Our Heavenly Father Knows Best (Proverbs 1:8)
Proverbs 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”
An old farmer, who was about to die, called his two sons to his bedside and said, "My boys, my farm and the fields are yours in equal shares. I leave you a little ready money but the bulk of my wealth is hidden somewhere in the ground, not more than eighteen inches from the surface. I regret that I've forgotten precisely where it lies." When the old man was dead and buried his two sons set to work to dig up every inch of ground in order to find the buried treasure. They failed to find it, but as they'd gone to all the trouble of turning over the soil they thought they might as well sow a crop, which they did, reaping a good harvest. In autumn, as soon as they had an opportunity, they dug for the treasure again but with no better results. As their fields were turned over more thoroughly than any others in the county they reaped better harvests than anyone else. Year after year their search continued. Only when they had grown much older and wiser did they realize what their father had meant. Real treasure comes as a result of hard work.
Ephesians 6:5-6, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart…” Christians workers are to be loyal and obedient to their employers. We are to follow their instructions and put in a full day's work for a full day's pay. Laziness and shoddy workmanship are poor testimonies and clear signs a person is not filled with the Spirit. Singleness of heart means we have our minds focused, concentrated on our jobs, and work to the best of our ability. The role of the supervisor is to instruct the employee on what to do, not the other way around. One way we show respect is by not fussing, feuding, or fighting but by shining as lights.
Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters, Knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD Christ.” The Spirit filled worker is to work hard and to do their work for the Lord. This will make certain the quality of the work is admirable, which is vital if one is to have a good testimony for God. What we do is ultimately to the Lord and not unto men. This certainly is true in the work place as referred to above, but also in any other venue of life. As our earthly supervisors give compensation for our labor, keep in mind, we will also receive compensation from the Lord. The reward is called an "inheritance", which means payday is coming soon.
Reward: The wages are what God gives. Reaping is the work He sets in the providential field. Our everyday commandment is spoken by our conscience, and this text says that our reaping is rewarded in something more than that. Virtue is its own reward, that is to say that it pays to do right. Revelation 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Eternity: Eternity is the quality of the moral harvest. Field-sowing is for time; but heart-sowing is for eternity. It is the long look ahead that enables us to see the reality of spiritual things, and the certainty of spiritual consequences.
J. Oswald Sanders was nearing his ninetieth birthday when he died-working on his last book. Before he was 50, he was afflicted with arthritis so badly that he could hardly get out of bed. He could have taken a nice retirement. Instead, he entered the most procreative years of his life. At age 50, he left a prosperous career as an attorney in New Zealand to lead the China Inland Mission. Remarkably, as he entered his second and third careers, he was totally freed from arthritis. After several years of leading the mission, he retired, only to take on the directorship of a Christian college. Another step downward. Then he retired again. A widower twice, he certainly deserved a rest. But rather than taking it easy, he accelerated, spending his last 20 years speaking around the world over 300 times per year. His respect grew even though he never sought the limelight or tried to maintain his position.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the work You’ve given me to do. Remind me to work with all my heart as if I’m working directly for the Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to embrace the dignity of my work. I want to work hard on everything for Your glory. 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.