Daniel Fast Day 16

Take this Job and Love it!

As new creatures in Christ, every part of our lives is affected. Serving Jesus means everything we do becomes sacred. Christ is the Head of the church, the Head of our homes, the Head of our families, and the Head of all we do. This new life in Christ is all-encompassing. Nothing is left out, irrelevant, too big or too small. It is all included. His kingdom has come in our hearts and now we must demonstrate it in all we do and all we say. We now live our lives from the inside out, not the outside in. Meaning, our approach to life does not hinge on who we are with or on what we do. We do not change our spiritual clothes like we change our natural clothes as pertaining to the weather. In all circumstances, Jesus is the first consideration in the way we worship, the way we relate, and the way we work. Jesus changes everything.

Here’s our reality: we are all called to ministry. There is not a single Christ follower who does not have a mission and a mission field. None of us have a secular job; all of our work has become sacred unless we are doing something wrong or immoral. I am sure you are aware of the old adage, “Do what you love and you will never work another day in your life.” That’s a nice bumper sticker, but it’s not true. What if what I love to do is sing? I may love to sing but here’s what I know, nobody is going to pay me for my singing because nobody wants to listen to me sing. I love to do it but I will be broke. I understand that the saying is well meaning in its intent, but it is misleading. I love what God has called me to do, but it is hard work. It is rewarding and very fulfilling, but it remains hard work. But here is what you can do, take the job you have and love it! Change the way you see your work and that same old job might become a blessing instead of a burden. Colossians 3:22(ESV) “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.”

We need to see our jobs as worship, not simply labor. We don’t work hard only when we are being observed or told to, we work hard because our work is an expression of our devotion to the Lord. As Christ followers, we value work because it is a way in which we honor the Lord. Therefore, we do not work with a halfhearted effort. We give our best because it’s for His glory. Colossians 3:23(AMP) “Whatever you do whatever your task may be, work from the soul that is, put in your very best effort, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” We work in excellence and with integrity, we do our very best. We work hard and we work smart with a positive attitude and a healthy mindset. We do not obtain our value from what kind of job we have or even how much we get paid. God rewards faithfulness and fruitfulness, not rank. We do not worship our jobs; our work can become idolatry if we are not careful. We value working hard not because it gives us value, but because it is a way by which we can honor the Lord.

Sloppy, disorganized, late, no follow through, not learning from our mistakes, missing assignments, difficult to work with, and bad attitudes should never describe us. Lazy, self-absorbed, what’s in it for me, entitled attitudes and behaviors will never bring anyone to Christ. Proverbs 19:15(CEV) “If you are lazy and sleep your time away, you will starve.” Hard working, attention to detail, punctuality, pleasant to work with, going the extra mile, attentive, willing to learn, and receives correction well are qualities that we must be known for. These kinds of qualities might open the door to someone’s heart so that we could share Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31(NLT) “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. Our workplaces are our mission fields because there are people that need Jesus. The way you work will help you when you tell someone about Jesus. If you are a lazy know it all and never produce anything positive, why would someone listen to how amazing your faith in Jesus is? If Jesus has made a true difference in your life, it will be evident in all you do, including the way you work.

Paul gives a very strong rebuke to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-11(NKJV) “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.  For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.  For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.” 

Paul set the example and worked hard with labor and toil day and night. Does that sound like a freeloader? This man wrote two thirds of the New Testament by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, yet he worked making tents. Three times Paul mentions not to be disorderly and he commands them to do things the right way; he doesn’t suggest it. Do you think this might be important? Absolutely! Lazy busybodies are out of order. God is a God of order. He brings order out of chaos and He gives us patterns that we can follow. Even in the operation of spiritual gifts, there is order.  1 Corinthians 14:39-40(NKJV) “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order.” If we build our lives on the pattern God supplies, we are fruitful. If you are lazy, you are out of order. If you can work but you choose not to work, you shouldn’t eat.

You might ask, what if our hard work is not appreciated or rewarded? It is. It might not be appreciated by the people we work with, but our Real Employer sees us. Colossians 3:24(J.B. Phillips) “Knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ, and not just by your earthly master.” 

The company you work for is the vehicle God uses to supply your needs but your Real Employer, the One that really matters, is Christ. Colossians 3:25(NLT) “But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.” God shows no favoritism. He is clear. Regardless of your title or position, He rewards according to your obedience. Just putting in time does not equal obedience; diligence and integrity do. We sow seeds by the way we work. What harvest we receive will be determined by the kind of seeds we sow. 

This same warning goes to those who employ others. Colossians 4:1(NLT) “Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.” As far as possible, people should be compensated justly and treated fairly. We cannot have toxic environments as Christian employers and think it is okay. How we treat those who work with us says a lot about what we think of our Master in Heaven. We will have to give an account for our stewardship of others and no one should be subjected to any kind of abuse in the workplace, especially when we profess Christ. In Christ’s kingdom, we do not throw our weight around or use our position as leverage. We must be careful that we don’t lord over people, but that we serve them.

How refreshing would it be for all of us to accept our personal responsibility? To work with great effort and wisdom. To understand that all we do is sacred. May we live with the awareness that every day we go to work, we enter our mission field. May we offer all we do to the Lord, including our work. As we place it before the Lord, may He crown our efforts with success. You might not be able to get a new job but maybe your old job can get a new you. 

Romans 12:1-2(MSG) “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Prayer and Reflection:
  • How well do you worship the Lord with your work? Do you make Christ attractive to others in the way you work?
  • What attitudes do you need to change to see your job in a new light?
  • How aware are you that you are working for the Lord? What can you do to remind yourself that Jesus is your real boss? Will it change the way you work?
  • How often do you pray for your fellow employees and employers? It is difficult to work and not be rewarded. Do you pout or get angry when this happens, or do you ask the Lord for His blessing? 
  • What kind of seeds are you sowing at your job? Will you enjoy the harvest when Jesus rewards you, or will you regret it?

Father, thank You that I have a job to go to. Thank You that You give me the health and strength to work. Thank You that through the job I have, You provide for my needs. My trust is not in the company I work for, my trust is in Your supernatural supply. You provide for me and my family and I am grateful for it. Forgive me when I complain and whine about work. Forgive me for not seeing that You called me into ministry and that my mission field is right before me. 

Give me the wisdom to work diligently and in excellence. Let me not be disorderly and bring reproach to Your Name. I ask that You would help my fellow believers who are struggling without a job; that You would provide and open new doors of opportunity for them. Help me to take my job and love it, even if it is not perfect. I know You are perfecting me, through it. Let my work not become an idol, but let it be worship that You are pleased with. Thank You Jesus for being my real Master. May You find me faithful and fruitful. In Jesus Name, Amen! 
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