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As You Go

“And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure…” 1 Corinthians 4:12 (NKJV)

Having been part of a mobile church for many years prior to being blessed with our own property and building, I have been blessed to work with many men and women over the years who will do whatever is needed to serve the body of believers.  Their love for God draws them to come early and to stay late to serve at church services—knowing there are needs, from setting up chairs, tables and classrooms for children’s ministry, to tearing everything down, packing it away, and cleaning restrooms.  Needless to say they are not afraid of working with their hands. 

One of the most amazing things about the people who volunteer at our church is that most of them work full-time jobs, and yet they are here at church faithfully for each service and activity to serve where there is a need.  They could just as easily stay home and relax, and live a fairly relaxed life, but they desire to be used by God to further the kingdom—doing what some would consider menial tasks. 

When I think about this I am reminded of how the Apostle Paul lived his life in a much similar fashion.  Paul worked very hard to further the kingdom of God by traveling throughout parts of the world to share the gospel message.  He would evangelize, set up new churches, and do whatever was needed. Paul could have settled down in any one of these churches and been justifiably compensated, but he wanted to avoid being a burden to anyone else — instead he chose to use his hands to make tents to sell so he could provide for his own physical needs.  Paul would do ministry in the morning, then go make tents during the middle of the day, and then return to doing ministry in the evenings.  His whole life revolved around being used by God, and he didn’t care what this entailed (cf. Acts 18:3, 20:34, 1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8).

As I think upon this I am reminded of how we can get so distracted by the enemy in building our earthly kingdoms, rather than our heavenly ones.  We can get so focused on our jobs that we can lose focus of the great commission we have been given by Jesus (Matt. 28:18-19), or not allow ourselves any time to serve in the church.

It really doesn’t matter whether we are working at the church or in the secular workplace full-time; each of us has been given unique gifts, talents, and abilities to further the kingdom of God.  Each of us has been called into ministry, and our ministry should never be confined to any certain location.  Jesus told His disciples, “As you go” share the gospel message (Matt. 10:7).  This means we should be ministering to everyone we encounter, wherever we go — even while we faithfully work with our hands to provide for the needs of our family (1 Tim. 5:8).

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today.  Ultimately everything we do should be done as unto the Lord (Col. 3:17, 23; 1 Cor. 10:31).  So, as you go throughout your day look for opportunities to bless others, and honor the Lord with whatever you put your hands to — knowing you’re working with your hands for Christ. In the end you will be the one being blessed. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Colossians 3:23-24, how should we be working, and what can we look forward to if we do it in a proper manner?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you do your best to do everything as if you were doing it for Jesus?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s choose to labor with our hands for kingdom purposes, and do everything with a happy and cheerful heart—as unto the Lord.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for allowing me to be a part of ministry wherever I go.  Help me to remember that my life has been bought and paid for, and I am Yours.  I invite You to use me in whatever capacity You choose today.  Let me clearly see opportunities to work for You.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000