“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men... You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
In the beginning, God made Adam to work the garden in Eden that He had pronounced very good. Work was meaningful and a pleasure, as was every aspect of the Lord’s perfect creation, including the woman formed to help him. God intended for His man to work according to His pleasure, yet in love-given free will, Adam chose his own temporal pleasure, inviting upon himself and mankind the curse of difficult, thorny toil. Still work was ordained, yet now would require sweat and trouble. (Genesis 1:31; 2:5-8,15,18,21-23; Genesis 3:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 3:10)
And so we toil as fellow laborers in our places here below. Until we reach glory, we shall be about the mysterious and wonderful work of Christ commingled with Him, alongside Him, inspired and empowered by Him. He does not leave us alone, but has prepared our work in advance and works His strength in us as we put hand to task. How well do we cooperate in His operation? (1 Corinthians 3:9; Philippians 4:13)
Whose agenda do I daily serve? Do I work alone, or willingly engage others who could use the encouragement, training, or help? What can I shift in mindset or habit to ensure I am investing in the works God has saved and prepared me to do?
“Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek
Your erring children, lost and lone.
Oh, lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wand’ring and the wav’ring feet.
Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Your hungry ones with manna sweet.
Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.
Oh, fill me with your fullness, Lord,
Until my very hearts o’erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Your love to tell, your praise to show.
Oh, use me, Lord, use even me,
Just as you will, and when, and where
Until your blessed face I see,
Your rest, your joy, your glory share.” ~Frances Havergal (1872)
Infuse me with your strength, O Lord
Make keen my mind and brave my heart
To recognize and serve the needs
Your people suffer and impart.
All for Your ends and glory, Amen.