A King’s Last Command
King David, sensing death nearby, whispered to his chosen son Solomon a word of advice that would make his life a blessing. “My son, do the work…”
Some people are good at planning things to do, but seldom get around to actually doing them. Others talk a good job but never seem to be caught actually working. Still others carefully time their entrances and exits when the work ends or when it is just getting started so that to the casual observer it looks like they have done something but they really haven’t done anything. There are also dreamers who imagine themselves as productive people but their deeds are also merely dreams.
We can’t do anything about those kinds of people. We can only make sure we are not found in their company. If we have made plans, let us get busy doing what is necessary to achieve the plans. If we can “talk the talk,” let’s make sure we also, “walk the walk.” Let’s put as much thought into finding out what needs to be done and lending our strengths and efforts to the tasks as others do avoiding work. Let’s bring our heads down out of the clouds and get our hands dirty with the work that must be done.
Wisdom for the Ages
King David’s charge to his son Solomon as the moment of this transfer of power is one of the most useful pieces of instruction in the Bible. Twice David told his son to, “Do the work.” This is wisdom for the ages.
When we see those we admire for their great abilities, there is more than talent on display. We are observing the effective work of someone who has “done the work” it took to develop talent into skill.
- Talent, the ability to readily learn to do something, is God’s gift to us.
- Skill, the ability to do something well, is our gift to God.
One of the most amazing things about watching an orchestra play in concert is the realization that in the space of an hour or so of musical presentation, we are reaping the benefits of countless hours of lessons and practice, drills and rehearsals on the part of the players. One doesn’t learn to play an instrument well without “doing the work.”
Faith without Works
In the New Testament the Lord’s brother warns us that our faith is demonstrated by what we do, not just by what we know and certainly not by what we say. The apostle makes it clear that each believer has work to do for God, not to earn his/her salvation by good deeds outweighing bad ones, but by demonstrated the power of the redeemed life. We are called to be more than good planners, exciting talkers, clever work avoiders, or useless dreamers. We are called to me people of good hearts and good deeds. Our hearts have been cleansed by the washing of the water and the Word and our daily deeds are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
This week, do not be a hearer only; be a doer! Hear King David whispering across the ages of time, “Do the work!”
1 Chronicles 28:9-10; 20-21
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”… David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.
1 Peter 3:11
… turn from evil and do good…
James 1:22-25; 2:18-19
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does…Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.
… do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth… Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Colossians 3:17; 23-25
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Lord Jesus, all around me today, there is work to be done for You. Help me to see it and to do my part of it. Some tasks are one-time events and therefore are opportunities not to be missed. Other work is part of a longer process. These jobs won’t be finished today but the work we do today is important to the final result. Help me function as a problem solver on the job today. Give me the solutions my co-workers are looking for. Help me esteem my fellow workers as brothers and sisters. Let me be the kind of person they can count on. May the work of my hands be praise and worship unto You, today! For Your glory, Lord! Amen.
Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated
Words: Frances Ridley Havergal; Music: Henri Cesar Malan
1 Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.
2 Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.
3 Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.
4 Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.
5 Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.
6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved