Committed to Christ (Colossians 3:23-24)
Colossians 3:23-24, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Our society does not value work as it once did with a mass of government programs providing funding for those who are deliberately unwilling to work. This is different than providing help for those who cannot help themselves. This produces a negative incentive. When there is no relation between work and reward, it is not hard to understand why people regard work as something to be avoided if possible. Yet those who refuse to do what they can do cheat themselves of the satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from diligent labor.
Dave Thomas was adopted by a loving family, but his mother died when he was only five. His father remarried three times, and the family moved more than a dozen times before Dave reached his mid-teens. It was his grandmother, who gave him security and taught him the pleasure of hard work. Dave remembers first learning about restaurants because his father took him out to eat quite often. Since he liked to eat, Dave thought that owning a restaurant would be a great career. He took a job at a Hobby House restaurant, and when his father moved again, Dave stayed behind. At age fifteen, he was on his own.
During the Korean War, Dave joined the army and attended its Cook and Baker's School. After the war, he was given the opportunity to manage four Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. Dave learned the business well and in 1968 sold his KFC stock to begin his own chain of restaurants named after his daughter Wendy. His concept was to create a better hamburger—made from fresh meat, made to order, and served in a relaxed, family atmosphere. Wendy's grew rapidly until Thomas stepped out of the leadership in 1982. After several years of falling sales and declining quality, Thomas returned to the company as its "spokesman, in-house cheerleader, and roaming quality-control man." Once back under the founder's watchful eye, Wendy's rebounded and once again began to prosper. "Don't just study people who succeed, study people who handle success well." —Dave Thomas
Far too often we limit our potential by being unwilling to serve. We complain of unfair treatment because of a demanding superior. We give a half-hearted effort because we feel the boss doesn’t notice our efforts and doesn’t care. This attitude produces a negative response through everything we do, effectively asphyxiating any enthusiasm that might otherwise have been started by our service. Paul encourages us to consider all the efforts and labor as a service directly to the Lord. The effort and energy that the Christian puts into his job is important to the Lord. The Christian should always be the best at his job, going above and beyond the call of duty. We must work as though Christ were our employer, knowing that all work performed “as to the Lord” will someday be rewarded (Ephesians 6:6-8). The Christian workman is to work heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. The word heartily doesn’t mean frantically. The word "heartily" means out of the soul. The Christian’s labor is to arise out of his soul, from the innermost part of his being. It refers to an all-in attitude. It also anticipates the joy we can experience when we discover God has gifted us for certain tasks we can do wholeheartedly for Him. When we fail to work with all our heart, we deprive ourselves, as well as others. Determine you will use what God has given you to the fullest today. When we remember that we are serving the Lord it changes the way we view our tasks and those around us. Living this way has a powerful impact on the world. Make no mistake, with God, nothing goes unnoticed. He will record, remember, and reward your labor that you do for Him in Heaven. Therefore, we should strive to work heartily and honestly in all that we do bringing glory and honor to Him.
POINTS TO PONDER:
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the work You’ve given me to do. Help me to see it as a commission straight from You. Remind me to work with all my heart as if I’m working directly for the Lord Jesus Christ, not for human supervisors. Forgive me for fixating too much on how I feel about my job, whether it fulfills me and makes me happy. Help me not to waste this short life or neglect the great privilege you have given me to work for you. Instead help me to embrace the dignity of my work. Open my eyes for the opportunity to serve You. I want to work hard on everything, for Your glory. It is a privilege to work for You and may my labor be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.