“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17b
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your [work] and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
What do you have to do today? Like many, I assume you have a lot of work to do (whether you get paid for it or not). It may surprise you, but God has work to do, too. His work is that which brings Him glory. When Jesus was on the earth, He did many things; most of which was either misunderstood, or reviled by those in religious power. In John 5, we read about an invalid who was healed by Jesus on a day, as the Bible states, “which…was a Sabbath.”
This riled up the religious elite and they demanded to know by what authority Jesus performed His miracle. Never mind the fact that no one was rattled that a man who had been begging for years because he was unable to walk was now made whole; no, they were steamed because it occurred on a Saturday and that was a religious no-no. Jesus answer, which you can read above, is telling in that He asserts that God’s work takes priority over human rules and expectations. Regardless at how obvious that last sentence appears to be, the point’s application should not be lost on us.
And the application is that if we are to be the followers of Jesus, it is incumbent upon us to be about our Father’s work first and foremost. This does not preclude us from doing the work that is necessary to live in American during the 21st century, but that work should not take our attention, or our diligence, from the work that God has for us.
The second application is that in order to do the Father’s work, we must know what, in fact, actually qualifies as the Father’s work. According to Matthew 5:16, anything that leads others to the praise and glory of God is His work. This could include, but not be limited to: prayer, Bible study, coming to church, committing to a small group or ministry, witnessing to a co-worker, working hard on your job, loving your family and spouse, living with purity, and even singing a song; so long as it leads to the glory of God, it is part of the Father’s work and brings Him glory. Of course, the greatest cause for praise and worship of the Father is when a life is transformed. That’s why Jesus healed that invalid even though it was on a Sabbath. He knew that more glory would come to God as a result of the healing than from Him taking the day off because ritual demanded it.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to seize the opportunities that you have to bring glory to God? Are you looking for ways that you can point others to Him? Maybe take some time and brainstorm some ideas of how you can achieve that in your life. Think of some specific names of people who you can point to God through your attitude, your actions, and your way of life.
God is working hard all around us and Jesus is working, too. I encourage you to join the movement. Get involved. Our God is awesome and deserves our best efforts. And when our activity runs up against tradition, or the expectations of others, just remember that God’s glory always comes first.
Posted on Wed, June 6, 2012
by John Hill