a command to clean their room or brush their teeth? I am sure you have. No child I know naturally does that without being told. And I bet you had to show them how to do it, right? I remember teaching our children how to brush their teeth. I remember teaching them how to pick up their toys and make their bed. Commands are great, but if we don’t know how to carry it out, it’s useless.

Jesus showed us how to obey our Father. Point your children to Him. He will show them how to obey you and God. His examples of obedience all through His life show us it is possible. Of course, we aren’t Jesus. We will make mistakes. That’s okay. God simply wants us to strive toward perfection. He is the perfecter, not us. 

Are you obeying the commands given to you by the Lord? Maybe you are more like me and try to find ways around it, lol.  Resolve yourself today to be an obedient soldier of the cross. When the Lord charges you with a new task, gratefully take it on and fulfill His desires for your life. You won’t be sorry.

Lord, I want to obey. Sometimes my flesh gets in the way, but I know that is just an excuse. Forgive my disobedience.

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DON’T TAKE ADVANTAGE

1 TIMOTHY 6:2

“Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

This verse can be a little confusing. Let me try to break it down for you very simply. Paul is telling us that we should not disrespect our bosses by taking advantage of the fact they are believers. For instance, we shouldn’t use our common faith as an excuse to get special privileges. We shouldn’t show any less respect for them since we are “equals” in the eyes of the Lord.

You’ve seen people do that, I’m sure. I’ve even had people try to do that to me. It’s hard to keep that line between Christian brother and boss, especially if you are serving in full-time ministry. But God designed these roles for a reason. Being buddies with your boss may sound great, but it can lead to problems when he/she has to correct you.

APPLICATION

This is no more applicable than in our relationships with our children. We want to be close to our kids. We want them to consider us their friend and confidant. But we should never be their buddy. When we blur the lines between parent and friend, we open ourselves up to disrespect and misunderstandings. 

I’ve seen it too many times. Parents tell me they are best friends with their child. Your best friend should be our spouse, not your son or daughter. God designed the family to have roles. As parent, you are the authority over your child. Then you become an advocate and guide as they get older. But you are never designed to be their best friend. You can be a better friend by being a better parent.

You may disagree with me on this one. But the fact remains the same. We have God’s Word to guide us in all our relationships. So, don’t treat your boss like a buddy. That is disrespect. And don’t rely on your child for friendship. We are actually more than friends. We are family. That never ends.

I want to thank You, Lord, for allowing me to have close relationships with my parents. I also thank You for the friendships I have had in the workplace. Help me keep those relationships where they should be so we can follow Your guidelines.

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RESPECT YOUR BOSS

1 TIMOTHY 6:1

“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.”

When the Scriptures talk about slavery, we don’t quite understand the context. In America, our mind jumps back to the 1800’s and the Civil War, in which our country fought each other about the issue of slavery and state’s rights. In other countries, slavery has another context. But for all of us, we can compare these passages in God’s Word to the modern day employer/employee relationship.

I hope you like your boss. Working for someone you don’t like can be miserable. However, in God’s design for your life, He has allowed you to come under the authority of that person. So, our goal is not to please our boss. Our objective is to please the Father. Look at the last part of the verse – “so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.” We represent Christ to our bosses. Act like it.

APPLICATION

This won’t be fully taught to your little Johnny until he gets his first job. But you can start now by holding him accountable to every other adult in his life. We must teach our children to honor and respect all those God has placed over them. As a minister to children for the past 40+ years, I have seen so many disrespectful children. Most, if not all, were directly disrespectful to their own parents with no repercussions.

If we allow our children to get away with that, they will not respect their boss one day. That won’t be good. What do you think will happen? They will probably mouth off to them and get fired. Submission to authority is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and maturity.

Are you a loyal and obedient employee? If you are working, do you show the respect to your boss that is due. Let me encourage you to do that today. Go out of your way to thank your boss. Give them a card thanking them for their leadership. Get them a gift card. Do something today to show your gratitude for God placing them in authority over you.

I am guilty many times, Lord, of complaining about my boss rather than praying for them. I pray today that You will give my boss wisdom to lead. Bless his/her family.

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