Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 04 Who’s Your Builder???
I’d like to share a few things with you today, as many in the US will be celebrating Labor Day; a time when we honor those who live productive lives and support our culture with ‘work’. Work is something we all make jokes about, but if you’ve ever been without ‘work’, you know that the joys of honest, fruitful ‘work’ can be a satisfaction to heart and soul as well as fruitful to the bank account. What we often forget is that God gave us labor—as a gift of His creation—the opportunity to be a part of His glorious creation—whether we are producing actual ‘produce’, skilled work, creativity or intellectual activity. God wants us to take joy in our ‘labor’ and see it as an opportunity to serve Him.
“And the LORD God formed man
of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life;
and man became a living soul.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden
eastward in Eden;
and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground
made the LORD God to grow
every tree that is pleasant to the sight,
and good for food…….
15 And the LORD God took the man,
and put him into the garden of Eden
to dress it
and to keep it.” Portions of Genesis 2:7-15
God provided everything in the creation to support humanity, yet He gave this man, Adam, a job—not because he lacked something, but because work is a good thing, just as God ‘worked’ in creating all these things, He calls us to work to care for ourselves and others—to be an example of a godly work-ethic!
“Neither did we eat any man’s bread
night and day,
that we might not be chargeable
to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power,
but to make ourselves an ensample
to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you,
this we commanded you,
that if any would not work,
neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some
which walk among you disorderly,
working not at all,
but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such
by our Lord Jesus Christ,
that with quietness they work,
and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren,
be not weary
in well doing.” 2 Thessalonians 3:8-13
It seems that Paul had some experience with people who held an “entitlement” mentality—it’s not new! If you read through the Proverbs you’ll find that laziness, sloth and entitlement aren’t new, but God calls His own to set an example of diligent work and provision for our own needs and the needs of those around us who can’t help themselves; God designed us that way, and He expects us to be examples of productivity not laziness and neglect.
“But if any provide not
for his own,
and specially for those
of his own house,
he hath denied the faith,
and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Timothy 5:8
Those who claim the name of Jesus ought to be the best in the workforce, no matter their field. It doesn’t mean we all have to be great entrepreneurs or millionaires, but it does mean that we ought to be the best that we can be in the job that we have—every minute that I am at work—not thieves but diligent workers who don’t ‘give to get’ but those who ‘get to give’!
“Let him that stole
steal no more:
but rather let him labour,
working with his hands
the thing which is good,
that he may have
to him that needeth.” Ephesians 4:28
We are to work for God’s glory, taking care of our own, and helping others as we have resources and opportunity; living a selfless life of giving—not a selfish life concentrated on getting more money for ourselves. We must keep our eyes on the goal and the prize—JESUS’ glory, our eternal reward!
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
and where thieves
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth
and where thieves
do not break through
21 For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
As we think of treasure, let’s tie all this together with our title subject of “building”, what are we building and for whom. Who is your builder? Are we honoring God with our labor? Are we laboring for the right reward? These are questions that we all must ask ourselves, for no one else knows your/my heart but God, and He will reveal truth to us if we will but seek HIS face and ask for HIS wisdom!
“Except the LORD build the house,
they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city,
the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you
to rise up early,
to sit up late,
to eat the bread of sorrows:
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man
that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies
in the gate.” Psalm 127:1-5
God builds on the Rock, Jesus–the expressed love of God in Jesus’ sacrifice for us– not on the values that the world clings to; sins of greed, lies and self. God’s love also values life and children—they are the only heritage that God gives here on earth. It is a gift of passing on life, love and the truth of Jesus to affect and change this lost and dying world.
May we each take time today and examine our lives, our hearts, and our minds to see if we are reflecting the glory of our Lord or settling for the imitation of life that the world offers. May we yield to God’s work in our lives that we may reflect His glory to the world, no matter what our “work” may be—from the mother rocking her baby to the CEO carrying the load of a large entity—from the trash man to the Pastor—from the farmer to the waitress! May we each strive to be God’s handiwork before the world today! Yesterday is already gone—tomorrow may not arrive—but we have today, so let’s go forward! And don’t let the past hold you down, simply be the best “laborer” for God that you/I can be! Today!
“Brethren, I count not myself
to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things
which are before,
14 I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,
be thus minded:
and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you.” Philippians 3:13-15
Amen and Amen!