When you think about people and their activities it becomes clear. We all do something – and we do something everyday. Your something may be different from my something – but it is something. Today, let’s talk about how to make anything into something of much greater value.
“Who do you work for?” Work is the greatest common denominator. When it’s been A Hard Day’s Night and you should be sleeping like a log, you recognize that work can be demanding. The Beatles got the focus right in that song, when we work with all of our hearts it is truly a sacrifice. And while Dolly Parton sings about a job demanding our lives from 9-To-5, the truth is that work consumes a lot more than eight hours. It consumes our minds, for many of us our hearts are poured into our work, as well.
So how can the something that you’re doing gain value – especially if it is the same something? It’s not about WHAT you do for work, but WHO you’re working for. WHO impacts WHY, and that makes all the difference.
Today’s verse says WHATEVER YOU DO WORK HEARTILY AS FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN
When we make “Jesus” the answer to the question, “WHO do you work for?” then even though the WHAT may stay the same, doing it for Him allows us to combine faith and work in ways that make an incredible difference.
First of all, it impacts our regular day-to-day job, of course. You job may call for a Hard Hat and a Hammer or it may require a keyboard and a mouse, it can even require talking all day. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and give thanks to God the Father through Him as you do it. He’ll open opportunities to let His light shine through your hands, feet and lips. It makes no difference if you’re a Working Girl or earning the Working Man’s PhD, the way you work can bring credit to Christ’s name.
But there is the world beyond our work, the one He had in mind when He created us. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. These worlds often overlap. Both the worldly work and the spiritual work we do require both effort and faith if we are to make progress towards the goals that God has set before us. The story is told of an old Scotsman who operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers across a lake. One day a passenger noticed that the old man had carved on one oar the word faith, and on the other oar the word works. When curiosity finally led him to ask the meaning of this, the old man said, “Let me show you.” He dropped one oar and started pulling only on the the oar marked “works,” and the boat went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to pull only on the the oar marked “faith” with the same result. Both faith and works are required to accomplish His goals.
WHATEVER YOU DO WORK HEARTILY AS FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN
But even though works are a significant part of a life of faith, it’s vital that we never confuse their role. The works we do as we live out our faith are not the SOURCE of our life in Christ. In other words, we don’t do them TO BE SAVED. The bible is very clear that there’s absolutely nothing we can do to gain the forgiveness of God; that is totally His grace and only available to us by faith. It is by grace that we have been saved, THROUGH FAITH – not by any works we do. But some people hear that and then think that we are called to do nothing once we begin to follow Jesus. They miss out on the blessings and rewards of serving Him well. Don’t confuse our works with God’s grace, that’s a Hard Way to Make an Easy Living.
The works that we do, whatever they are, are the LIVING EXPRESSION of our love for Him. Just as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. And that LIVING LOVE gets expressed all the time and everywhere. People who are led by His love don’t live in a Five O’Clock World; they live out their love 24×7. Whether its another Manic Monday or just Sunday your fun day, love drives them to WORK WITH ALL THEIR HEART – AS FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN. Serving Him with all of our hearts brings true and deep joy. It’s enough to make you Whistle While You Work, because doing the things you were created to do with the gifts He gives and the power He provides is absolutely exhilarating!!
Discovering that nothing is as much fun as serving Jesus with people you love will be an Epiphany. So it’s Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho; off to work we go. As we do, we’re not some group of dwarfs without purpose or design. As we follow Jesus we are His Hands and His feet, His voice, eyes and ears. We are like Christ walking the earth today. Expression of His love in our homes, our workplaces; in fact, everywhere the soles of our feet touch. We are His ambassadors. And our love for Him is expressed in the work we do.
When “JESUS” is the answer to the question of WHO we work for, WHAT we do for Him is always transformed with greater value. It’s not about WHAT you do as you work for Him. What matters is that it is Him you’re working for. WHO impacts WHY, and that makes all the difference.