Your Job Matters to God – Part 5

In this six-part series, we’ve been discussing the reasons God considers our daily work a significant value. We underscored that our job:

(1) Enhances our self-esteem. When we accomplish something meaningful, we feel better about ourselves.

(2) Develops our character. Even difficult, unpleasant work can toughen us up and deepen us spiritually.

(3) Provides an opportunity for evangelism. Some of the people we rub shoulders with at work may never hear the Gospel from a pulpit, but if we exhibit a good work ethic, we gain credibility, and they will listen to us.

Here’s a fourth reason our work matters to God – a job well done pleases our Heavenly Father. In fact, He promises an eternal reward for those who perform their daily assignment with excellence. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” (Col 1:10).

Let me hasten to add that the Bible makes it very clear we are not saved by doing good works. Many people have the idea that God is going to judge us based on our moral performance. They imagine if our good deeds outweigh our evil deeds we will be welcomed into heaven. When asked, “Do you think you will go to heaven when you die, most will respond, “I hope so; I’ve lived a pretty good life.”

However, the Bible teaches that our good works are like filthy rags before God. Even our best efforts are imperfect and are performed with impure motives and evil thoughts. Sinful people can’t do enough to earn the favor of a righteous God. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “It is by grace you are saved through faith, this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works, lest anyone should boast.”

But while we don’t earn heaven by performing good works, we are saved to do good works as a testimony that Christ is living in us. Ephesians 2:10 reads, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Don’t you think Jesus arrived at the carpenter’s shop on time? The chairs and tables He made were excellent quality. He treated customers with kindness and grace. He was always honest. He paid His bills on time. At His baptism when the Father said, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased,” He was referring to Jesus’ entire thirty-year earthly performance, not just His baptism.

As a teenage boy, one of my chores was to mow the yard. We had a big yard, and it took three or four hours to mow it in its entirety. I didn’t particularly like mowing grass but I loved and respected my father, so I tried to do it well. In the evening when my dad came home all he needed to say was, “Yard looks good!” and I immediately felt a sense of satisfaction and well-being.

The Bible says that one day we will all stand before God and give an account of the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). If we love our Heavenly Father imagine the sense of satisfaction from hearing Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant!” That commendation in itself will thrill our souls.

But it gets even better! The Heavenly Father promises a significant reward in heaven for those who have conscientiously performed their jobs well. First Corinthians 3:13-15 reads, “….the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

Jesus told a parable of a wealthy prince who entrusted ten servants with a “mina,” a large sum of money. When the prince returned from a lengthy trip, the first servant said, “Master, I doubled your money.” The prince replied, “Great work! Because you’ve been trustworthy in this small job, I’m making you mayor of ten towns.” The second servant said, “Master, I made a fifty percent profit on your money.” The master responded, “Good, I’m putting you in charge of five towns.”

A third apologized, “Master, I was afraid and just kept your money hidden in the cellar. Here it is.” The prince immediately condemned him as a wicked servant because he had done nothing. In anger, he took his initial investment back and gave it to another. (See Luke 19:11-27.)

In that parable, Jesus made it clear that when you perform your job well the Lord is pleased and He will reward you according to your effort. That means you honor God as much by doing a good job in the workplace as you do by singing hymns in the sanctuary. Your job performance is your Monday through Friday worship.

Paul Meyer, a believer who made millions in insurance, wrote a pamphlet, “My Work is My Ministry.” It says, “Once and for all, we need to put to rest the notion that the only way to please God or make an impact in the world is to be a minister of the gospel. Our work is not something we do in hopes that we will have an opportunity to do ministry; IT IS MINISTRY! God has called us to work. People who have been searching for their divine calling might find it has been under their noses all along.”

That’s why Colossians 3:23-24 reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

 

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