Thursday, June 26, 2008
Laboring for Christ, Through Christ
The scripture below is taken from Colossians 1:9-12, from Eugene Peterson’s The Message.
“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. ”
There is an old saying that goes “life is a marathon and not a sprint.” There is another one that I really appreciate that says “work like you don’t need the money.” It appears to me that Paul was saying both of these things in this scripture, but he said it better and he took it further. We are to do everything that we do as if it were serving the Lord, because everything that we do is in fact serving the Lord. Though sometimes it is difficult, we must not grow weary in our well doing or in our service to God and others.
The only way to pull this off is going to where Paul starts, which is allowing God to do His work in us. God must have His way and give us wise minds and spirits that are attuned to His will. We must yield to and be in clear understanding of the way in which God works. Whew, this is great! So, it isn’t about our efforts at all. It is about prayer, God’s Spirit and wisdom at work in us, and the glory-strength that God Himself gives us. It is God who does the work, He labors in us, through us, and despite of us.
So may we run the marathon, work like we don’t need the money, and win the strong man contest doing all that we do as if we were doing it for the master Himself, relying on His strength, with pure Joy and excitement and partaking in everything beautiful that He has for us.
Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Col 1:9-12