Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Spirit-Filled Worker.”
Spirit-Filled Worker Series – Lesson 4
The Value of Building a Work Ethic (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.”
In every endeavor of life, give it your all. We only have one life to live, therefore, whatever we do we should do with all our might because when we go to the grave, there will be no working, planning, or wisdom. Work in Genesis 2 came before the curse in Genesis 3. Work was never a curse but a necessary and important part of life and service to God. One way we do that is to work hard, be loyal, and do our best to complete each task. Each of us should be such a good employee that our employers or customers would never consider getting anyone to replace us.
The Bible is full with examples of hard workers: David, the shepherd; Amos, the fig farmer; Paul, the tent-maker; Lydia, seller of purple; Jesus, the carpenter. At the end of the day, it’s a good thing to exhaust yourself in meaningful work. Maybe God is motivating you to launch forward in a work of faith for Him. And perhaps the current landscape of today has discouraged you. Remember, when great works of God are accomplished in difficult times, God gets the glory.
God-given strength is to be used at every opportunity. Honest labor leads to self-respect. Enjoying life requires doing whatever we do with all our might because when we go to the grave, there will be no working, planning, or wisdom. We only have one life to live, so we should enjoy it. One way we do that is to work hard, be loyal, and to do work honestly. Whatever area of work or service the Lord sovereignly gives us in this life, we should use all of our abilities and capabilities to do the work to the best of our ability. Kingdom work is even more gratifying. Time, however, is of the essence. The hour will come when no man can work (John 9:4). Every opportunity to do good must be seized.
While even in his eighties, John Wesley complained in his diary that he struggled with being tempted to stay in bed until 5:30 each morning. John Wesley was one of the most faithful and fruitful evangelists of all time. Wesley traveled more than 250,00 miles on horseback, preaching over 4,000 sermons. It was undisputable that Wesley knew the value of hard work. With all the hardships throughout his life, Wesley remained steadfast and diligently did what God had called him to do. Our ultimate purpose for life is that everything we do should be done to honor the Lord. Our earthly work is to be done as though we are laboring for Christ Himself (Ephesians 6:5-7; Colossians 3:23-24). Especially in our day, we should take advantage of every opportunity to reach people for the Lord. You may feel incapable, however, you may be the only person who can reach them for the Lord. Do your part in the Lord’s work and everything you can do to help your church grow and reach your community for Christ. 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.
As a pastor, I am constantly studying. It seems that I am always thinking about a sermon, devotion, Bible Study, sermon series, Bible institute, an illustration, making an application, reading, studying, outlining, planning, writing, praying, and preparing. I take seriously my study of God's Word. Whether I’m preparing for five or fifty, I’m always determined to put my very best into my studies. I was once asked, “Why do you always study so much?” My response first was, “My love for the Lord, His Word, the ministry, and my church. But also, there is coming a day that I will read my last verse, write my last message, preach my last sermon, give my last invitation, share the Gospel with someone and extend my last plea. Therefore, I want to treat each opportunity I have for the Lord like it will be my last because the last time is coming!”
Prayer, Lord, 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 Jesus. Forgive me for fixating too much on how I feel about my job, whether it fulfills me and makes me happy. Instead help me to embrace the dignity of my work. I want to work hard in everything for Your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Thank you for reading Lesson 4 of Spirit-Filled Worker Series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Lesson 5 of Spirit-Filled Worker Series.
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.