Scripture says that a man who will not work should not eat and that a man who will not work to provide for his family is worse than an infidel. Obviously, Scripture reveals that God has powerful feelings towards those who work and those who don't!
Paul, the source of much of Scripture’s comments about work, also provided this commentary, “May you walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in EVERY GOOD WORK and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)
Every good work, the phrase is used eight to ten times in the New Testament. And, if there is good work, then doesn’t that labeling also reveal there must be the possibility for bad work? So consider some things with me…
Have you ever thought about the fact that the installation of work took place before Man committed his first sin? Thus, work is not a byproduct of sin. Instead, God exemplifies His word being at work through His power of Creation. God made man in His image and assigned him to work. It was only on the other side of man’s failure that work became associated with toil, pain, and the agony of battling thorns and thistles.
It seems quite clear -- as one merges the Old Testament and New Testament’s contextual statements on the subject of work -- God expects us to be people who will work for His purposes through ministerial endeavors.
Don’t get anything confused with all of this discussion about work. We do not gain entry into Heaven or receive salvation from our sin due to our works. We can only be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, lest any man could boast. Jesus’ death on the cross and His bloodshed remitted our sins! No amount of fleshly work can reconcile us to God. That miracle can only happen by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. However, we exemplify our faith by being people who work, not just in industry and secular society, but by working in our assignment in Christ’s plan for humanity’s salvation. Here is what I believe GOD wants... 1. YOUR ZEAL CAN BE RESTORED. Throughout the New Testament, Paul is a beautiful encourager of good works and what God wants, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that...we should live godly in the present age, looking for the ... glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might… purify for Himself His own special people, ZEALOUS for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV) When there is zeal inside of you to do good work, you are one of God’s special people. God deposits a zeal inside of us so that we may go out and do good works! And Jesus taught us that when we do good works on earth, those works shine a light into the dark places that result in people beginning to glorify God. So, there is light associated with your good work! The PROBLEM throughout human history’s timeline is that people tend to lean more towards being defiled, “...to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and DISQUALIFIED for every good work.” Titus 1:15-16 NKJV) God wants to be in your good works! He wants to light up the world through your good works. BUT so many people disqualify themselves because they would instead do works of the flesh rather than works of the Spirit. Disqualification is a real issue! The SOLUTION, according to Paul, you are qualified by God to do good works. 2. YOU ARE QUALIFIED. Giving thanks to the Father who has QUALIFIED us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light… - Colossians 1:12 (NKJV) The grace of Jesus Christ qualifies you! It doesn’t matter which sin may have disqualified you. Through Jesus, you are forgiven and able to be a part of good works on earth. Through shame, condemnation, guilt, and wrongful accusations, DO NOT let the enemy tell you that you are disqualified. This is a lie! You can be qualified to do good works through salvation! Why would God QUALIFY us? 3. YOU CAN BE FRUITFUL. Because He wants to use you! He is looking for laborers, and He wants to be in your good works, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being FRUITFUL in every good work…” (Colossians 1:10 NKJV) There is a harvest of people just waiting to be reached and brought into a relationship with God, but Jesus is short on laborers. This reality is not a new issue. The Kingdom of Heaven has needed laborers for over 2,000 years… Consider the promise that the house of the Lord is filled when God’s laborers go and compel the lost to come in. God has chosen not to be responsible for all the work-- He wants us to help Him build the church! God provides the blueprints, and we do the labor through the might of His strength released in us and through us. We must live compelling lives! We are qualified through grace to be fruitful in every good work and please the Lord. God is pleased when people are productive. He wants to see us winning souls to Jesus Christ. He wants to see us loving Him and loving others! He wants to see us lighting up the world! 4. YOU CAN INCREASE IN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Look at this verse again, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being FRUITFUL in every good work and increasing in the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.” (Colossians 1:10 NKJV) Are you increasing in the knowledge of God? This advancement is incredibly important if you desire to be fruitful in your life. How can you increase in your KNOWLEDGE OF GOD so that your work for Him can be more FRUITFUL? How can you make sure that you’ve God in it? The answer might surprise you... Take time to rest in God. We have a philosophy that we work to rest, but that’s not how God created man. God modeled that man would rest in the work of Heaven in the book of Genesis, as God’s 7th day was Man’s first day. That means, the first day that Man was alive, he rested with God. Perhaps, they spent time restfully observing and enjoying the wonder of all the work God had done! Understand that life is not just about work, work, work...but more about starting from a place of rest in a relationship with God and letting Him show you everything He can do, wants to do, and is capable of doing in your life. We all need time and space to see what God can do! Structure your life, so you work from rest, not work to rest. Even Jesus modeled this example in His ministry by stating that any work He did on the Earth, He had first seen His Father reveal to Him during prayer times. Take time to rest and sync up with God so that God can be in your life. I like to think of it in this way, Get alone with God, get the download from Heaven’s Word for your life, and then update your life’s plans with God’s word. The result is that you will be a lot more effective in EVERY GOOD WORK! 5. YOU CAN BE EQUIPPED. We must be EQUIPPED through God’s Word! “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly EQUIPPED for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV) All Scripture is given by God so that you can become thoroughly equipped for every good work! Set aside time to be with the Lord, to partake of the Word of God. Celebrate your qualification to do His work. Allow God to place a zeal in you to do His good work and be fruitful and pleasing to God. 6. YOU CAN BE ESTABLISHED. And, never forget the only reason that you can be EQUIPPED is that you have been ESTABLISHED through JESUS, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ...who has loved us and given us… good hope by grace… ESTABLISH you in every good work…” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NKJV) God wants to give you a firm foundation to do good works, but you must first have a relationship with Jesus. It is through Jesus that you are qualified, equipped, and established. If you want God in it, you have to know Jesus! → ALL OF YOUR WORKS WILL BE JUDGED. I leave you with one final verse from the wisest man to ever live outside of Jesus Christ Himself, Solomon. He stated this sobering truth, “For God will bring every work into JUDGMENT, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NKJV) Your works can not earn you salvation, but there are rewards in Heaven based on our good works. It is never too late to start storing up your treasures in Heaven...It is never too late to let God use you to spread light and compel the lost…Because of Grace, it is never too late to be who you might have been! YOU can be used to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ! There is so much more included in this message when engaged in its entirety, and I hope you will give it a listen. You can view this message here: https://youtu.be/jv1LNAAAjLo
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