Devotional Thoughts for Today
“According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”
The Western church has been operating from a sacred and secular divide for some time. We place more value to work that is directly related to those things that we’ve deemed as spiritual- like going on missions, prayer, or reading the Bible. As a result, at times pastors or missionaries are placed on a pedestal. They are deemed as those who are doing the real work of God. For this reason, “ordinary” work outside of the church (i.e., vocations) like business, medicine, or construction is almost given second class status on the spiritual scale. We say that these jobs are important but pales in comparison to work done in the church.
In our passage for today, we see the Israelites finishing up the work of building the tabernacle. One thing that struck me as I read through the detailed description of the building, is that God values ordinary work like construction, design, and other seemingly non-spiritual labor. Imagine how many different types of people, workers, and materials were needed to organize and construct the tent of meeting. Every person- whether it was the priests, the construction workers, or Moses himself- was needed for the completion of this project; and Moses blessed them for it. God’s favor was proclaimed over all people involved because it was in obedience to God, and it created for them a place to witness God’s glory and respond in worship. Both the “spiritual” work of the priest was just as important as the architects who brought God’s designs to life.
Whether you are a church leader or someone with a career out in the world, if your work reflects God’s glory and brings flourishing to those around you, God blesses that work. It is not less because it might not fit into what we have characterized as “spiritual” work. But God is pleased by all work when it is done in obedience to Him; therefore, remember that all our work matters. Nevertheless, watch out that the priority of the Body life (i.e., our spiritual community)—in which we worship (proskuneō) God, fellowship with and serve others—is not relegated to play second fiddle to our vocational calling. When and if that happens, any godly intention behind our career will quickly morph into the advancement of self-interest (See Note 2 below). With that in mind, let us work for the glory of God in all that we do, whether in the church or our workplaces!
Prayer: Father, thank You for the skills and abilities you have given me. Help me to see everything I do as an opportunity to worship You and to see your purpose in all that I do!
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 20
Lunch Break Study
Read Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”
Questions to Consider
- What do you think it means to work heartily?
- How do we know if we are working “as for the Lord” or “for men?
- How are you navigating between responsibilities at your work and your church? What about your time alone with the Lord?
- It is to put your entire life force, energy, and determination to whatever work God has laid before you in terms of work and responsibilities. In God’s kingdom, as Dallas Willard says, grace is not opposed to effort (Prov. 14:23; 2 Tim. 2:6).
- What is the driving motivation for your work? Is it the approval of man, the building up of your own status and kingdom, or is it God’s will? We can easily deceive ourselves into thinking that we are working for God. We only know by honestly assessing our own motivations.
- Personal response.
Take some time to think through the work and responsibilities God has given you in this season. How are you working in those areas to bring God glory? In what ways might you be motivated by something besides God’s kingdom?