Sunday, August 18, 2013

I'll Work for Thee

I am Your servant. Psalm 143:12

I work in an academic setting, and even though I work year-round, there is a certain new energy and pace of work that comes with the new school year (starting next week!). As I think about my work, I've been meditating on one of my favorite verses, and a verse that can bring you great encouragement - and hope - in your work as well.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever you do.

Notice that Paul doesn't say "when you do what you like" or "when you enjoy your work." He says WHATEVER YOU DO.

This likely will require a change in attitude, and I am preaching to myself as much as to anyone else...we must work as for the Lord, because we will receive our reward from Him. It is Him whom we serve.

So, even if you have a boss who is disagreeable, or a task that is undesirable, you can still work heartily. You can do this because you are serving your Father through the work you do.

And He deserves our service - as this hymnwriter says, we are mortals who have been set free from our sin - mortals with shortening days who are permitted to work and praise! What a privilege we have the serve the One who gave Himself up for us! And to praise Him while we're at it! Paul reminds the Colossians that praising, giving thanks, is an important part of our work.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17

Look - there's that familiar phrase: WHATEVER YOU DO. Do all in the name of your Lord, giving thanks!

He also deserves our best effort - our hearty work. He is our dearest friend, on whom our every hope depends!

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. Psalm 71:5

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:14

Because we work for the Lord, we can boast - not a vain boast, but a boast in Him.

Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. Psalm 20:7

We may not boast in chariots or horses, but we may be tempted to boast in computers, presentations - things that help us "win the battle" at work. However, we should choose to boast in the Lord - the one who has gifted us and given us our abilities to do our work and do it well.

But be careful to boast appropriately and give credit where credit is due - you do not want to be like a cloud without rain.

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely. Proverbs 25:14

Paul also exhorts us to boast carefully - and not to compare ourselves with others.

For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. Galatians 6:3-4

When we boast in the Lord, our boasting is not in vain. And when we work for the Lord, we're giving Him glory for what He has done for us. He came to earth to die for us, to save us from our sins. And He has prepared good work for us to do.

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

Let's work for Him!

I'll Work for Thee
Words by William Fawcett

Jesus, and may I work for Thee,
A mortal man from sin set free,
A mortal man with shortening days,
Permitted thus to work and praise?

I’ll work for Thee, I’ll work for Thee
Yes, dearest Lord, I’ll work for Thee.

To work for Thee, the Morning Star
That saw me lost, and from afar
Shed o’er my soul a light divine,
And comforted this heart of mine.

To work for Thee, my dearest friend,
On whom my every hope depends;
Who washed away my earthly shame,
And gave to me a new, best name.

I’ll work for Thee, Thou blessed One,
Eternal God, eternal Son,
And boast, but never boast in vain,
I’ll work for Him who once was slain.

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