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In Christ, there is work to do. The life of the Christian is not just something to "be" -- it is also something to "do." As a familiar spiritual song says, "God has no hands but our hands to do His work today." God's work, which centers on the task of evangelism, is done by God's people, people who show their love for God by communicating the gospel to others. This work is something we ought to want to do as much of as we can. Our goal ought to be to present the gospel to as many people as possible.
Our theme this week emphasizes that God expects us to fulfill the work He has assigned to us: the work of evangelism. But it is important to recognize a distinction between what God Himself does and what He expects us to do. Compared in several passages to "seed" that must be sown, God's word must be distributed to those who are lost. Our work is that of exposing as many people as possible to the gospel's truth. What happens beyond that falls within the realm of God's responsibility, not ours. Paul illustrated it by saying that the human part of the work is "planting" and "watering," but it is God who "gives the increase" (1 Cor. 3:6,7 NKJV).
When we keep focused on what God wants us to do, He will surely help us with that work. In 2 Cor. 9:8-11, Paul wrote: "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, 'He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God."
When it comes to sowing the seed of God's kingdom, we ought to work at sowing that seed as generously and enthusiastically as we can. Surely there isn't a more worthy work that we could do in this world, and if doing that work is our honest goal, God will see that we have the opportunity to be involved in it. All of us can do something to get God's word into the hands of others. May we make this week one of growth in our desire to spread God's word.
Monday: Luke 8:11-15
Key Idea: God's word may be compared to "seed."
Questions for Family Growth: Can you think of at least three ways that God's word is comparable to seed? What different kinds of "soil" does the gospel fall into? What is our individual responsibility with respect to the seed?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:33.
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 3:6,7
Key Idea: Our work is planting and watering -- it is God who gives the increase.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some practical, everyday ways we can "plant" and "water"? What happens when we quit doing our part of the work and start taking responsibility for God's part? How might we measure the amount of "seed" we are sowing in our communities?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:34.
Wednesday: Acts 8:4
Key Idea: Christians in the New Testament took the gospel with them wherever they went.
Questions for Family Growth: In this passage, why had Christians been forced to leave Jerusalem? Under such circumstances, why might they have decided to keep quiet about the gospel? What, in fact, did they do?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:35.
Thursday: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Key Idea: We should abound in the Lord's work.
Questions for Family Growth: In everyday, practical terms, what does the expression "the work of the Lord" mean? Is it just preachers who are involved in the work of the Lord? What are some of the characteristics of the person who "abounds" in this work?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:1,2.
Friday: 2 Corinthians 3:4,5
Key Idea: The "sufficiency" to do God's work comes from God.
Questions for Family Growth: Why do we never have to fear that we will be unable to do what God requires of us? If a person complained of being inadequate, what problems might there be in his thinking or in his life?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:3.