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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Remember . . . Conduct Matters.

Colossians 3:18-4:18   Ezekiel 31-32   Isaiah 56

“Remember that you have a master in heaven” (Colossians 4:1, NCV). What, do you think, is the purpose of this reminder? And what does such remembering look like in daily life? And to whom does it apply? Well. The word is, of course, first directed toward earthly “masters.” But it speaks truth to all. That this is so can be seen in the context, where Paul uses the term “Lord” 6 times in the 8 preceding verses, and in Ezekiel’s oft-repeated phrase, “then they shall know that I am the Lord” (32:15). We all have a master and Lord in heaven. And remembering this must, say today’s texts, make a difference in the manner in which we conduct our lives . . .

“Maintain justice, and do what is right” (Isaiah 56:1). Why? Well, basically, because the Master says so (“Thus says the Lord”) . . . And this doing of that which is “right” is to be applied in every situation and social interaction, including relationships at home, at work, and with those “outside” our more familiar circles (Colossians 3:18-4:6). Because how we interact with one another is a matter of relating to our Lord and Master himself. So Paul instructs wives and children to act and react in a manner that is fitting and acceptable “in the Lord,” while calling husbands and fathers to reflect the character of the Lord. So, too, slaves and masters are instructed to approach their work, and each other, knowing that they both serve the one true master, who is “the Lord Christ.” This mutuality, beloved, is how “remembering” the Lord is practiced in daily life. And we do so because our Lord says so, for the sake of God’s great story of love.

“Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders” (Colossians 4:5). So speaks the apostle on behalf of God, who declares, “my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:7). In other words, our conduct matters because our Lord and Master seeks to bring all people to the table, and desires to do so through us. Do we see it? Our lives and relationships . . . our schedules and days . . . they are not our own, for we have a Master in heaven with a master plan of salvation. So let us ask ourselves, “Am I remembering the Lord and making the most of the time?” And, if so, “How is this being reflected in my relationships with others?” May we remember whose we are and who we serve. And may we live as those who know that our conduct matters. Amen.

Thus says the Lord:
Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.”
— Isaiah 56:1


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