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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”—Colossians 3:24 (NKJV)
I think it’s safe to say that if you’ve ever worked a service job, perhaps as a retail associate, a waiter or waitress, or as a phone customer service rep, you know that service with a smile is really, ridiculously difficult at times. Why? People! The truth is people are difficult to deal with. I have often seen people at their worst—I worked at Best Buy on Black Friday.
In today’s verse, Paul talks about service. However, the service is not unto people, but unto Christ, the Master. And according to Paul, “the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward” (NLT). As I read this, it encourages me and fills me with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for service. Why? Because I can know—eidotes: comprehend fully and with confidence—that no matter how the people around me treat me or “reward” me for my service, I have a true Master who will give me an exceedingly, abundantly generous and beautiful reward. And though I can’t receive it fully here on earth, I know I have a heavenly inheritance waiting for me.
Does it hurt when I seek to serve others and live my life as a sacrifice and am treated harshly, rejected, ridiculed, or persecuted? Yes. But you know what? I’m not alone in this—and neither are you. The apostles experienced it. Paul experienced it. And in 2 Corinthians 11:23–33, he actually lists all that he went through in service of Christ. But what we see from Paul isn’t resentment, anger, or disillusionment, but gratefulness, peace, and joy that simply can’t be explained apart from knowing the great and good Master he served.
And you and I serve that same Master. We don’t truly serve earthly “masters.” Every service we render to the people around us, even those who reject and persecute us, is a service rendered unto Christ. That’s why Paul so proudly calls himself and Timothy “servants of Christ Jesus” in Philippians 1:1 (NIV)—even as he wrote this letter under house arrest, chained to a Roman guard 24/7.
So today, I want to encourage you to keep serving with a smile, because the One you’re truly serving will not only reward you with the inheritance of a first born son in the next life, but will also fill you with the same love, joy, and peace that jumps off the pages of Paul’s letters.
DIG: Read 2 Corinthians 11 and 12.
DISCOVER: Who are you serving in your world today?
DISPLAY: Every time you go to serve or even interact with someone, intentionally remind yourself that in that moment you’re really serving the Lord!
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Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.