If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
One of the misnomers that has made its way into the minds of many Christians, is that work is a kind of necessary evil, unless of course you are in some sort of “ministry.” Our reading in Colossians 3 today should divest us of both errors. Sadly for some, that error leads them to very frustrating lives. We’ll talk about that today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
Colossians 3:18-4:1, Luke 6:43-45 and 2 Chronicles 9:13-11:17 finish up our reading for this week. And once again, we could say so much about each portion. But I’d like us to consider the idea in Colossians 3 of the sacredness of work.
Pastors, preachers and teachers are often heard telling people about the nature of their high calling, and how there is nothing higher in life. There’s some truth in that. It is a high calling. But the way that is often heard, is that if you are not engaged in some sort of teaching or preaching ministry, that somehow, you are doing what is less than best. That teachers and preachers are some separate sacred class. It isn’t so.
And I’ve personally known an almost endless parade of good men who would settle for nothing less than a “ministry” role in order to feel good about themselves. That any kind of secular work was somehow a step down. And many of these have grown bitter, frustrated and angry because they’ve not been used by God that way.
It is a very sad thing to see. And in truth, they end up ruining what usefulness to Christ they might have had.
As The Holy Spirit speaks in this passage, He says something to wives, husbands, children, parents, employers and employees – about their individual roles. As a side note here, I’ll mention that nowhere are the instructions to one group ever nullified because another group fails at their role. Each of us is responsible for our sphere, irrespective of how others fare in theirs.
That said, it is vs. 23 which deserves some special focus. “Whatever you do” – note the “WHATEVER”. Whatever place of work or employment you might find yourself in – do THAT work heartily – as unto the Lord. Serve Him there. Serve Him in it. Knowing this: “That from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Here is the amazing sacredness of work – all work, when engaged in by a Believer. Doing a “secular” job as unto Christ, while the world pays you for it, and the Father prepares to reward you for it. The World paying us to earn Heavenly rewards. Imagine. And we, whether we are butchers, bakers or candlestick makers, we are His workers in that place with those people. It is as important and sacred to our God to have us there, as it is to have the most gifted preacher in the pulpit.
Mechanics, engineers, doctors, cable installers, lawyers, coders, undertakers, housewives, writers, clothes designers, musicians, honey-dippers, soldiers and even politicians. No matter what field we might find ourselves in – our call is to work there, heartily – as unto the Lord! Because then, we are serving the Lord Christ as His agents in that place. And we can have no more sacred occupation than to serve Him. The theater of service is wholly irrelevant.
Be about your next shift at work – whatever work that may be, and know that if it is done as unto Him, that it is every bit as sacred as any so-called ministry role in the Church.
And then, you’ll find a satisfaction there you never knew could be. For you are serving the Lord Christ. The truth is, if you cannot serve God with contentment in secular work, then you won’t if you find yourself in “ministry” either.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back Monday.