Week 35 “Labor in the Lord” Day 4
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
1 Thess. 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Does this admonition sound compelling or boring to you? If your life is hectic and the pace is beyond what you feel you can compete with or if you are a natural introvert and love to “mind your own business,” then this may sound wonderful. If you long for adventure and more activity and action or you are an extrovert, it might sound painful. The context of these statements involved a church that was focused on the Lord’s return. Their focus was leading them in exactly the wrong direction. Instead of their perspective on the “end” leading to increased faithfulness in the “now,” it led them to be restless and inattentive to their day-to-day duties. They became idle and “meddlers.” They were not fully engaged with life themselves, so they spent their time illegitimately worrying about the lives of others. The result was that those outside the church did not find their lives compelling. Who would find restless, idle, and meddlesome people’s lives compelling? Throughout the history of the church the eschatological vision (return of Christ in the future) has led to decreased faithfulness in the present. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. An eternal vision should empower a temporal vision. The fact that your health, your life, your job, your possessions, and your status will all come to an end someday should lead to a passion to be found faithful with all of it. We should not become cynical and agree with what Solomon foolishly thought: “All is vanity!” Instead, we should be people who understand that, in Christ, “Nothing is vanity!” Don’t see this as “make it your ambition to have no ambition.” Rather, this is “make it your ambition to be faithful.” Have a compelling and controlling passion for faithfulness. In every sphere of influence where God places you, be found faithful there.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.