(The following is the September 12 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Colossians 3 and pay close attention to verses 17-25.)
Each believer makes up one small thread in the larger tapestry of the church God weaves together. Do we appreciate where he has placed us and serve as though we are serving Christ himself?
After graduating from college and seminary, I expected a lifetime of full-time Christian ministry. Having served on church staffs during college, seminary, and a few years afterward, my life took an unexpected turn. While pursuing a second seminary degree, I started working in secular jobs and remained in them for the rest of my adult career. I often wondered if I did the right thing leaving full-time ministry when moments of doubt and guilt surfaced. But there were opportunities to serve Christ in secular roles I would not have had in vocational ministry. Christ let me serve the same church for 36 years as a layman – something unlikely as a vocational minister. Ultimately, it was clear that God’s plan for me was not what I first envisioned. My job was to grow and bear fruit where he planted me.
Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (v. 17), and “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people” (v. 23). The authors of The Gospel at Work put it this way: “Do you realize that no matter what your job is, no matter what it is you do in it, no matter who your boss is or even your boss’s boss, what you do in your job is actually done in service to King Jesus! He is the One who deployed you there for this time of your life, and it is for him that you ultimately work.” *
That goes for all areas of life – work, family, community, church, neighborhood, school, recreation, etc. “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Do you work and serve as though you are doing it for the Lord? How might such an attitude change your perspective and performance?
* Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert, The Gospel at Work, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), 145.