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"Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." Colossians 4:1

Not only does God require employees and servants to wholeheartedly serve their employers and masters; He requires masters and employers to pay a just and fair wage to their servants and employees.

Christian employers -- those who acknowledge their own sinfulness and shortcomings and trust in Christ Jesus and His shed blood for forgiveness and life everlasting -- will remember they belong to the LORD God who created and redeemed them. They, too, have a Master in heaven they serve and to whom they shall give an account.

Therefore, they will not want to cheat their employees out of fair pay for their work and a fair share in the profits they have produced by their labors. To do so would be stealing and is forbidden by God's commandment: "Thou shalt not steal" (Ex. 20:15).

God's Word warns: "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee" (Deut. 24:14-15).

The Bible further warns: "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work..." (Jer. 22:13).

The will of God in this matter is often ignored and overlooked. Instead of paying employees a fair wage for their work and for the benefits they produce, employers often pay as little as possible in order to increase their own profits. Thus, it often happens that many grow rich off the labor, skills and ideas of others while those who have produced the wealth struggle to survive.

Even though employers may be able to take advantage of their employees in this world, ultimately, God will judge; and He will punish those who have withheld just wages and mistreated those under their authority (cf. Luke 16:19ff.).

Employers and masters who acknowledge the LORD and the truthfulness of His Word will acknowledge their sin in regard to their employees and turn to the LORD God for His mercy and forgiveness and for His help and strength to do what is right.

For the sake of Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death for the sins of the world, there is forgiveness with the LORD. And in Christ Jesus, there is also help and strength to amend one's ways and do what is good and right.

O LORD God, You have made me and all people. Forgive me for taking advantage of the work and labor of others without just reward and fair payment. Forgive me for the sake of Jesus and His sufferings and death for my sins and the sins of the whole world. Cleanse my heart and my ways, and move me to love and serve the needs of those who work under me in the same way as Christ Jesus loved me and gave Himself -- even dying on the cross -- to earn my salvation and a place in His eternal kingdom. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]

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