Tag

work

There can be no doubt about the significance of work in the eyes of God. It is a theme that we find throughout His Word. Work glorifies God and is a way to demonstrate our obedience to His plan for our lives as well as a way to worship and honor Him.

Consider Paul. He was a tentmaker by trade but a minister of the gospel, theologian, philosopher, warrior, legal expert, missionary and author of Scripture under the direction of God. In fact, he instituted a “rule” with “the church of the Thessalonians.” This rule was blunt and to the point: “For when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work he shall not eat.’” One does not need a degree in Biblical exegesis to understand that.

Solomon addressed two points of view about work: “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” Willing workers will be blessed and have all their needs met. God will see to that. God, however, has another rule: if we know of someone in need, who honestly cannot work or find work, we who are Christians are obligated to help them.

Those who “chase fantasies lack judgment” referring to “delusional” thinking. They are the ones who chase an easy way of living by devising schemes to take advantage of others. They want to receive life’s rewards without hard work and riches from “rackets” not righteousness.

And, yes, they may have “their day.” But, in the end, they “lack judgment” that comes from following God’s way and His wisdom, and ultimately, face His judgment.

Prayer: Sound judgment, wise decisions and eternal rewards, Lord, come from obedience to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11

George Washington Carver was a botanist, educator, inventor, and scientist. As the son of a slave, he was aware of the difficulty facing farmers, knowing that they needed more than cotton for their fields. He became interested in peanuts. Soon he realized that there was no market for them. Needing help, he turned to God, in prayer.
One day he prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?”
Later in life he said: “God led me into the laboratory and together we got down to work.” Before he died, his research and influence produced over 300 products from peanuts including cosmetics, dyes, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerine. He published many books, including one with over 100 recipes using peanuts.
James has an interesting bit of advice. He said, “If you need wisdom - if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him and He will gladly tell you.” True wisdom begins with respect for God and His laws, leads to right living in the sight of God, and enables us to align our goals with the goals God has for us. When we do this, we honor God, and in His time, He will honor us. We may begin with something as small as a peanut, but only God knows where it will end.
Prayer:Help us, Father, to look to You for Your wisdom and insight in all that we do, knowing it is always available. And, also give us patience and perseverance to work with You for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Years ago a “hobo” came to the back porch as my mother sat there “shelling peas.” “Pardon me, Ma’am, but could you spare a meal to a starving traveler?”
Graciously, but firmly, my mother responded and said she would be happy to provide a meal, but he would have to do some yard work first. Politely, he declined. He was “too weak” to work before he had something to eat. He then walked away quietly and went next door.
God intended for man to work. As soon as He created man He planted a garden in Eden and gave him a job to do: he was told to cultivate the garden. The Psalmist reminded us of the importance of work when he wrote, “Man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.”
Perhaps it is good to remember that in the days of His flesh our Lord Jesus worked. He must have gone to His daily tasks with enthusiasm - not because it was easy or financially rewarding. He was using the skills His Father gave Him to do His will and honor Him through the work of His hands. On one occasion, early in His life, He said, “I always do the things that please Him.” He did what was necessary yet never sinned.
How comforting it is to know that the Carpenter of Nazareth faced every situation that we face today or will face tomorrow. This fact assures us that He understands us completely. He faced the same trials and temptations that we face. However,, He never gave in to any temptation or committed any sin so He could one day become our Savior.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for living a life that sets the example of how we should live so others can see You in us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 104:23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.
What happens when God's people do God's work? Can what we do provide evidence to His mercy and grace? Can those around us actually see Him by what we do?
The Psalmist said that "Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land."
In other words, when people become born again – accept God's salvation through faith in Christ – there will be evidence of God's Kingdom on earth. Christians will busy themselves in working with the needy, bring hope and help to those who are suffering, seek justice for those who are wronged and establish rules that are just and fair.
In Psalm 85:11 we read, "Faithfulness (to God's Word) will spring forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven." If we believe the Word of God, we are to live the Word of God and that means we are to do whatever is within our power to establish His Kingdom on earth.
Whenever people’s hearts are right with God, we see God-things happen. The abolition of slavery and the end of child labor followed a resurgence of faith in God. The Salvation Army came to life when General Booth was convicted that God called him to “bring God's love to the needy”. Seeing children, who were neglected, ignorant and hungry burdened Robert Raikes to start "Sunday" school. Many educational and charitable institutions came into existence because God's people saw God's children in need and were convicted by His Spirit to do something about it. Good deeds and showing compassion are evidence that righteousness on earth comes from Heaven!
Prayer: Help us, Father, to see what You see and then become Your hands and feet on earth to show Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
He is a central figure in the success of the New York Yankees. He has led the American League in the most single hits, runs scored and “at bats.” He has over 3,000 hits, stolen more bases than any other player, has five golden glove awards, selected 13 times as an all-star and played more games than any other New York Yankee. Many of his records will stand for many years to come.
A reporter once asked, “What’s the best advice your father ever gave you?”
“Don’t let anyone outwork you,” came the quick reply of Derek Jeter.
We are all compiling a list of accomplishments that will reflect what we have done with talents God has given us. However, beyond that fact we must realize that the time we are allocated and the talents we are given are gifts from God and must be used to His glory.
Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as though you are working for the Lord rather than for people!” We are all accountable to someone for the work we do here on earth. Ultimately, though, the Christian is accountable to God and will be judged by Him for what we have done with the many opportunities He has given us. We must always remember that we are obligated to God to honor Him with every gift He has given us.
Prayer: We thank You, Lord, that You are interested in the work that You have given us to do. May we accept this with thanksgiving and bring You honor in what we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 3:23,24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 
It was the first practice of the football season. The captain of the team was trying to impress his fellow teammates with his leadership skills. Pacing back and forth in front of the team he was doing his best to get them excited. Finally, as his voice reached a level of great intensity, he shouted, “We’ll win because we have the will to win!”
The coach, looking rather amused said, “Don’t fool yourself, son. The will to win is important. But more important than the will to win is the importance to surrender to hard work, sore muscles, aching joints, sweat running into your eyes and long hours of studying our plays.” In other words, it requires hard work plus the will to work.
What is required of athletes who want to be victorious on a football field is true of the Christian who is called to live a victorious life for Christ. Paul said, “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in this life and the life to come.”
Spiritual exercise – studying God’s Word, praying and serving Him - and the discipline required to achieve success for the Christian does not come easy. It requires a life of discipline and surrender to the will of God. Paul reminds us, however, that we will be rewarded in this life and the life to come – if we endure.
Prayer: Lord, You never promised us a life of ease. But for Your sake we ask for Your strength and power to live a life that is worthy of You and victorious over sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Timothy 4:7-8 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle studied to be a physician. After completing his studies he established a medical partnership with a friend. It did not go well and they soon parted ways.
Shortly afterward, he opened his own practice. Initially he had very few patients and to pass away the long, boring days he began to write factious crime stories. His first writings were not well received. But since he had empty hours to fill, he continued to write.
Two of his characters were Sherlock Holmes and Watson. His stories were framed around much of the information he learned while a medical student, and it was his use of “differential diagnosis” in his writings that brought much of the intrigue to his works. It did not take long before his stories gained much attention and his writing career was established.
It may be intriguing for some to wonder why he did not go directly into writing crime stories rather than the field of medicine. Certainly that was an option. But it was his understanding of “differential diagnosis” that made his crime stories different and brought him success.
Often we wonder why we are sometimes called to go through “things” that seem foolish and worthless, boring and frustrating. But God has a plan for each of us and we must be patient with Him until He reveals it.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to be patient and open while You are preparing us for our life’s work. May we do our best to develop our talents carefully and wisely for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
John Tyndall was a nineteenth century physicist who was highly respected and widely recognized for his scientific research in physics. He was the author of seventeen books and his work led to many discoveries that advanced our knowledge about the universe. In fact, many think it was his work that led to the interest of studying the science of physics.
He was once asked by a colleague, “Where did your greatest inspiration come from?”
“A servant,” he replied. “Every morning he’d knock at my door and say, ‘Arise sir! You have great work to do today.’”
We do, too.
Paul talks about the attitude and perspective we who are Christians should possess. “Work hard,” he says, “and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.”
Ever since the dawn of creation God has given man work to do. And if we view this work as Paul asks us to, it will be done as an act of service and worship to our Creator. Having this view of our daily responsibilities would take away much of the drudgery and dissatisfaction that often make them boring and appear meaningless to us. We might even end our complaining and have less resentment for what we do. Perhaps we might even view our problems as part of the cost of discipleship.
Prayer: Lord, give us thankful hearts, able bodies and sound minds that enable us to work. May we see all that we do as an opportunity to bring You honor and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
A well-recognized inventor called his closest friends together to unveil the new electric motor he had just finished. He stood in front of the group with his new product displayed on an elegant black velvet tablecloth highlighted by a spot light.
“Gentlemen,” he said in a voice that exposed his pride, “this is my most recent invention – a newly designed electric motor. What do you think of it?”
“Put it to work,” said one of the engineers, “I can’t tell a thing about it until I see it in action.”
If we say that we are Christ’s disciples then others will recognize us as His disciples when they see us “in action.” In writing to the Ephesians, Paul said that we are to be “careful how you live...Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Do not act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what God wants you to do.”
When Paul referred to “these evil days” he was emphasizing the urgency of presenting the Gospel message. Then, as now, “evil” has penetrated society in such a powerful manner that it is difficult to see good or goodness in the way so many Christians behave. What was once avoided as “unbecoming for Christians” has now become accepted as appropriate by many who consider themselves as His disciples.
As the engineer said, “Put it” (our faith) “to work.”
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be aware of our witness in this world and to “understand” how we ought to live as Your disciples in this fallen, sin-filled world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 5:15-20 Be very careful, then, how you live…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grover Cleveland Alexander is recognized as one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. His record of ninety shutouts still stands and his 373 recorded victories has been achieved by only one other pitcher. In 1938 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
From his earliest days on the farm his only desire was to play baseball and be a pitcher. He actually began his career by throwing apples and stones at fence posts between chores to sharpen his throwing skills.
One day he bought a few baseballs and nailed an old catcher’s mitt to the chicken coop. He would spend every available moment throwing baseballs at the mitt and finally became successful at hitting the mitt nine times out of ten.
During his pitching career reporters piled heaps of praise on him as his record grew and fame spread. But none of them were ever aware of the many hours he practiced with no one watching or helping him develop the skills that would eventually bring him world recognition.
Fame never comes unless one is willing to pay the price it requires. Hard work is God’s plan for all of us. Those who work diligently are the recipients of many benefits in their own lives and the lives of others. God blesses those who develop the skills He gives them.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to take the gifts You give us with great humility and work with all of our might to develop them to bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
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