Praise And Worship Through Work
This article appeared in the May 20th edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle
© 05.17.10 By D. Eric Williams
In last week's excellent article, Pastor Dan reminded us “When we praise God, He is there, and our bad thoughts, our evil imaginations, our insecurities, our fears and doubts cannot remain” and “He Is Worthy. Perhaps when we feel badly, is exactly the time to sing.” Pastor Dan's article got me to thinking about the duty and privilege of praise to our Lord and so this week I want piggyback on his column.
In his letter to the Church in Colosse, the Apostle Paul affirms the all sufficiency of Christ. He reminds his readers there is nothing - and no one - that can compare with Jesus. He is the creator, ruler and sustainer of the universe. Additionally, he is concerned with every aspect of life: even the behavior of a lowly slave. It is to the slave Paul writes, saying, And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). In other words, don't work for your earthly master; instead serve your earthly master as a way of working for the Lord Jesus. In so doing you will better serve your earthly master and glorify the Lord. After all, it is from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Therefore, the slave's hearty work is an act of adoration of and for the Lord Jesus. It is putting feet to praise and worship.
As the old time Puritans understood, work as unto the lord is one of the ways we give praise to God. And like the songs of praise Pastor Dan wrote about last week, praise in action is a good way to clear the deck of bad thoughts, evil imaginations, fears and doubts. How so? Well, have you ever done a job alongside someone you really like? In a situation of that sort, you think of dong your best to make a favorable impression on the other person. Because their company is enjoyable, you integrate conversation with the task. The work sails along and at the end of the job you wish there was more to do so you could spend additional time with your coworker. While the work was being done, you thought of little else but the task at hand and the person you were working with. There wasn't room in your mind for anything else. This is how it should be as we live our life as unto the Lord. If we are concentrating on how to bring him glory in word and deed, we won't have time or interest in ungodly thoughts or behavior.
So, when we roll out of bed for work at 5:15 in the morning, we need to remind ourselves who our employer really is. When the school teacher treats us with contempt we need to lift praise to the Lord in doubling down and working up to our potential. When the dishes are piled up in the sink, the baby is crying in the next room and a collection agency number is on the caller ID, we praise the Lord with an attitude of Christlikeness in the midst of it all. Christians need to live this life aware we are in the presence of the Lord every moment of every day. We need to understand whatever [we] do in word or deed, [we should]do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17). Praise God in song. Praise him in your work. Praise the Father in your recreation. Worship him with your whole being – and let the world know it. Amen!