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Working Diligently…… February 10, 2019

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23 ESV

I once had a plaque that had this little phase, “My Work Is Part Of My Worship.” Have you ever thought of your work in this way? As a Christian I believe it is important to look at your work in this fashion, and in general how you live your whole life. It is a testimony of your faith when you do what you do for God- on purpose. Understand, when we do it for the Lord, then it is part of our worship.

     As Christians we need to be a testimony to the world by how we live everyday. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD. 1 Corinthians 10:31  I once heard the statement , “Go and witness for the Lord and if necessary use words.” This statement sounds good and holds truth, though I still believe it is necessary to use words to tell / proclaim the gospel. But it is important for your actions to match your words.

     As I stated above, “My work is part of my worship” illuminates your work as a Christian, as being a witness to others. In reality as a Christian, everything about you should change to focus upon the Lord. Paul said it like this to the men of Athens, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28 ESV  God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit should become the focus of who you are as a Christian. Let me encourage you not to think just physical work, but also working with the mind. Remember a few Sundays ago when I said, “Everything begins in the mind.” I believe that every good or evil thought and intention originates consciously or unconsciously in the mind. This is why Romans 12:2 addresses this issue, Do not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)  This may be the most challenging work you do….. changing how you think. If we work with the goal of changing ourselves into the image of Christ, we will be more effective in influencing others to look to him.

     Don’t evaluate your work or actions in the work place or world by comparing yourself to others but by performing for God, which makes your life have a higher calling. Isn’t that what this verse actually teaches us by saying…for the Lord and not for men? In the context of this verse Paul is actually addressing slaves when working for their master. Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Colossians 3:22 CSB  Paul is not promoting human slavery, but he is encouraging kingdom purpose living in whatever situation you are in. In reality, everyone is a slave, either to sin or to righteousness. (Romans 6:15-23) Living as a slave to sin has a much grimmer outcome than that as a slave of righteousness. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 ESV

     In no way is this teaching that you are made right with God through works. It is teaching how to live once you have been made right with God. The work of being in a right relationship with God was done on the cross by His only Son Jesus. Remember…..For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV  James addressed this when people were bragging about works for salvation. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  Perhaps another way to look at this is, “I would hate to think I would work less under grace than under the requirements of God’s law. If you have been redeemed by the blood of the Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit, then it is impossible to live as you may have once lived. Your works give evidence of His presence IN your life, not for the salvation OF your life. Again, God has already completed the work of salvation through His only Son on the cross. The question which we must answer is, “Am I going to follow Him? and if I say I follow Him, does my life give evidence of it through how I work / live?

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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