Our Obligation To Work

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.
–Hebrews 3:7

In the parable of the two sons, we see four important principles. First, God has given each of us a job to do. Second, our work is to do God’s work, and that is introducing people to Christ. Third, our work is the result of our relationship to God. The father in this parable did not go to some stranger and say, “You, go work in my vineyard.” No, he went to his sons. He said, “In light of everything that I have done for you in the past and the inheritance that is going to be yours in the future, you have an obligation to work in my vineyard.” And the same is true of us. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul said, “Do you not know . . . that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price.” In light of what God has done for us in the past and all that is going to belong to us in the future, we have an obligation to do God’s work.

Imagine your parents have spent their lives building a family business that they intend to leave to you one day. They are getting advanced in years, and one day your dad says, “We really could use some help. Do you think you could spend just one day a week helping us in the family business?” You say, “Sure, Dad, I would be happy to help you.” But your work responsibilities and the pull of your own family keep you from following through on that commitment. A few years later, after your dad passes away, you travel to the office where he ran the family business for so many years. To your disappointment, you discover that what had once been a thriving enterprise has shriveled up into nothing. You are filled with regret. You think, “If only I had done what my father had asked me to do, this business would still be a success today.”

The Bible says one day everything that belongs to God is going to belong to us. We have a great inheritance that awaits us in heaven, and our effort or our lack of effort in this life in doing God’s work will profoundly affect the size of our inheritance. It is our relationship to God that obligates us to do His work.

Finally, our work should begin today. In Matthew 21:28, the father said, “Son, go work today in the vineyard.” It is ironic that we human beings, whom the Bible says are like vapors, tend to squander time, but an eternal God values time. To us, time is limitless. To God, time is invaluable. For us, the most opportune time to begin doing something is tomorrow. For God, the most opportune time to begin is today. In Hebrews 3:13, the writer said, “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today.’” Hebrews 3:7 says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Our work for God is to begin today.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Other Story About The Two Sons” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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