Work. Work. Work. The secret to working hard is….
1. Don’t sleep.
2. Give up fun things.
3. Add more things to your list.
Are you still reading? Good. Because I have to confess, no one needs to read about getting more work completed. Or giving up sleep to get it all done. We do that fine by ourselves.
Instead, we need encouragement to slow down and to be at peace. Maybe that’s why so many popular articles are focused on rest. Rightly so, I guess, since we all seem to be good at working…..less at resting.
What if I told you there was a way to do restful work? Work filled with rest. Producing fruit, being diligent, and striving at the same time resting?
As the holiday season approaches, we will be bombarded with oppouritnies to show our faith. Shoeboxes. Christmas presents. Drumstick dashes. Salvation Army bells. Angel Trees and Make-a-Wish. For the next month we will not have a shortage of ways to show our faith through works.
C.S. Lewis said: “If what you call your ‘faith’ in Christ does not involve taking the slightest notice of what He says, then it is not faith at all – not faith or trust in Him, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory about Him.”
True faith produces work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need more work. The secret to our faith does not come with doing more. The secret is rest.
Our Works of Faith…..
……Were First Born in Us through Salvation. Through our salvation and birth of this new life in Christ, we find the first fruits of faith. In Titus 3:3-8 we read how our salvation was found only in Christ. Salvation is all of God. As we come to this life of faith we are humbled. A life of humility is the first good work of faith. Next, we read in I Corinthians 13:1-3 immediately following humility is love. Love is patient. Kind. Selfless. Always assuming the best. Do not neglect love. The next good work is sincerity (purity). We find this in I Timothy 1:3-5. Our faith is not born out of false motives. True faith will produce a pure life. A life devoted to God and His Word.
Our works of faith will begin with hearts focused on humility, love, and sincerity.
…..Are Lived Out in the Life Hid with God. As our life grows, we desire to live out our faith. We have encountered heaven and the taste of it calls us to good works for God. A life of just giving leaves us empty. The secret of living a life of restful work is found in our abiding and our ambition. First, we see in John 15:1-5 the amazing truth: If we abide in Christ, we will produce much fruit (good works). As we work, we can rest because we take the time and energy to pour ourselves into the Bible. Staying close to Jesus is found in (1)Reading your Bible and studying. (2) A life of prayer. If your good works are keeping you from the Good Book, nothing good can come. We are promised help.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 says: “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
The second aspect of a life hid with God is our ambition. Our goals and focus should be on two things. Bringing Glory to God (I Peter 2:12) and Others to Salvation (Titus 2:11-14). If you are weary and worn, examine your life. Are the activities you do glorifying God? Or are they glorifying yourself? Do the things occupying your time engage in gospel conversations? Are you witnessing and sharing your faith with those around you?
Our works of faith will continue through the power of God and focusing on His will.
Our works will look different. Feel different. Each season will bring different ways we can work for God.
Are my good works of faith brought about in my own strength?
Does my life reflect a life of humility, love, and sincerity?
If not, how can I cut back or even add something to my life in order to be more loving? Humble? Sincere?
Is my Christian life becoming a work-based religion or a rest-filled relationship?
A faith-driven life is filled with restful work.
Only as I am united with the Lord is He able to produce any fruit in my life. The few good works that evidence my faith arise from His urging, his initiating, and His encouragement, and they are for His glory.” – Cynthia Heald
When our life is hid in Christ (as we strive to live a life of faith) it is only natural we will do good works. So the secret to working hard is resting in God’s provision, power, and presence. Be the vine, dear weary one! Dwell and abide in our God to produce the good works!
What storm are you facing right now? Read Psalm 77. What do you need to remember about God during this storm?
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