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Mountain Moving Ministries

The "Attitudes Beatitudes"
A "Mountain Moving Ministries" Special
by Marvin C. Loveness
, TH.B.

Many may look at the "Good Book" as a list of rules of "Do's and Don'ts". Actually, it is written to "teach us, correct us, and instruct us in righteousness" so we may be fully made into the image and likeness of Jesus our Savior. For it was our Savior's daily "meat to do our Father's will", to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect.

So this "mini series" is written to encourage each of us to walk as Jesus would walk, particularly in this "work-a-day world" we live in. Our focus is on "personnel relations". How can we rise above the tensions and disappointments of being treated unfairly, or worse, being taken advantage of.

We know that Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. And he suffered rejection from his "theological peers", desertion, betrayal, not to mention being surrounded by insecure disciples, hardness of heart, unbelief, and temptation that we have no comprehension of. Yet he endured it all "for the joy that was before him", the joy of being the "firstborn of many brethren", the joy of doing the will of his Father. In fact, he is our blue print on how to "count it all joy when immersed in myriads of trials, knowing that the trying of your faith produces patience and endurance, and letting endurance have its perfect work so you may be perfect and complete, wanting nothing".

Remember he told us that "in this world you will have tribulation, but be of good courage, for I have overcome the world". That means that even though "a servant is not GREATER than his master", our master (if indeed he is our master) has afforded us the strength to follow him in every KIND of situation.

With that in mind, let us consider the following passages as we strengthen and develop our "Attitudes Beatitudes" :

Servants of the wealthy were considered part of the "household-family" in many respects in the Jewish culture, and this may be the reason why they are mentioned in Ephesians and Colossians within the context of "family relations". However, servants were not always slave, but often "hired hands" for the farm work, even so far as to manage the family business, and paid according to their faithfulness and abilities. So we can "extrapolate" an abiding principle to apply to today's economy. "Servants" can be seen as a type of our modern day "employee" in the work-a-day world, and the "master", of course typifies our "Employer". Reading the admonitions to the servants and applying them to each individual who is either an employee, or a contractor-for-hire, etc, we know the heart of our God is to serve that employer (or the one that contracted our services, as the case may be ) with the same humility and carefulness as if we were hired on by God himself.

Many people quote Col 3:23-25.... "whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men", .... but to my knowledge they do not tie it to the instructions to the servants in the verse just prior to that. But in that context, you can see that we are to work our day by day tasks as if serving the Lord personally.

Now let's see how Peter addresses the situation. He is going to show us the difference between being "in a trial" for doing wrong, and for doing the will of God:

Some people loose their job for opposing the employer or manager, or for not paying attention to detail, to instructions, etc. They often claim to be in a "James.1" trial, when actually they are suffering for doing wrong instead of righteously. But if you suffer losses ( like the loss of a bonus, the company car, the cruise with the elite) for being a godly testimony, or upholding your convictions about partying, drinking, etc, ..... and you take THAT patiently, great is your reward. If one lives boldly and unashamedly for the testimony of Jesus, and loses privileges or promotions, or even the job itself, this is acceptable and well-pleasing to the Lord. Yes, it causes hardship, but it is worth the cost in eternity, whereas the name of the Lord is blasphemed by the world when those who are "called by His Name" are caught compromising, stealing, backbiting, disobeying, etc. When we are thrown into financial setbacks or other such trials for such things, we dare NOT think or say we are suffering for (or because of) Christ Jesus.

Just a quick note to show that Paul reflects the same admonition to Titus's people to reflect a godly behavior in the work arena that all may see the grace and goodness of God :

One final comment here in Timothy that we are to honor our Employers so that the name of our God be not disreputed.
It is easy to despise our employer for the wealth he controls, and for the luxuries he enjoys. People often murmur and complain they are being treated unfairly, and in some cases they truly may be. This particular passage may be addressing those who were working to pay off a debt, and were more of a "slave" than a servant or steward of the house. Apparently many of those who share a common faith in Christ Jesus "despised" there master for any number of reasons, yet the apostle particularly singles them out to remind them that the masters are indeed "brothers", and not to be despised. Perhaps they thought that they should be treated differently than others because they were of the same faith as the master. Perhaps there was ill-will because the "master" could not see his way to "forgive the debt". Whatever the reason, Paul is telling them to honor their master, and in our society, to honor our employer. Even if they are of the same faith as we are, we should not expect "special treatment" or "unmerited favor". We should serve them ( the "saved" and the "unsaved" alike ) as if we were serving the Lord personally and directly. br> The "masters" and "Employers" have their own responsibilities. Coming soon, a look at what those responsibilities are, from a scriptural view point, as we endeavor to reflect the heart of God and of Christ to you, and for you Then perhaps a look at the "attitudes beatitudes" of the "rich" and the "poor". In the meantime, exercise the "faith of God" to move your mountain ! (Mark 11:22, Greek text)

Copyright 1998 M. C. Loveness

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