Today’s devotional, written by Cami King was originally posted on November 17, 2014. Cami now serves as a staff at Remnant Church in Manhattan.
Devotional Thought for Today
Proverbs 10:4, 26
The one who is lazy becomes poor, but the one who works diligently becomes wealthy . . . 26 Like vinegar to the teeth and like smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.
Martin Luther once said, “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
We live in a culture where we are taught, most of us anyway, to work hard. We’re socially inoculated with axioms to keep us working diligently like, “Hard work pays off” or “The early bird gets the worm.” And most of us wait expectantly for the pay off – our paycheck at the end of the week, a promotion at the end of the year, recognition at the end of a project, a successful child at the end of adolescence. We chirp, chirp with mouths open wide awaiting the worm for which we’ve worked so hard.
We are a hardworking, results oriented people. And for most of us, the motivation behind our work and the result that we seek is some kind of material gain. But today we learn from Martin Luther that there is reward beyond the material. God delights in good work, in a job well done. He relishes in a good product, not because of how much money we can make from it, but because of the good in the product itself.
Very few of us have been taught to simply value a job well done – good craftsmanship, thorough research, comprehensive reports, faithful service – not for what it can do for us, but for the good in the thing itself. Yes, hard work can make us physically wealthy, but it can also bring us great spiritual riches as we experience the pleasure of God.
Today, may we do our best at what we do, even the things that may not yield the greatest gain or that may go unseen, knowing that our heavenly father delights in a job well done. And his delight is an invaluable reward.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have sent me into the world to be a light and a blessing. May my faithfulness in even the most menial tasks be pleasing unto You and a blessing to those around me.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 42
Lunch Break Study
Slaves comprised the labor force in Paul’s day. Therefore, from his comments to them, we can learn how we, as participants in the labor force in our society, are to conduct ourselves.
Read Colossians 3:22-24: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Questions to Consider
- What do we learn from verses 22-23 about the manner in with which we should do our jobs?
- How does considering of your job as “working for the Lord” change your perspective, and how you do things?
- In what ways does verse 24 encourage you?
- The key words here are “sincerity” and “reverence.” We should be sincere in our efforts which leads to consistency – no matter who is looking, a sincere worker works faithfully. We should also work with reverence for God – no matter the task, we work to honor our Heavenly Father.
- For some of us, this reality will make us less self-centered in our work. For others of us, this reality may make us more faithful and less likely to cut-corners or do mediocre work. Whatever it may be for you, try to grasp the reality that it is God we are serving, not the people we work for.
- Our inheritance in Christ is secured regardless of the work we do. We don’t have to work to get things from God – Jesus has done all the work for us. This should free us to do good work for the joy of doing it and for the privilege of serving God – not just for the self-centered purpose of meeting our needs. With that said, the Bible does seem to suggest that there is even more in store for those who faithfully serve the Lord in all they do.
How did the passages for today challenge you? Did you experience the pleasure of God as you worked diligently today? Pray and ask God for the faithfulness to serve Him in all you do, not just for a material reward, but because there is eternal value in a job well-done.