I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Diana Rose (WITHIN Devotional Contributor)
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” -Colossians 3:23-24
“Whatever you do, work heartily” What do you do? Do you work eight hours a day, commuting to a workplace several miles away? Do you work remotely, or is it your job to maintain your home? Do you provide care for others or are you raising children? Are you a full time student? Perhaps you are retired or disabled. Whatever your status or stage of life is, you are called to “work heartily.” Without taking time to look up the meaning in the original language of the word heartily, understanding it in English gives me sufficient insight to the command of this text. A quick Siri search shows a definition of heartily as being vigorous and cheerful. For some working vigorously is easier than working cheerfully and for others the reverse is true. Nevertheless this is the state of mind and the level of energy we are called to employ as we go about the doing of our daily work.
“as for the Lord and not for men” This portion of the text turns the focus of our work towards God. We are to approach work as if we are employed by the Lord himself, which the verse will draw out more clearly later. Am I working to give God glory, or am I working to impress man or because I fear man? Does my work reflect the character of God? Do I exhibit my dependency on him for the endurance I require to work hard, as well as for the humility of heart I will need to work cheerfully, especially when working for a difficult boss or in a challenging situation? As I do my work I am to keep my eyes on God and off of man, including myself.
“Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward” Did you pick up on that? “From the Lord.” I am amazed at this. It is the Lord who gives the work to do, and he gives the ability and energy to accomplish it, and he gives the reward! If you are in Christ the Lord himself is your inheritance and reward. But the Lord gives grace upon grace, there will also be the reward of the labor we do in this life in his name. The reward of serving the body, the reward of proclaiming Christ to the nations, the reward of fighting the fight of faith. The reward of glorification!
“you are serving the Lord Christ” Yes and amen! This is the glory of this entire verse! If you are in Christ then your entire life is an act of service to him! When you are doing the dishes you are serving the Lord Christ. When you prepare that meal you are serving the Lord Christ. When you do your homework you are serving the Lord Christ. When you wash the car you are serving the Lord Christ. When you care for the sick, broken and needy you are serving the Lord Christ. When you submit to your spouse you are serving the Lord Christ. When you listen to someone’s story you are serving the Lord Christ. When you encourage the downhearted you are serving the Lord Christ. When you sing out praises to his name you are serving the Lord Christ. If you are his you are in his service!
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:Read Colossians 3
Questions to Reflect on: