Tag Archives: works

The task at hand

These past few days I’ve been reminded of a lesson I learned years ago.

More than ten years ago our family were missionaries.

It took us two years just to get there.

One morning, after a few weeks of settling in, I went to the Lord with a heavy heart.

I prayed about how I was being overwhelmed with the daily tasks of life.

I just felt like laundry, dishes, and mopping the floor was eating up my time and I couldn’t get to the reason I was there.

“Lord, I just want to minister! How can I get to that with nonstop housework?”

He answered.

He took me to Ruth.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:2 NKJV

She just needed to survive.

But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she did the task at hand.

That was the key.

Housework is just as important as leading a Bible study if my heart is serving Jesus.

God is interested in my heart.

“Am I serving Him in this task I’m engaged in?”

It’s something I’ve been trying to ask myself frequently this week.

Not as a religious stipulation, but instead as a guard rail.

Guarding my heart from useless pursuits or pride.

I also find it helpful as a way to combat an old lie.

As a young believer I thought I had to : “Do big things for God”.

However, the Lord has shown me over and over again that He wants me to surrender my own agenda and simply live daily to Him.

When I’m sick, my “do” shrinks.

In those times, I have found it vital to remember: God isn’t disappointed because I’m not “doing” more.

He knows my limitations.

He even has things for me in those seasons, like prayer, Bible study, or sometimes just resting in His hands and trusting Him while struggling.

The task at hand may not seem valuable.

Ruth couldn’t have known that daily gleaning the fields would endear her to the man who would become her husband.

She couldn’t have seen that this back breaking task, which went on throughout the whole harvest, would end in her having a place in the lineage of Jesus.

Her faithfulness in the task at hand was used by God.

She was His servant.

And God used this humble lady to be the grandmother of kings.

The lesson is clear for me.

I need to do what God has set before me with joy and faithfulness.

I need to surrender my own ambitions, dreams, and desires before Him.

I need to trust Him in everything.

Including my “To Do” list.

Matthew 22:36 NKJV — “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Matthew 22:37 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this lesson. Thank You for continually bringing me back to this place of surrender. Please Lord, help me to be Your servant, humble, faithful, and filled with joy of serving You, no matter what that entails. Lord, thank You that my life is so much more valuable than self fulfillment. Instead, You call me to pick up my cross and follow You. Lord, thank You for reminding me of these truths. Please continue to wash my soul of sin and renew my heart through Your Word. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Not impressed

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”
Psalms 50:12 KJV

God isn’t impressed by our stuff.

He’s given it all to us.

Every detail of the things we label as belonging to us, actually are His.

So, when we make things or give to others, we need to remember not to look to God as if we are trying to impress Him.

He’s the reason we can create or be generous.

You can never pay God to get what you want.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Psalms 51:17 KJV

He’s also not impressed by our works.

Service to God as a means of earning His favor are worthless.

God has nothing He needs.

Instead He simply wants our friendship, our love, our surrender to His perfect will.

What are the motives behind service to God?

If they are anything but a broken and a contrite heart,

God isn’t impressed.

But, He knows our limited understanding.

He cares about our lives.

He wants communion with each person.

He doesn’t want us to try to impress Him.

He wants the best gift anyone could ever give,

their heart.

…without works…

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26 NKJV

These words penned by James, leader of the church in Jerusalem, brother of Jesus, are the final nails in the fallacy that faith was separate from fruit.

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 NKJV

It is clear, there is no separation.

Faith produces fruit.

The lives of those who walk daily, moment by moment with Jesus produce fruit.

Their words, their actions, their very attitudes and perspectives all reflect their faith.

We know this by the disciples.

Their lives change so dramatically.

Reading the Gospels you see men who are striving to learn faith.

Reading Acts about the same men, there is no question of their faith.

Peter is a preacher who leads thousands to Jesus.

Peter and the apostles are imprisoned by the High Priest and Sadducees.

They are released by an angel of the Lord and when they are instructed:

“Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of life.” Acts 5:20 NKJV

They go.

They realize they need others to help in the ministry and appoint seven men to see to the physical needs of the church.

Persecution becomes deadly.

One of the seven, Stephen, is stoned.

James was beheaded.

This doesn’t hinder their faith.

Peter travels.

Church history tells us the other disciples also traveled bringing the Gospel to more and more people.

The story of their faith ripples into history growing larger and farther as more come to Jesus.

Truly, the disciples had faith which bore much fruit.

Their faith was evident in their works.

Ours needs to be as well.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for the example of these men of faith. Please help me to live my faith by my works: my words, my thoughts, my actions, and my attitudes. Jesus, I am Your servant and I want to share the Gospel wherever I am, yet often I’m unsure how. Please help me to have discernment and Your Holy Spirit to guide me. Help me to hide Your Word in my heart that I might be filled with Your thoughts, Your example, Your perspective. I want my faith to be alive. Please teach me how to have a life lived in faith with works.