Do It For God
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Let’s face it, work can be frustrating. We may not feel appreciated, paid enough, or feel as if others work as hard as we do. You may also feel as though you are not making much of a difference in the world with your line of work, and believe you could be doing much more for the Lord. These are all feelings we have probably felt one time or another; or might even still be wrestling with.
The church in Colossi had a mixed group of members; some of them were even slaves. Paul specifically addresses the slaves in today’s verses. He tells them to work heartily because they are really working for the Lord. Think about this for a minute and let it sink in.
Remember today that, no matter what you do for a living, you are working for the Lord! You don’t have to be a missionary or a staff member at a church. Where you are right now can be used to serve the King of kings, and Lord of lords. The reason we can say this, and be joyful in this, is because our reward is not a promotion or pay raise. Our reward isn’t being employee of the month or a bonus. Our reward is our inheritance with the saints in Heaven (Colossians 1:12). This reward can never be taken away, and has much more value than anything that could ever be purchased here on earth.
When you want to quit or stop doing your job, remember today’s verses. Stop and say a prayer and thank Jesus for making a way for you to have the ultimate inheritance through His death on the cross. Take a few deep breaths and remember that you aren’t working for men but for the greatest boss ever, Jesus.
Question for reflection: Are you frustrated in your work? Why do you think that is?
Step for Change: Reset your mind and attitude to reflect your relationship with Christ in work today.
Passage for further study: Colossians 3:1-25
Finding Honor In What You Do
After the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God passed out conse- quences. To Adam He said, “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:17–19).
A consequence of sin is that work is toil—the ground is cursed, filled with thorns, thistles, and weeds, and work is painful, sweaty, and laborious. That’s why we call it work. The difficulty of work is part of the judgment for sin.
Yet while work is cursed and twisted, hard work is honorable. Paul alluded to this in 1 Thessalonians 2:9, “For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” Paul worked hard, day and night. Working hard and coming home tired is honorable.
That doesn’t mean every job is fulfilling. The concept that you should have a job that perfectly fits your talents and passions can undermine the satisfaction you find in work. No one loves every part of his or her job. Yes, some jobs directly enrich people’s lives, which can feel gratifying: being a plumber, a teacher, a salesman or engineer. But just because some work seems more fulfilling does not mean other work isn’t just as honorable. “Whatever you do”—there is honor in your work and in providing for yourself and your family.
Question for reflection: What do you find fulfilling in the work you do?
Step for Change: Look for opportunities to use your work as a witness to the world around you of God’s grace.
Passage for further study: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-20
Growing In Faith Is Work Too
We should embrace the dignity and joy of working hard. King Solomon promoted it: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, ESV). The Apostle Paul commended it: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” In fact, Paul added that those who won’t work could skip their next meal. “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV).
The Bible is replete with models of hard workers: David, the shepherd; Amos, the fig farmer; Paul, the tent-maker; Lydia, seller of purple; Jesus, the carpen- ter. At the end of the day, it’s a good thing to exhaust yourself in meaningful work.
You might wonder, how hard is too hard? To clarify, you can’t work too hard; you can work too much. If you invest too much into your career, you neglect other things that matter more.
While you’re at work, work really hard; then go home and work really hard on what God has given you there: your walk with God, or your marriage, or the hunt for a marriage partner, or parenting, or your education, or whatever is next for you.
Work hard—everywhere, and on everything. Question for reflection:Am I working hard?
Step for Change: Pray and then act to change your mindset and actions to reflect an emphasis on hard work.
Passage for further study: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-17
Growing In Faith Is Work Too
While we may wish the rules were different, there are a few time-tested truths about growing and maturing. They take work. And they also involve patience, persistence, and sacrifice. Today is not so much about the “work” you do as it is about knowing that it takes work to get anything done. No Olympic cham- pion ever found his way to the gold medal stand by eating a diet of candy bars and taking naps every day. To attain a high level of achievement, we under- stand that hard work is not optional.
Our walk with God is no different. In order to be the type of Christians who truly personify the hands and feet of Christ in every aspect of our lives, we must work hard.
The apostle Paul explained why he insisted on being a disciplined Christian: “Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
When we are not stretching ourselves, when we are not growing, we are stagnating spiritually. We miss out on God’s best for us at that moment. To obey God at every turn is to honor Him to the fullest. Yet, it is not easy.
Making the conscious decision to disobey God shows how prideful we really are. Conversely, deciding to obey God exemplifies a spirit of true humility. Even though we may think God’s plan looks impossible, through faith and trust in Him, we will arrive at the conclusion that He indeed knows best. And when we are walking with God, certain His every move is for our best, we will grow to heights only God knew we could reach.
Prayer: Lord, help me resist the temptation to do what looks easiest, and always obey your voice. Strengthen me, that I may fulfill your work. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Question for reflection: Am I doing work on my relationship with Jesus? Am I doing work because of my relationship with Jesus?
Step for Change: Work hard at developing spiritual discipline in my life.
Passage for further study: Ma
When To Work, How To Work
Do you ever ask whether what you do really matters? Do you feel like no one notices your hard work? Do you feel worn out from working hard and some- times find it hard to motivate yourself to keep going? When you’re feeling a bit defeated, tired and guestion what value the work you do really has, how do you keep going?
Every day is a new opportunity to make a difference in your work – sometimes it is actually in the workplace or in the form of the work you do. Other times your effectiveness comes as a result of your work, the payment you receive that allows you to provide for your family.
It’s easy to get frustrated and start to wallow in the despair of your work. You tell yourself “I’m unappreciated.” Or “the work I do never gets noticed.” That is not just a struggle in the workplace but also for the homemaker. Mom or Dad who stays at home and manages the household can struggle with worth and value in what they do day in and day out.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
Question for reflection: Is all that I do worth it if only God recognizes my efforts?
Step for Change: PRAY – Father give me heart that longs to please you more than anything else.
Passage for further study: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Seeking Approval In Your Work
God sees our hard work. God knows why we do it. It is for Him. For the people we love. For those who benefit from the work we do. God sees our hearts and He wants us to know that what we do matters.
God doesn’t value those who have doctorates, earn six-figure salaries or have a big fan base more than those who spend their days doing what is largely unseen. In fact, He tells us that they have already received their reward in full and for the unseen the reward is yet to come!
Dod knows when we work faithfully to care for those around us. God knows when we remain steadfast in our work. God knows how tired we sometimes feel. God wants us to know that our hard work is never wasted.
One day He will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23
Question for reflection: Are you working for the approval of others? Are you working for he satisfaction to yourself? Are you working for the benefit of society? Or for the approval of the Master?
Step for Change: Work for the glory of God in all that you do.
Passage for further study: Matthew 25:1-46
Growing In Faith Is Work Too
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.(Ephesians 2:10)
God put us on Earth to do a certain work that only we can do. Ephesians says that God made us to do good works and that he planned in advance what we would spend our lives doing. However, he didn’t plan for us to do that work alone. We are His workmanship and we need other people to work with us.
You know the feeling you get when you do too much work on your own. You get exhausted and burned out. Why? Because you’re trying to do your work alone, while God never meant for it to be that way. God tells us in Ecclesi- astes 4 that 9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”
When you work as a team, you get so much more done. Plus, having good teammates alongside you is a whole lot more fun and less tiring! Did you know that when we work together here on Earth, we’re actually practicing for eternity? In Heaven, we will all have to work, but each of us will have just a small piece of work, so we’ll never get overloaded or tired. Though no one will carry a heavy burden as each one of us does our small part, all the work will still get done.
As you walk through life, remember that you’re not supposed to do everything on your own. You need other people to walk alongside you, but you also need other people to work alongside you. As you share the burden of your work with fellow Christians, you’ll find that you actually accomplish more for the glory of God.
Question for reflection: How can you get people to help you in the work God wants you to do? Who can you help?
Step for Change: Look for teammates!
Passage for further study:Hebrews 10:24-25