Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Work of God

Ever since man left the Garden, work has been of the utmost importance to him.  After all, he had to earn his bread with sweat and back-breaking labor.  As time went on, although some still were farmers, for others, their work evolved into other occupations.  Eventually, work defined who you were.

When you meet someone, it isn't very long at all before you exchange information about what you do for a living.  A doctor's occupation seems to elicit more admiration than ...a garbage collector.  Although, it is very important to have garbage collectors in society -- think how quickly there would be chaos if trash were not picked up!

Man began to have the mindset that he must earn his way in everything, even heaven.  But if man were able to earn his way into eternity, why would Jesus have to sacrifice Himself to give us eternal life?


Once, a group of people asked Jesus a very important question. They wanted to know what works they could perform that would please God. Imagine their surprise when Jesus said, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.”* In other words, believe Jesus is who He said He is.

How surprising!  He didn't command them to DO anything but trust.

Sounds simple, but sometimes in today's world trusting can be hard work.  When people question how God can allow bad things to happen to good people, when it is said He doesn't exist, or He is dead, it takes work to keep believing, to keep trusting.  It takes work to be in the scriptures, to daily be in His presence so that you can say, "What do you mean He is dead?  I just talked to Him."

The book of James tells us faith without works is dead, so definitely there's a place for works in a believer's life.  Your works should be done in obedience and gratitude for what He has done for you.

But the first step is to trust in Him. Only trust.

* John 6:28-29


I'm sharing at The Loft using a post adapted from my 2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge. I'm also sharing at Grace and Truth and #FreshMarketFriday.


Linda Stoll said...

Trust ... such a beautiful invitation, yet often hard to accept wholeheartedly. What a beautiful way to wrap up your post, friend ...

betty said...

I think it is neat that Jesus has already done the work; we just need to obey and trust!


Michele Morin said...

As long as we can "work" our way into heaven, we're in the driver's seat, aren't we? God certainly acted in wisdom when He did it all for us and set His only expectation -- faith -- so high that even that is an act of grace!

Monica said...

I've always believed that the "works" James is referring to is sharing the goodness, caring for the homeless, widows, and orphans... things of that nature. Not trying to earn a place in heaven.
Yet another great post!

sue donaldson said...

Love this - it's so true that we are defined by our occupation - much better that our fulltime occupation be who God defined us to be: His!

sue donaldson said...
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DeAnna Morris said...

Thanks for sharing at The Loft, Jeralea. Great wisdom from James!

Gena Hood said...

I love the provocative title of your post today, Jerralea. It drew me in! And, then such blessing awaited me...I love meditating on resting in and trusting Christ's finished work for me. Thanks for being here at The Loft!

Debbie W. Wilson said...

Jerralea, I love that verse in John. Our work is to believe! Great thoughts.