Chapter 9—The Work and the Life

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All the light, life, and joy in the universe comes from God. His blessings are like rays of light from the sun. They flow out from Him to all His creatures like streams of water from a spring. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts of people, it will flow out to others in love and blessing.

Our Savior’s joy was in uplifting and redeeming sinful men and women. He did not try to save Himself from suffering and death, but willingly died on the cross. Angels also work for the happiness of other beings. This is their joy. Selfish people do not wish to humble themselves to help the poor, the sick, the sinful. Yet this is the work of sinless angels. Christ’s unselfish love fills the hearts of all who live in heaven and is the reason everyone there is so happy. Christ’s followers on earth will have this love too, and it will guide them in their work.

The only way to grow in grace is to do the work Christ has asked us to do. We need to help others as much as we can, for helping others is spiritual exercise.

When we have Christ’s love in our hearts, like a sweet smell, it cannot be hidden. Everyone we meet will feel its holy power. The spirit of Christ in our hearts is like a spring of water in the desert. It flows out to bless all and makes those who are dying in sin want to drink and be saved.

Love for Jesus will lead us to work as He worked for the blessing and uplifting of all people. His love will lead us to be kind and loving. We will feel sympathy for all the creatures of our heavenly Father.

The Saviour’s life on earth was not an easy one. But He never grew tired of working to save lost people. He lived an unselfish life from His birth until His death. He did not try to be free from hard work and tiring journeys. He said that the Son of man “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”Matthew 20:28. This was the one great aim of His life. Everything else was less important. To do God’s will and to finish His work was like food and drink to Him. There was no thought of self in His work.

If we receive the grace of Christ, we too will want to help others. We will be willing to give everything so that those for whom Christ died may share this gift of grace. We will do all we can by our own lives to make the world better. Anyone who truly loves God will have this desire.

As soon as we come to Christ we want to tell everyone what a dear friend we have found in Jesus. The truth that saves us and changes our lives cannot be shut up in our hearts. If we have received Christ’s robe of righteousness, we cannot stop telling others about it. When we are filled with the joy of His Spirit, we must share it. We have something wonderful to tell because we have learned that the Lord is good.

When Jesus called Philip to be one of His disciples, Philip ran and called a friend to come and see Jesus. We will be like Philip when we find the Saviour. We will invite others to meet Him and see the beauty of Christ. We will tell them about the joy of heaven. We will desire to live the kind of life that Jesus lived. We will want those around us to see “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.

A great blessing will come to us when we try to be a blessing to others. God wants us, for our own good, to have a part to act in His plan of redemption. He gives us hearts that are changed by His Spirit so that we can be His helpers and pass on to others the blessings we receive. Working with Him is the highest honor and the greatest joy God can give us. Those who do this work of love are brought nearest to the Creator.

God could have given to the heavenly angels the work of carrying His messages of love and hope. He might have used other ways to get the job done. But in His infinite love He chose to make us His helpers. We can work with Christ and the angels and share their blessing and joy. We can be uplifted by this unselfish work.

We are brought into sympathy with Christ when we suffer with Him. Every time we help others, we become more loving and come nearer to our Redeemer. “Rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by means of his poverty.” 2 Corinthians 8:9. Life can be a real blessing to us only when we do the work for which we were created.

When we work for Christ and bring people to Him, we will feel the need to know Him better. We will hunger and thirst for righteousness and ask God for His help. Our faith will be made stronger as we learn more about salvation. Troubles and cares will cause us to study our Bibles and pray more. We will grow stronger spiritually, will get to know Christ better, and will have a happy, rewarding life.

Unselfish work for others helps make our characters like Christ’s. It brings peace and happiness. It gives us a strong desire to be more helpful. There will be no room in our lives for laziness and selfishness. If we exercise our faith and other Christian graces, we will become strong in our work for God. We shall see the truth clearly. Our faith will keep growing, and we will pray with greater power. God’s Spirit will move upon our hearts, helping us develop characters that will honor Him. If we give ourselves in unselfish service for others, we are most surely working out our own salvation.

The only way to grow in grace is to do the work Christ has asked us to do. We need to help others as much as we can, for helping others is spiritual exercise. Exercising the body makes a person strong. If we want to keep our Christian life strong, we must work. If we receive God’s blessings and do nothing, our Christian lives will not be healthy and strong.

Receiving without giving is like trying to live by eating and not working. A person who does not use his arms and legs soon loses his power to move them. The Christian who will not use the powers that God gives him no longer grows in Christ. He even loses the power he already has.

Christ has given His church the job of carrying to the world the story of Jesus and His love. To tell this story is the duty of all Christians. All of us are to do this work as well as we can. Because God’s love has been shown to us, we have a debt to pass it on to those who do not know Him. God has given us light, not for ourselves alone but to give to others.

The followers of God should be awake to their duty. Where only one person in faraway lands is telling the story of Jesus today, there should be thousands. If we cannot go ourselves, we can pray for this work and show our love by giving money. There should be far more work for others even in Christian countries.

Not all work that needs to be done for Christ is in faraway lands. Our work may be right in the home. We can do our duty for Christ in the home, the church, the neighborhood. We may work among friends and for those with whom we do business.

Most of our Saviour’s life on earth was spent working in a carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. Angels were with Him as He worked and walked with His neighbors who did not know that He was the Son of God. Jesus was as faithfully doing His Father’s work while laboring in the shop as when He was healing the sick. Working as a carpenter was as much His duty as was quieting the stormy waves of Galilee. We too may be working with Jesus as we do our humble duties. We may walk with Him wherever we are.

The apostle Paul wrote, “My friends, each of you should remain in fellowship with God in the same condition that you were when you were called.” 1 Corinthians 7:24. We may faithfully carry on our daily business in a way that will bring glory to God. If we are true followers of God, we will bring religion into everything we do, and will show to others the spirit of Christ.

The person who works in a shop may show Christ to men and women. He may show that he is a follower of Him who walked among the hills of Galilee. Every Christian should work in such a way so that others, seeing his good works, will be led to give glory to their Creator and Redeemer.

Many people have excused themselves from serving Christ because others could do the work better than they. Some people think that only those who have unusual abilities are required to do God’s work. They think that only a few special people are to share in the work and the rewards. But this is not what Jesus taught in the story He told. He said that the master of the house called his servants together and gave to every man his work.

We may do life’s humble daily duties with a loving heart “as though… [we] were working for the Lord and not for people.” Colossians 3:23. The love of God will show in our lives if it is in our hearts. The sweet influence of Christ’s love will be around us to lift up and bless others.

We must not wait for some important time to work for God. Nor should we wait until we are able to do a greater work. We are not to worry about what people will think of us. Our daily life must show that our faith is pure and sincere. If people see that we want to help them, our work will do some good.

The humblest and the poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to other people. They may not know that they are helping anyone. But by the way they live they may start waves of blessing that will get bigger and bigger. They may never know until they reach heaven how much good they have done.

God does not expect people to worry about success. They do not need to feel or know that they are doing some great work. If they quietly and faithfully do the work God has given them, their lives will not be wasted.

People who work for God will become more and more like Christ, for they are workers together with Him. They also are preparing for the higher work and pure joy of the life to come.

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