What kind of work would you like to do for the Lord? Would you like to visit others? Would you like to teach the lost? Would you like to help teach the saved how to keep being saved? Would you like to teach someone how to study the Bible? Would you like to help with folks who have some kind of hardship? You can not do nothing and be saved!
We understand this when it comes to being saved. When the question is asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The answer is not, “nothing.” They had to do something to be saved. This question is also asked in Matthew 19:16 and the answer is still not, “nothing.” In Acts 16:30 the question is asked also, Sins, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas did not tell this man and his household that there was nothing they could do to be saved. We understand that and know this but what about continuing to follow in the pathway of righteousness?
This is a good question and never would it be answer with, “You do not have anything else to do. You are now a Christian and all the work is now done.” What is the difference between this and once saved always saved? The above statement is no where stated nor is it implied.
When we consider several things that a Christian is to do some folks may not consider some of these things works. There would be some jobs that some would not consider work. If you like to work in wood then to do something that makes a person an income in that area may not be considered work. The same is true with the Lord’s work. It may not be work for some to worship God, for others it might. Even when we break this down it might not be work for one person to sing, while for another it is hard work. It might not be work for some to pray, while for others, it is. It might be hard for some folks to focus on the proper item of act of worship, while others have no problem dismissing from their mind all worldly thoughts and considers and concentrate totally upon that act of worship. You see some may be able quite quickly to devote all their energy upon the words of a song, while others might have to work at what the song is saying. So some of these things might not be work for you but for the person seating next to you it is the hardest of work.
By inspiration Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). You see the idea is work.
When there were widows in need listen again to what the Holy Ghost told Paul to write, “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” (! Timothy 5:10). Did you read all the things this poor widow was to have done before she could have been taken into the number to be relieved by the church? How many of those things are you doing and they are work! Bringing up children is not easy work! Lodging strangers is not easy either, think what needs to be done to take care of strangers. They beds must be made. The floors must be swept and cleaned or waxed. The room must be cleaned. The room must be kept up. Then there is the food. There is entertainment of those guests also. This all takes work. What about washing someone else’s feet, that shows the correct attitude, and that might take work for some. Now think this is just for the poor widows what then were the other Christians to do?
At the judgment (Matthew 25:31ff) notice what Christians were to be doing. They are to be: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, taking in the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting (more than just coming by and checking on them) the sick, and helping those in prison. Now think for a moment, how many of these are you doing? Those who are/were doing these things are on the right hand and the Lord says to them, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Those on the left hand are going to ask, “Lord when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick or in prison” (Matthew 25:44). What were these on the left hand doing? They were not doing any work for the Lord were they!
You might now ask what about working for my family. That is doing the work of the Lord also. In the context of the passage about taking care of widows this passage is given, “But if any provide not for his own, an especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). Notice also, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the things which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28). There is work that needs to be done for the Lord, what are you doing?
In Revelation we find that we are to be “faithful unto death” (2:10). Does faithfulness require work? You might not have to but others it requires a lot of work. The devil is out there doing what ever is necessary to tempt some to be his servant, it takes work not to do that.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). You see our works are to glorify not ourselves but the Father which is above all and sees all. Let us be about our Father’s business. Love, Keith