Do Your Best (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Ecclesiastes 9:10, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
The following joke is titled “Just Plain Lazy”. "Give it to me straight, doc. I can take it! Tell me in plain English what's the matter with me." "Okay, I'll be frank with you. My diagnosis is that you're just plain lazy!" "All right, doc. Now please give me a SCIENTIFIC NAME for it so I can go home and tell my wife!"
Work reflects your character. Your work is an expression of the image of God in you, and it's worth thinking about how your work reflects His character. Work as simple as cleaning out a closet reflects the God who makes order out of chaos. Holding a stop sign for children to cross the road creates an environment of safety that reflects the God who protects. The person who flips burgers is providing food, which is something that God does. A father or mother who nurtures a child reflects the love, patience, and perseverance of God. The CEO of a large business holds things together and moves things forward. This too is a reflection of God's work.
Adrian Rogers tells about the man who made his sons work in the cornfields while their friends spent the afternoon at the swimming hole. Someone scolded the father saying, "Why do you make those boys work so hard? You don't need all that corn." The wise father replied, "Sir, I'm not raising corn. I'm raising boys." There's no such thing as Christians who do not work. It's a work of service. You can't build a home without work. You can't build a church without work. Happiness in life can be found in life’s work and activities. When we work diligently in our careers and in the countless other courses of life, we discover a real measure of joy and satisfaction. Hudson Taylor’s great desire was that the Lord would work through him. He said, “I used to ask God to help me. Then...if I might help Him. I ended up asking Him to do His work through me.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 speaks of having and maintaining a good work ethic:
Your hand: The hand speaks of ability. God has given every person the ability to perform some kind of work. God doesn’t expect us to do more than we can, but He does expect us to do the best we can in whatever we do. Whatever comes to our hands we are to do the best we can with it.
Finds: This refers to opportunity. Even if you have lost your job, you should be diligent in seeking employment. Opportunities for some type of work usually exist. They do not necessarily come to you; you must find them.
With all your might: This speaks of energy. It means firm, with vigor, and power. You should work energetically and give your best effort. Romans 12:11, Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the LORD; Proverbs 22:29, Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Planning: You should think, prepare, and perform your work strategically and efficiently.
Knowledge: You should educate yourself and stay informed on how best to perform your work.
Wisdom: You should perform your work wisely, using your best skills and understanding of the task.
Why work so diligently now? Very simply, because we have only one life and all opportunity ends at death. There are no opportunities in the grave.
Colossians 3:22-23, Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Whatever work we do and whatever projects we undertake, we should do our very best, just as if we are doing it directly for the Lord. This is always good advice. We should do our best at any task whether for God or man. Those who do their best in the little things, will do their best in the big things. What we do with seemingly insignificant things, such as cleaning, serving, and putting away, will determine what we do with the greater things in life, such as parenting, working, and witnessing. Doing your best will be reflected in everything you do! There is a difference in getting a job done and doing your best.
Live this kind of life passionately. We only have one life to live, so we should enjoy it. One way we do that is to work hard, be loyal, and do a good job. Each of us should be such a good employee, executive, teacher, home builder, farmer, small business owner, etc. that our employers or customers would never consider getting anyone to replace us. We should work, teach, preach, and do whatever we do, with enthusiasm. In every endeavor of life, give it your all. We should give it our best in whatever we do. I'm very blessed to be apart of a godly church with faithful members who who pray and labor diligently together for the Lord Jesus Christ. Until He comes!
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the work You’ve given me to do and for the opportunity to provide for my family. Help me to embrace the dignity of my work. Remind me to work with all my heart as if I’m working directly for the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to work hard, on everything, for Your glory. At the end of the day, may I look back with joy and pleasure with the expectation of hearing You say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”. 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 with Christ.