Saturday, January 11, 2014

Do the work at hand

In 5 months, we hope to be zipping our suitcases for a long trip across the Pacific. Before we go, there's work to be done.

The meeting before the meeting: friends visiting
and catching up on Christmas events
W's begun his final semester at the university, so this was a busy week of preparation. The class syllabi and websites are done; he's ready to teach on Monday morning. Meanwhile we're hosting guests twice a week and itinerating on the weekends.

Today we're spoke at a seniors lunch before heading across Snoqualmie Pass. The torrential rain and occasional snow were foul but the roads were only slushy for a few miles. God answered Jean's petition for safe travels, gripping my hands in prayer before we left Creekside Church.

Tomorrow we preach together in the Sunday morning adult class and service in Kennewick. W and I have notes on many scripture passages. Integrating what we have and what we're learning together is a lively process. Back and forth. Writing notes, deleting extra material, talking it through. What a privilege to do God's work together.

What is the work God is calling you to do? 

Seniors with a great sense of humor and pragmatic thinking:
why exhaust friends before Christmas when
you can keep celebrating into the New Year?
Here are a few questions that help me evaluate work, confirming that we're not filling time with things that don't matter:

  • Do we sense God's approval on this opportunity? "Would Jesus be comfortable doing this?"
  • Does this work need doing? Sometimes we're assigned things that are diversions or someone's hobby horse. Sometimes we're the only ones within hand's reach of an onerous task that is important but not desirable. "Just do it!"
  • If it needs doing, are we the best person to do it? Is there someone else who would learn from/ enjoy/ thrive on doing this? However, we can't just shove a chore to someone else because it's menial or "beneath us." After all, Jesus served in low and high tasks.
  • How can we best serve God and others in completing this? What spiritual gifts (serving, helping, teaching, etc.) could help us do a good job?

    The outcome might include benefits to us: developing spiritual discipline, good character, or skills. Maybe we need God's grace to do something with a good attitude or light heart. Some things may be easy, while others may take great effort. "Whatever you do, do it with all your might as serving the Lord."

The next time you are handed an opportunity or are asked to undertake something, pause to think about the wonder of God at work in the world - through you and me.

Read more:
*As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 NEV

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:16-17 NKJV

*In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 ESV

Moravian Prayer: What a wonderful and awesome God we serve! You sacrificed your pure and sinless son for the sake of the world. We cannot thank you enough. Accept our praise, love, devotion, and worship for we can never, ever repay this debt. Glory and honor to you, Lord. Amen.

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