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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....CLICK HERE

Tuesday-Work That is Holy

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters 

 

Colossians 3:23

 

Not much was sacred in our house. Food and money were sacred – you never wasted either. Yes, we had some statues that reminded us of the saints of old. But they mostly just collected dust that I had to carefully remove every other week. But there was something that was really holy. It was different from everything else. It changed and influenced everything we did. Everything we said. It was deeply woven in the fabric of our lives. It wasn’t something that you could touch, but it was as real as anything else.

 

That thing was work. Or, should I say, hard work. We were taught not to be afraid of hard work. In anything we did, we were to do it with all our strength and ability. We were to work hard at it. Never giving up till it was done. Whether it was scrubbing the floor or washing dishes, we worked hard at it. We made sure each and every spot was gone. Whether it was raking leaves or using the vacuum cleaner, we were taught not to miss anything.

 

I think of this as a gift from my parents. They both worked hard, giving us a great example to follow. And Paul gives us a great example of work. Working for our loving Heavenly Father. Responding to all God’s done and given to us.

 

Paul’s teaching and encouraging the Colossians to fight for the faith. And part of that fighting includes work. Hard work. Work that’s done in thanks for all God’s done. He started it by loving us and sending Christ to die for us. In turn, we’re to remain faithful and to work hard for the faith that he gave.

 

I fully intended, dear friends, to write to you about our common salvation, but I feel compelled to make my letter to you an earnest appeal to put up a real fight for the faith which has been once and for all committed to those who belong to Christ.

 

Jude 1:3 Phillips

 

Think about it for a minute. God wasn’t forced to save us. No one put a gun to his head. No one tried to make him feel guilty. When it came to the hard work of saving us. didn’t have to. But he wanted to. The words of the old hymn say it so well.

 

He left His Father's throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam's helpless race;

'Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.[1]

 

When Paul wrote that he worked harder than all the other apostles[2], I don’t think he was boasting or putting them down. Not at all. He was saying that God had done so much in his life that he was happy to work in response.

 

Nowhere in God’s word does it say that we work to earn our salvation. Not at all! Our salvation, our relationship with God is a gift of grace from God to us. Period. It is not because we worked at it or somehow earned it[3]. But we do have something to do. His disciples want to do the works of God. They wanted to know exactly what they had to do to get into heaven. To make it over the finish line. Jesus clearly and loudly tells them and us the work that we have to do.

 

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

 

John 6:29

 

There it is. Our work is to believe. To believe God when he says that he loves us. That he wants nothing but the absolute best for us. And that belief will blossom into loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength[4]. But we think that work must involve lifting something. Moving something. Doing something with our hands and bodies. But all that doing comes from somewhere. Deep down we think we have to impress God. To get his attention with our actions. But nothing could be further from the truth.

 

When Jesus says that our work is to believe, he’s telling us the most radical thing in all the earth. God less interested in what we do than why we’re doing it. He’s interested in what’s going on in our hearts and minds. The inside attitudes are what starts and motivates what we do. So, what’s your motivation? Why are you doing what you do? Saying what you’re saying? Is it to impress God? To get him to do just what you want? To somehow make up for past sins? Or is it to get something from people? Their praise and respect?

 

God wants to bring us back to himself. And he was willing to move heaven and earth for his purpose. He died in Jesus to do all the work necessary to bring us back to him. Our work, our response is thankful and joyous acceptance of his great gift. Our living and actions are in response to who he is and what he’s done. Now, that’s really working for the glory of God and the good of people.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Explain how grace and work come together for God’s glory.

  • Since God’s grace is enough, why should we want to work?

  • How does God’s love energize us to be about our Father’s business?


[1] And Can It Be, Charles Wesley, 1738

[2] 1 Corinthians 15:10

[3] Ephesians 2:8,9

[4] Mark 12:30

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