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Archive for April, 2010

>Joy in the Labor

>“Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him.”

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

The father asked his two young sons to rake the backyard. “I’d like it done before I come home from work.” He handed each of them a five-dollar bill in advance.

“Okay, Dad,” they both said.

“Good,” the father said. Then he left the house.

The oldest boy fondled his money. “If we get it done this morning, we can go the Arcade this afternoon.”

The youngest flipped the curtain aside. “If we’re finished early, we could trim the hedges. Didn’t you notice how tired Dad seemed this morning?”

While each will complete the task, which do you think will find joy in the labor?

My guess is the boy who had his Dad in mind.

Most Christians feel they work for God’s pleasure. Unfortunately, some misplace where the reward is found. Some believe satisfaction comes after the work. Some look to being chosen as the source of their joy. Some believe the reward is in a job well done. While these worldly philosophies are admirable, will these motivations bring us true joy in the Lord?

God does not call us to labor for the labor itself. He does not pleasure in our slavery, but in our companionship. The work is pleasurable because God is beside us.

Where has our joy gone? Perhaps in our zeal to work for God, we have shut him out of the partnership. The work itself becomes our idol for it has replaced God’s prominence in our lives. Our labors take precedence over the One who called us to them.

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” 1 Corinthians 3:9 NIV.

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