…doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord,
and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Our culture exhibits an unspoken hierarchy of value among individuals. It reveals to us, in not-so-subtle ways, where each fits into its value system. Much of this is based on the vocation we have. New Testament writings crush any such idea. For the Christian, such a hierarchy does not exist. Romans 2:6-11, 3:23, 5:18 clearly reveal we are all in the same dilemma of sin with a universally available rescue from this sin by our Savior Jesus Christ, who desires to do just that for any and all!
James also (James 2:1) clearly reminds the Believer there is to be no partiality. As Christians we are to relate differently to people than the way our culture tends to. We are not to give preferential treatment to a certain class or ethnic group. We are to care for the rich and powerful as well as the poor and powerless. We are to avoid dehumanizing people by thinking less of them… and yet avoid idolizing others by thinking too highly of them.
We are prone to place a very high worth on our vocation and that of others. For many, even those in the church, it is the most important thing in one’s life. We know this not to be true, yet we often lean into such tendency. What matters is not where you work, or the status of success or personal fulfillment…what ultimately matters is how I sincerely choose to respond to the invitation to be rescued from my sin.
Do I value the gift of salvation that God has offered me? It is crucially important how I respond to Jesus.
Jesus said, For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul (Mark 8:36). Paul wrote as having nothing, and yet possessing all things (2 Corinthians 6:10). Based on the words of Scripture, the person who has Jesus and nothing has no less than the person who has Jesus and everything else. If one has the short-view of “ all that matters is life-on-earth”, that which Paul writes makes no sense. Yet with eternity in mind it makes complete sense, and is wonderfully both comforting and liberating.
Do you belong to Jesus Christ? Then you possess everything! What you do in this life does matter. It matters in this life, and into eternity. What matters most to you? Is it the economic environment… the physical environment? Perhaps the need of justice? The political atmosphere? The success of your team, or your grades? Paul, who saw and felt tremendous troubles and inconsistencies in this world, pens an incredible statement which in its powerful brevity provides us a needed perspective. A dozen words from Philippians 1:21 which, if embraced, keep us true and balanced in this life on earth into eternity
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”