Laboring For God

September 4, 2017

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”  (Hebrews 6:10)

Many of us have at some time experienced not being appreciated. It’s challenging to labor long and hard helping people without a word or gesture of appreciation. The author of Hebrews gives us a beautiful word to share with unappreciated servants of the Lord. That word is simply that we can know we are always appreciated.

Our Lord instructed us that we are to work our righteous acts in secret. We are to give in such a way that one hand does not know what the other hand is giving. We are to pray and fast in a private closet knowing that our Father in Heaven sees and knows everything we pray and do. (Matthew 6)

In the same spirit through Moses, God said, “Walk before Me!” (Genesis 17:1) It can bring spiritual perspective into our daily walk if we hold on to the premise that everything we do is done before and as unto God. The author of Hebrews is reminding us we are always appreciated when we look up and walk before God.

In my early twenties at the beginning my ministry, I met an elderly missionary couple who had spent 48 years serving God in China. Visiting them in charity housing, as far as I could tell they had been shown no appreciation whatsoever for their faithful work in China. When I asked how they could bear that their answer was: “You have to know Who you’re doing it for.”

Walk before God as you do your work – and when you need some appreciation.

Dick Woodward, 29 February 2012


One Day at a Time

September 9, 2014

Give us this day our daily bread…”  (Matthew 6:11)

The Lord is using the symbol of bread here to represent all our needs.  We are a veritable ‘Internet” of needs.  Our needs are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  This first personal petition should not be limited to our need for food but for all the needs we have as creatures of God.

Observe that the concept ‘one day at a time’ is repeated twice in this petition of just seven words.  Alcoholics and drug addicts with years of sobriety tell me that when they took their first step, they could not even entertain the thought of being sober for more than one day.  This prayer of Jesus prescribes that we pray ‘this day’ and ‘daily’ when we present our creature needs to our Heavenly Father. This principle of one day at t time is a proven therapy that has made the difference between life and death for some of my closest friends who are celebrating many years of sobriety.  Observe how Jesus concludes His great teaching about values with the same emphasis later in Matthew 6:  “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow.  God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”  (Matthew 6:34, Living Bible)

We read in the book of Numbers that when God miraculously provided bread from Heaven (manna) in the wilderness, the Israelites were only permitted to collect enough manna for one day. That story, recorded in Numbers 11, is also applicable to the one-day-at-a-time principle Jesus prescribes in the prayer He taught.

When we apply the story of that great miracle to our daily devotions, we should make the application that we cannot hoard our experience of a word from God, or the blessings of a time in the presence of God.  We must have our souls and spirits nourished with heavenly manna every day, one day at a time.

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Prayer


Appreciation

February 29, 2012

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”  (Hebrews 6:10)

All of us have or we will experience not being appreciated.  It’s challenging to labor long and hard helping people without a word or gesture of appreciation.  The author above gives us a beautiful word that we can share with unappreciated servants of the Lord.  That word is simply that we can know we are always appreciated.

Our Lord instructed us that we are to work our righteous acts in secret.  We are to give in such a way that one hand does not know what the other hand is giving.  We are to pray and fast in a closet or in private knowing that our Father in heaven sees and knows everything we pray and do (Matthew 6).

In the same spirit through Moses God said “Walk before Me!” (Genesis 17:1) It can bring spiritually profitable perspective into our daily walk if we will hold on to the perspective that everything we do is done before and as unto our God.  The author quoted above is reminding us we are always appreciated when we look up and walk before our God.

When I was in my early twenties and beginning my ministry I met a lovely elderly couple who had spent 48 years in China.  As I visited them in charity housing, in so far as I could tell they had been shown no appreciation whatsoever for their wonderful work in China.  When I asked them how they could bear that their answer was: “You have to know Who you’re doing it for.”

Walk before God as you do your work – and when you need some appreciation.