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It helps us to understand that God is concerned not only about our "religious" activities, but also about our "everyday" work. In everything we do, we ought to "give of our best to the Master," knowing that God wants us to give a worthy effort to our daily work.
Most of us give thanks to God often. We know that it is God who gives us all the things we need from day to day. In many, many ways, we are indebted to God's grace and His willingness to bless us with His goodness. But one thing we may not remember is that God's gifts come with the responsibility to use them well, in accordance with His will (Isa. 5:1-7). There is no gift of God that is not to be employed in a way that honors Him. Consequently, we need to develop the daily habit of asking whether we are going about our daily work in a way that uses God's blessings properly.
To be a "steward" is to be entrusted with the care of things that belong to someone else. Paul writes that stewards are to be "faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2). In our relationship to God, this means we are to be dependable in the work we do, carefully and honorably doing with God's blessings whatever He would want us to do. One day, we will answer for how we have used all that God has given us. When that time comes, we will want to be able to look back on a lifetime of work that was trustworthy. We will not want to be workers "ashamed" of our work (2 Tim. 2:15).
All the things God gives us are resources. They are tools and assets meant to be used in the accomplishment of worthwhile objectives. When we are slack and slothful, one of the sins we commit is the sin of failing to use the resources God has given us. But the objective in life is not to see how well rested we can be at the end. It is to come to the finish line all "used up." Paul wrote to his brethren, "I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls" (2 Cor. 12:15). Surely this principle does not just apply to our endeavors that are expressly "religious." It applies to everything God wants us to be involved in. If a thing is worth doing at all, the Christian ought to do it with all his might, giving an effort that he would not be ashamed to offer to the Lord Himself.
This week, let's take our responsibilities seriously. Let's do all we do "as for the Lord" (Col. 3:23).
Monday: Ecclesiastes 9:10
Key Idea: Now is the time to do the work God has given us in this world.
Questions for Family Growth: What does Solomon say in Eccl. 2:24 and 5:18 about the goodness of work? Why, in 9:10, does he say we should do with our "might" whatever we do? Having our hearts set on heaven, are we to sit down and do nothing while we wait?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:5,6.
Tuesday: Proverbs 18:9
Key Idea: Laziness is destructive.
Questions for Family Growth: In this verse, what does the word "slothful" (NKJV) mean? What does it mean that the slothful man is a "brother" to the one who destroys things? In our daily activities, can we do harm by simply doing nothing?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:7.
Wednesday: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
Key Idea: Laziness is a sin.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul command in regard to those in the church at Thessalonica who would not work? What advice did Solomon have for the "sluggard" in Prov. 6:6-11? Does God regard laziness as a trivial matter? How would you define laziness?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:8.
Thursday: 1 Peter 4:10,11
Key Idea: Each Christian is a steward of certain blessings entrusted to him by God.
Questions for Family Growth: What does Peter mean in v.10 when he says we are to live as "good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (NKJV)? What quality is it necessary for stewards to have, according to Paul in 1 Cor. 4:2?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:9.
Friday: Colossians 3:22-25
Key Idea: It is for the Lord that the Christian does everything he does.
Questions for Family Growth: How would the principle in v.23 make a servant a better worker in the first century? How would this principle apply to us today? Today, does this teaching apply only to our "spiritual" work or does it concern all that we do?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 12:10.