Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week Forty-Eight - Work


“…him that worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” 
Ephesians 1:11

And who is this “him” that worketh?  It is none other than God himself.  God works.  He worked at creation for six days setting all things in order.  And, he works throughout time keeping order in the universe and revealing himself to man, providing a Saviour and directing all things according to his own will.  He has no overseer.  He is his own counsellor and accountant.  He works independently.  He is totally self-employed!
Yet, his work is not impersonal or self-absorbed.  He works for his glory – because it all consists because of him, yet, we are the clients.  We are the tools.  We are the objects of his passion. He is so thorough that nothing goes without notice or attention.  He works all things. He sees every tear and every good deed.  He knows every word and every thought.  He sees through darkness and never slumbers nor sleeps. 

Why? To accomplish his will which he set before the foundation of the world.  God’s will or plan is so intricate.  It weaves in every individual, every circumstance, every whispered prayer, every broken heart, every joy-filled moment in order that His will be accomplished.  Nothing escapes his attention and nothing is wasted. I know, we can’t imagine it – but – we can believe it.  God works all things on our behalf to accomplish His plan through us.  Amazing!

With a God so active and involved in our lives, what is left to do but trust him?  Oswald Chambers wrote:  “I will never think of anything my Father will forget, so why should I worry?”

Take time to meditate on this question:  Is there anything in your life outside of His working? So…is there anything you need be worried about?


“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13

Here he is working again, this time, working in you!
If God is so all mighty, all-knowing and sovereign, why would he need me?  Why would he bother when one word from Him could end everything or make everything right?  Surely one individual is not totally necessary to his plan?  Yet, he works in me to accomplish his will.  I am a part of his will and plan.  I am not a random creature.  He is eternally interested in my part of the plan and works in me to see that fulfilled. 

So, I can believe that I am a valuable tool, useful to the Master as a part of his plan.  I love that idea.  Being a tool.  It means to me that all I have to do is allow Him to do His work.  I don’t have to choose where and when, just be available.  What he brings to my life, the gifts and abilities I have, my personality and the situations of my life are not random, but an endowment from him to be used by Him for my benefit and for others according to his good pleasure.  My life affects others and that is true for every one of us.  We are his creations and the tools in his hand with which he works to reveal himself and to bring men to Christ.

Can you believe that God is working in you?  What do you think would be His good pleasure in your life?  Are you willing to simply be a tool in His hand?


“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight…”  Hebrews 13:21

Now, God and I start working together.  He is still working in me as He wills.  He does with me those things that are wellpleasing, acceptable, to him. He does not lead me to sin or failure.  He does not falter in his work.  He is a faithful co-worker as I yield to him.
I like the word wellpleasing!  It means acceptable.  He is making me acceptable.  Acceptable in his sight – how wonderful!
What am I to be doing?  With Christ as my example, I am to be going about doing good.  Good works do have a part to play in our Christian life and service.  Doctrine is great and vital.  Separation is definitely called for, but good works demand that we take our doctrine to the world and abandon fear as we go out to evangelize and demonstrate the love of God. 

I John 4 says that our outpouring and use of the love of God in good works and love of the brethren perfects our love: it increases the very character of God in us, for, God is love.  And as we appropriately and lovingly participate in the work of God we are wellpleasing in his sight!   Part of the amazing thing is that we think we are doing so good! We think we are doing the work, when actually; he is doing it through us!
I guess that is why we are admonished to not become weary in well doing.  God knows what we think.  We think we work hard and that we are such great servants!  Or, maybe we think that if anything is going to be done round here, we have to do it ourselves.  These are poor attitudes for service!  Better to realize that in our flesh there is no good. The only good in us is what God has placed in us and what he draws out of us by His Spirit working in us!  We get to work with him…to be wellpleasing!

Is your work and service wellpleasing?


“….the works that I do shall he do also;
 and greater works than these shall he do…”
John 14:12

Jesus is addressing the disciples.  These are the men who doubt and struggle.  These are the men who follow Jesus, but are in need of much instruction and encouragement.  These are the men whose faith wavers – yet, Jesus says if they will believe, they will do even greater works than he.  And, we know that later they become men of great faith as the power of the Holy Spirit works in them.
We, then, coming some two thousand years later, have the same promise. We have the seal and power of the Spirit and we are to be working the works of Christ.  He is our example.
The promise is that my work could be greater.  This isn’t referring to size, but volume.  Yes, as servants of Christ we can accomplish more works than Christ the man alone.  Jesus had but those few years of ministry to accomplish the work the Father had given him to do.  The Apostles then carried on that work to their generation.  And from generation to generation Christ’s followers have been following His pattern and multiples and multiples of souls have come to the Father. 

Matthew Henry says, when commenting on this verse,  “The truth is, the captivating of so great a part of the world to Christ, was the miracle of all.”  We have a part in that miracle.  Not only do we have a part, but also we are a part of the extension of Christ’s ministry. And as we continue by reaching our generation we extend that miracle through the centuries – so let us be about the Father’s business today.

What work did Christ do?  Pointing men to God, loving, healing, caring, praying, giving, teaching, and sharing life. All of these and more are the works of Christ.  Which ones might you be able to do today? 


“I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
John 17:4

Jesus had good work ethics. He knew to do his business in the opportune moment.  He knew work would come to an end and he needed to take advantage of the time he was given.  He also knew what work was most valuable and managed his time to accomplish his God-given goals.  He did not do his work by halves, but was content that He had fulfilled all that had been given him to do.
It would be good practice for us to adopt this same ethic in every area of our lives.  The benefits could be seen as we applied it to our jobs, our ministries, our finance, our marriage, our child-rearing and home-making.  If we would focus each day on the most important tasks and work with each opportunity given we would see more accomplished and have a greater work satisfaction. 

Those plaguing thoughts of failure that come from lack of productivity would be extinguished.  We could pillow our heads each night and say, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”  John 17:4

What are the most important tasks you do each day?  What things get your side-tracked?  Do you know how to be productive?  Where could you improve if you adopted Jesus’ work ethic?  Do you finish each day with a feeling of accomplishment?

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