Building on the Work of Jesus

Are you working hard to hear "Well done"?

Working God’s Field (7)

“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9.4

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3.12, 13

The Son of Man is working
The Son of Man goes forth every day into the field of the world, attending to all the work required to ready the Lord’s field for the coming harvest. By His work, He glorifies God. He prepares the soil, sows the good seed of the Kingdom by words and deeds, cares for and feeds and cultivates what He has sown, and prayerfully and attentively watches over His growing crop, lest it be overwhelmed by the tares of the secular world.

And He does that work by His Spirit, according to His Word, working in those He has called to work out their salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2.12, 13). He has appointed to us works of stewardship, sanctification, cross-bearing, witnessing, and more. In all the work we’ve been given to do, we join the Son of Man as He goes forth daily, working in God’s field.

A day of harvest is coming. But it will not be a day of harvest only, but also a day of reckoning. For on that day, the work we’ve been given to do in seeking the Kingdom and glory of God will be made manifest, with important consequences.

Judgment of our work
A day is coming, when all the work we have done will be displayed for all the world, the angels, the saints departed, and the Lord of glory to review. At that time, it will be clear and visible just how grateful we were to the Lord for all His good and perfect gifts, how much we cherished the salvation He freely gave us, and how earnest and devoted we were to the work He had given us to do.

And then we will hear person after person, from every age and tribe and tongue, rejoicing as King Jesus says to them, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of My Kingdom.” Will we hear that commendation as well?

If this day, and this expectation and hope, are not the driving force for every aspect of our lives and work, then it is doubtful we have really understood the Good News of the Kingdom or received the salvation freely offered to us by the King.

That’s pretty hard language, I know, but let’s face the reality: If we have not embraced Jesus as Lord of every area of our lives, all the work we’ve been given to do, then we are still living for ourselves, not Him. We are attempting to build on the foundation of His glorious redemptive work an edifice of wood, hay, and straw, and one day that will be sadly clear for all to see.

Meanwhile, we neglect our calling to seek the Kingdom and glory of God out in the field of the world, and where good seed of the Kingdom might have taken root and begun to thrive, the tares of our secular age are entrenched and flourishing.

But we can look forward to that coming day with hope, and with the anticipation of joy unending to hear the Lord’s commendation of our work. We do not work in order to earn our salvation; rather, we work for the Lord in all the ways we’ve been discussing because we are grateful for what He has given us, and we want everything we are and do to focus on Him in His beauty and majesty and goodness and glory.

Working God’s field
So how can we build on the work of Jesus so as to ensure a joyful outcome on that great and final Day of review? Six quick suggestions.

First, be always about the work of the Lord (Jn. 9.4). What could be more important for your time than carrying out the work by which you bring glory and honor to God? And with this, second, expect the Lord to empower you for abundant good works in everything you do (Jn. 14.12). Set large goals. Undertake big endeavors. But above all, be faithful, and expect to be fruitful, in even the smallest, everyday efforts to glorify the Lord.

Third, keep your eye on the eternal horizon, and work always unto the Lord (Jn. 6.27; Col. 3.23, 24). In other words, work as if that day of review was upon you at every moment. Be eager to please God above all else in all your work, and to retire each night, confident in Him that you have done good work that day.

Fourth, keep on the path marked out by the Law of God (1 Jn. 2.1-6; Eph. 2.10). We have been saved to do the good works ordained from of old, those set forth in the holy, righteous, and good Law of God (Rom. 3.31; 7.12). Obey that Law, and our works will never fail to show love for God and our neighbors.

Fifth, seek out like-minded co-laborers (1 Cor. 3.5-9). Sharpen, encourage, assist, and challenge one another to do all your work as unto the Lord.

And sixth, get the rest God wants you to have, especially on the Lord’s Day. We need to be serious about the work by which we glorify God, and we need to be equally serious about the rest He requires.

The Son of Man is working in God’s field. Let us unite our work with His, for the glory of the Lord, looking forward each day to the coming day of harvest and glory!

For reflection
1.  What are the greatest obstacles to overcome daily in working God’s field? How can believers help one another overcome these?

2.  We don’t work to earn our salvation, but to express it. Explain.

3.  In which of the six areas for improving your work do you most need attention?

Next steps – Preparation: Evaluate yourself in the six suggestions mentioned in this article. See if you can discover one thing that will help you improve in each of these.

T. M. Moore

Our Mission Partners Program is designed to help you and a Christian friend improve working your Personal Mission Field over a 6-month period. The program and materials are free, and you can learn more about it by clicking here. You can download a free PDF of Vocational Disciplines, a complement to this week’s study (click here).

For a free PDF of this week’s study, click here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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