.

For Whom
Am I Doing This?

Much good can be done,
but if not for the Lord
it does not count.

Psa 100:3 "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

Rom 14:6 "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."
Rom 14:7 "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."
Rom 14:8 "For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."
Rom 14:9 "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."

Text

Rom 14:8 "… we are the Lord's."


For whom am I doing this?

Sometimes it becomes necessary
for us to reflect on what we are doing and why are we doing it and for whom are we doing it?

Israel had been in Captivity
for 70 years and during that time they declared a fast every 5th month and 7th month and in the following 2 verses, God is asking them about those fasts and about what they did after the fasts.

Zec 7:5 "Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?"
Zec 7:6 "And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?"

God asks through the Prophet
For whom did you Fast?
And better yet,
For whom did you eat after the Fast?

In other words
For whom did you do all this?
For whom did you not eat?
For whom did you eat?

For whom am I doing all this?


Naaman

2 Ki 5:1 "Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper."

This man appears to be working for the right reasons
He was a great man, for the king
He was honorable
He had helped his country
But he had a problem, Leprosy!!!

For whom is he doing all this?


Maid

2 Ki 5:2 "And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife."
2 Ki 5:3 "And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."

Now here is a sincere person
She could have been sour
She could have been bitter, but
She is thinking about her mistress' husband

For whom is she doing all this?


King of Syria

2 Ki 5:4 "And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel."
2 Ki 5:5 "And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment."

Here as well seems to be a sincere person
Thinking of his Captain
Thinking of his health

For whom is he doing all this?


King of Israel

2 Ki 5:6 "And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy."
2 Ki 5:7 "And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me."

Now the King of Israel does not seem to be very sincere
He seems to be worried about his own hide
He seems to be a little paranoid
If he were alive today, he would be talking about the black heliocopters and that the Y2K bug was a consipiracy.

For whom is he doing all this?


Elisha

2 Ki 5:8 "And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."

Elisha seems to be a sincere person
He is wanting to be helpful
He is wanting to let everyone know that God has a representative in this sin sick world

For whom is he doing all this?


Stage is set

All but one of the characters in place, but we will come to the last character soon enough.

Sincerity is difficult to measure until you ask the question …
Sincere for what?
Sincere for whom?

For whom are we doing all this?


Elisha

2 Ki 5:9 "So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha."
2 Ki 5:10 "And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."

What is up with this guy?
He has asked that Naaman come to his home
But he will not even come out and talk to him

We need to remember
Elisha previously said,
So everyone would know there is a prophet in Israel.


Naaman

2 Ki 5:11 "But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper."
2 Ki 5:12 "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage."

Beginning to get a little better insight as to his sincerity
He is a sincere man
But for whom is he sincere?

We read how he was
honorable
a servant of his king
great capitan
won many battles
and this all seemed good indeed

For whom was he doing all this?
It looks as though he was doing it all for himself.
Others could benefit, as long as he did.


Advisors, Servants

2 Ki 5:13 "And his servants came near, and spake unto him, Now, these servants and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?"

Naaman's Advisors are saying
Why did you come here?
Was it to get your pride puffed up?
Or to get your cure?

They are saying …
For whom or what are you doing this?

We thought you came here
to get your cure
so you could be …
a better servant to the king
a better leader of men
a better husband to your wife
a better father to your kids

For whom are you doing all this?

2 Ki 5:14 "Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean."


Change in purpose

2 Ki 5:15 "And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant."

Naaman now gets a new purpose and perspective
he is coming back humbly
he is coming back with his hat in his hand
he is coming back a different person

Naaman is saying something noteworthy

"…now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel…"

Naaman is beginning to do things for the right reasons
He is blessing God with his words and actions
He is wanting to be helpful to the Prophet
He is now realizing for whom he was doing everything in the past
He is now realizing who is God
He is now realizing …

"For whom he is doing all this"

2 Ki 5:16 "But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused."

Whoa!
The prophet has some integrity himself
Elisha knows "For whom he is doing all this"
He is doing it for God
He knows to whom he belongs, the Lord
He knows to whom he owes everything, the Lord
He knows to whom he answers to, the Lord

2 Ki 5:17 "And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD."
2 Ki 5:18 "In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing."

At first it looks as if our new found man is compromising
but notice what Elisha says,
Elisha being the man most likely not to compromise

2 Ki 5:19 "And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way."


Gehazi

Now we are going to hear from a man that has real problems
with loyalty
with position
with allegiance

We have a man here
who does not know for whom he works
who does not know for whom he lives
who does not know for whom he is doing all of this …

2 Ki 5:20 "But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him."

Somehow Gehazi thinks that Naaman should pay for his cure
He says, "…my master hath spared Naaman, this Syrian…"
He felt like Naaman had been spared
he felt like Naaman had been held back
from paying what he owed
he felt like Naaman was cured by Elisha
and that Elisha ought to be paid
and since Gehazi worked for Elisha,
he ought to be paid as well

Neither Elisha nor Gehazi
deserved any credit
it was all of God

God is the One
for whom we ought to be working

The little slave girl
that worked for Naaman's wife
had the right attitude

I think she felt sorry for her Mistress
and wanted her Mistress' husband cured
for her mistress and
she also knew that the cure was in Israel
at the Hand of the Only True God
and she gave God the glory

Did you notice there was nothing in it for her?
She didn't ask to come along
She didn't attempt to cash in on her knowledge
She didn't attempt to use God as a lever to get out of slavery

2 Ki 5:21 "So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?"

No longer thinking about himself
But is concerned for others

2 Ki 5:22 "And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments."
2 Ki 5:23 "And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him."
2 Ki 5:24 "And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed."
2 Ki 5:25 "But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither."
2 Ki 5:26 "And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?"
2 Ki 5:27 "The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow."


Is this the time

Is this the time to think of yourselves?
There is a time for everything and Elisha told Gehazi
this is not the time for self

Eccl 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"
Eccl 3:2 "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;"
Eccl 3:3 "A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;"
Eccl 3:4 "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"
Eccl 3:5 "A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;"
Eccl 3:6 "A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;"
Eccl 3:7 "A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;"
Eccl 3:8 "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Now watch the conclusion

Eccl 3:9 "What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?"
Eccl 3:10 "I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it."
Eccl 3:11 "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
Eccl 3:12 "I know that there is no good in them…"

Solomon says,
I know that there is no good in our work
but in the rest of the verse he gives the exception

"…but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life."
Eccl 3:13 "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God."

The labor is not the end
there is a time for everything
so the labor must be done at the correct time

The results of the labor is not the end
There is a time for eating and drinking
and enjoying the benefits of our labor

The enjoyment of the results of the labor is not the end
even though we should enjoy the benefits of labor
those benefits are not why we do all this

Realizing that all of it is a gift of God is the end
God gives
God works
God has a plan
God has a time for the plan
God has a time and plan for you and me

For whom are you doing this?


How do we do this for God?

Employees

Eph 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;"

Work for the boss
but work as if you are working for the Lord

There is a time to work for self
but not now

There is a time to work for personal profit
but not now
nothing wrong with have personal profit
but now is not the time
to spend all your time and energy to gain it

Col 3:22 "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:"
Col 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

Work for men
but not unto men
work for men
but not as if they are the sum total of all you efforts

work for men
but work for them coincidentally
as you work for God

1 Cor 7:22 "For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant."
1 Cor 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."

We work for men
but we are the servants of God
we should actually work for God
in the fields of men
in the factories of men
in the businesses of men

Ask yourselves, For whom am I doing this?

Col 3:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Doing something in the Name of the Lord Jesus
is doing it for Jesus

no matter
who is paying your wages to do it
who is providing the benefits to do it
who is providing the place to do it in

1 Cor 3:21 "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;"

We may work for men
but as we work for the Lord
it is all ours anyway

1 Cor 3:22 "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;"

If we are working for the Lord
it is all ours

1 Cor 3:23 "And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
1 Cor 4:1 "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."
1 Cor 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

No matter
who we work for
what we do
what is going on
be found faithful to work for Christ and not for man

1 Pet 2:17 "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."

For Whom Am I Doing This?

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