Today’s 1-yr Bible readings include a warning for those prone to laziness (Proverbs 24:30-34) and an Apostles’ accommodation for hard work (1 Thessalonians 1:2-8).

I know God doesn’t need anyone to provide Him anything. So, why would a transcendent God, one who is not bound by time or space or age or circumstances, be interested at all in how you and I respond to difficulties? Why would God encourage us to “work (produced by faith) “labor” (prompted by love), and endurance (inspired by hope), as He did the Thessalonians. The same God tells us in Proverbs that the “sluggard … lacks wisdom” and neglects the resources God gave him (field and vineyard) for a little more sleep.

If God is self-sufficient (and He is) and we can’t give Him anything He doesn’t already have (and we can’t) then perhaps the reason He commends our work and urges us not to squander the resources He provides, is because there is an intrinsic value and a benefit to us in doing the hard work. The benefit is not our ease or comfort or wealth. One of the benefits of being a diligent worker in the task He assigns us through our employment, family, marriage, church service, and community is in the confidence we receive by knowing we are “in Christ”.

Especially in difficult days, God wants us to work, labor, and show endurance in the tasks assigned. Paul said that the demonstration of this intentional effort was empowered by the Spirit of God and gave evidence that the church was in Christ.

We are facing unprecedented times hard times (pandemic, racial unrest, and the fear of an unknown future). Now is the time for believers to be intentional with our work in all these areas so that when our community looks at our fields and vineyards as they go by, they will not see a church that is at sleep but one that is at work.

LORD let us be an example of a disciplined life of service especially when times are difficult.

by Robert Riggs

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