The Lord’s Work
Today, you and I have work to do.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, when the apostle Paul instructed the church to welcome Timothy warmly into their community, it wasn’t because Timothy was trying to make a name for himself, held some honorific or title, or was seeking to become noteworthy. No, it was simply because Timothy was “doing the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 16:10).
The Lord’s work is anything on which we might lay our hands or focus our minds that is pleasing to God, as we work for him rather than in order to impress others (Colossians 3:23). This can be within the body of Christ or in service to the world around us.
Paul purposefully includes the phrase “whatever you do” in verse 17. The “whatever” of Christian service means that in all our endeavors, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we should seek to position ourselves to be effectively involved in gospel ministry. Whether we’re helping a neighbor, greeting visitors who come through the doors of our church, or volunteering in the community, every type of service is an opportunity to point others to our Savior. What a privilege it is to know that we were placed here on earth to be involved in seeing unbelieving people become committed followers of Jesus Christ!
Within the body of Christ, we should recognize that our spiritual growth is a result of others’ service to the Lord. Paul rightly viewed the Corinthians as the result of his labor in Christ’s name, writing, “Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1). The very existence of the church in Corinth was due to the fact that the apostle was doing the Lord’s work. Paul was neither irrelevant nor pre-eminent; rather, he was purposefully appointed to a specific responsibility.
As Christians, we are called not simply to sit and learn but to grow and go, to fish and feed. God appoints every believer to particular responsibilities within Christian ministry and service, and those responsibilities include working for Him in whatever circumstances and opportunities come our way today; for they do not come by chance but by divine arrangement. Paul admirably modeled this to us through his obedience to God’s call, recognizing that he was “a chosen instrument” who would carry God’s name “before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
The work of the Lord was something Paul took seriously. We should too. We are all called to honor God wherever we are. Consider what might change in how you think and what you do if in every moment you asked yourself, “Now, what would Jesus have me do here? How can I praise His name and bring Him pleasure in this moment?” Today, you have the privilege of having work to do for Him.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Unless the Lord Builds the House
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children1 of one's youth.
5Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.2
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