From the beginning of time in the garden, God designed man to work. “The LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” Gen 2:15. Man is designed to work. The body is a machine designed to work. The man that’s idle will wither away and come to ruin. Sloth and laziness is the alternative to a working man. This is God’s design that we work and keep His work.
The judgment will be an assessment of the works which man has done. “What did you do with what I gave to you?” will be the question each soul is called to answer at the last day.
GOD WORKS AND SO WE WORK
“But He answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.'” Jn 5:17. We mustn’t think that God has been idle since completing the creation in six days. God rested from the creation, but He works still. And Christ Jesus our example came to do the Father’s will, Heb 10:7,9. It was the works which Jesus completed in His earthly ministry which glorified the Father. “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” Jn 17:4. If we are like Christ, we too will live holy and sanctified lives that gives God glory. The meaning of Jesus’ words, “in the world, but not of the world” is that the Christian life is characterized by doing God’s works.
GOD’S PLAN TO REDEEM IS ALSO THE PLAN TO MAKE WORKERS OF WHAT IS GOOD
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph 2:10
“12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12,13
“who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Tit 2:14. Until the Christian prays and makes his daily life to be a life of service to the zealous service unto God, he has not yet become what Christ died for.
SPIRITUAL WORK COMES WITH ETERNAL REWARD
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Gal 6:9
“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Heb 6:10
“And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Heb 13:16
“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thess 3:13
Work that is noble is a joy to do. The work which our hands do should always be motivated by the reward it brings. A man that thinks and creates and then enjoins his body to bring that to fruition is a pleasurable thing. A farmer enjoys the green and lush field. The farmer enjoys the fruit bursting on the stalks. The filled barns is a cause of joy. A builder enjoys erecting something that is useful and appealing to the eye. Work is enjoyable because it is in this that man is like God. God is the Maker and man is making all the time.
But there is work that is particularly related to eternal things. Most all work is noble and to be enjoyed. Water for the thirsty can be water you offer for the cause of Christ. Visiting the sick can be a work for Christ (read Mt 25:34ff). A minister of the Gospel preaches and teaches which results in souls being converted to walking with Christ. Another soul is added to the roles of heaven with the work of ministry. Not everyone is an Evangelist (Eph 4:11ff), but every Christian should share the Word of God and have a part of the work that is eternal in nature.
OUR WORKS CAN DENY CHRIST
“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Tit 1:16. The Christian life isn’t only in believing and professing faith, but the Christian life is lived. Until our works are God’s works, we remain useless to the cause of Christ.
LEARN TO DO GOOD WORKS
As God works still, and as Christ still works, every ready to help us in intercession, so God’s people must learn to do good works.
“This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.” Tit 3:8
“Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” Tit 3:14.
DO THE WORK YOU DO TO THE GLORY OF GOD
We recall that many are manpleasers. They do what they do to be seen of men, to which Jesus says, “they have received their reward in full.” Mt 6:5.
The spiritual thinking man does His works unto the glory of God. When Jesus said “you are the light of the world” and “you are salt”, He said to the disciples to “let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mt 5:12-14.
In the reminder of the coming Judgement in Matthew 25:31ff, Jesus says to the sheep who did good works that “you did it to Me.” Mt 25:40.
Christians do all they do to the glory of God if they are spiritual minded.
Christians do good works because, “with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Heb 13:16.
BEGIN SMALL IF YOU CANNOT BEGIN LARGE
Some Christians feel overwhelmed by the thought of living large in their Christianity. The idea of “converting a sinner from the error of His ways” is daunting and scary. But this is no excuse to not do something today. Even the one talent Christian was expected to work according to his own ability. So if you assess that you are not a five talent Christian, at the least you have one talent and this from God. So do not bury what God has given to you. Give someone water today. Serve the down trodden. Even give a phone call and maybe see what your best friend is doing this Sunday. There is work for every child of God. Start small and work your way up. God will be pleased with you if you act in faith.
Today you life can be a life wasted or it can be a day redeemed for the Lord. We can seize the minutes to His glory (see my previous post from Ephesians 5:16 and “redeeming the time”), Our day can be just more flittered away time; wasted away doing things meaningless in the big scheme of things. Or our lives we live with family, in church, at work, can all be lived to God’s glory. God truly cares about the works we do today.
Humbly I offer this, Dan Mayfield