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Working For The Lord

Working for the Lord

     The first Monday of September has been “officially” recognized as “Labor Day” since 1894.   I always thought it strange that we celebrate labor by taking the day off from work, even though I take the day off just like most all other “workers” on this federal holiday.

     Much of our life is spent working. Many adolescents eagerly await the time they can “work” and enjoy the freedoms the pay brings. Many young adults seek a job and others strive for education so they can get the job they most want.   Sadly, many of these same people soon face the reality that the “dream job” becomes a nightmare.   A lot of people don’t like their jobs, but have to press on because of obligations that cannot be otherwise met.

     However, not all work is to be dreaded.   It has been said: “If you do what you truly love, you’ll never work a day of your life”.   There is a bit of truth in this as the definition of “work” is: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. If you love what you do, the mental or physical effort seems minimal.

       Now, let’s apply all this to our “work for the Lord”.   In 1Peter 2:21 we are told that Christ left us an example. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  This goes for our working for the Lord as well. We see the Words of Jesus Himself in John 9:4 that shows this to be so. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. Jesus knew that His time on earth was limited.   Later, after healing a man on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him.   Notice what He told them in John 5:17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.  His prayer of John 17:4 shows that in doing and completing that work, He glorified the Father.   I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

     Some are very quick to point out that it is grace that saves, not “works”. These same folks cite Ephesians 2:5 as proof. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) It is most unfortunate that these folks stop reading with this verse, and refuse to acknowledge Ephesians 2:8. This verse shows that God’s Grace is part of His plan to save.   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Faith is man’s part in the salvation of his own soul.   “Faith” here, means more than simply believing. It means one will obey the Word of God.

     Romans 10:17 informs that “faith” is derived from the Word of God. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  We also read in Titus 2:11 that all have access to this saving grace of God.  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Then we read in verse 12 what that “grace” is and what it does for us.  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 

       God’s Grace to man includes Him sending His only begotten Son to die on the cross at Calvary to purchase the church. It also includes what Christ promised His apostles in John 14:26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.That which the Spirit gave them was the Word of God. That Word must be followed to be pleasing to God.   When the Word is followed, those who follow it will “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” – Philippians 2:12.

      Still, many insist that God’s Grace is all that is needed for one to be saved, and after “jumping overEphesians 2:8, pull Ephesians 2:9 out and “wrest it” by claiming all they need is faith. Not of works, lest any man should boast.  What will they do with James 2:17-18?   Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.   

     Are they also willing to ignore the Words of Christ in Matthew 16:27? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.   What about the Words the Spirit gave Paul to write in 2Corinthians 5:10?   Are these not important? For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Christ in John 12:48 said: He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 

       Isn’t it about time to “get to work” for the Lord? If you truly love Him, you’ll keep His Commandments as Jesus told His disciples in John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments. Keeping His Commandments entails obeying the gospel to become a child of God, then “working” to maintain a proper relationship with God in accordance to His Word.

       The Spirit had Paul write in 1Corinthians 15:58 that our “work” for God brings an eternal reward. forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.


Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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