A Weighty Choice
It is our heavenly Father who offers meals for birds and clothes for flowers. We, who are much more beneficial to him, are as a result to trust him for the necessities of life.
Anxiousness and worry are genuine. Several years ago I was in Hungary and met a man whose demeanor impressed me tremendously, a humble man of terrific grace and warmth. I was eager to hear his story. In the communist era he had been a village-college mathematics teacher, but he was also active in the neighborhood churches in the region, substantially in demand as a teacher of Scripture. A single day he was summoned to the police station and questioned about his employment.
“You are a math teacher,” they mentioned, “but you are also a Bible teacher, is not that so?”
“Yes, certainly,” he mentioned, “I do that in my spare time.”
“And you get paid for it?” they asked.
“Not at all,” he mentioned, “it is my contribution totally freely provided.”
“We do not think you,” they replied. “You will have to as a result opt for. Either you continue as a college teacher or as a Bible teacher but not each, and you will have to give us your selection really quickly.”
He went dwelling that evening to his loved ones with a heavy heart. He had a significant loved ones, and it was not uncomplicated to feed them all, but he decided to go over the matter with them. He known as them collectively and mentioned, “I never ever want you youngsters to be in a position to say that they had been not consulted by their father in significant choices affecting loved ones life.” So he outlined to them the option he faced. What should really he do?
The youngest boy in the loved ones mentioned, “Dad, I can not think about you devoid of a Bible in your hands.”
The selection was created and he had to leave the college. Obtaining function was tricky, and in the finish he had to content material himself with the backbreaking function of lifting and carrying heavy slates in a quarry. The slates had sharp edges, and his wife told me that numerous an evening she had to dress his hands with bandages so that the blood from his numerous abrasions would not drip onto the Bible he was applying in the pulpit.
A single day he was known as into the manager’s workplace. “I hear that you after taught mathematics?”
“Well,” mentioned the foreman, “I am underqualified for my job, and below new regulations we all need to have standard qualifications in mathematics. How would you like to teach me, as an alternative of functioning in the quarry?” He jumped at it and found to his joy that his spend was much more than he had received as a teacher in the college.
It was a magnificent instance of what it implies truly to serve the Lord in everyday function, and I was not shocked to learn that his influence was felt all through the complete nation.
God is interested in character far much more than possessions. His intention is that our function becomes an integral aspect of the procedure of character improvement.
There is, nonetheless, much more to be believed about in Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that we have just been thinking about. He speaks of motivation, contrasting two attitudes: “The Gentiles [pagans] seek. . . . [You] seek . . .” This strikes us as strange at very first. Certainly we are all to seek meals and clothes by functioning, as God has ordained. That is accurate, of course, which implies that it is not the point Jesus is creating. Jesus is adding two additional dimensions, the spiritual and the moral, to the quest for meals and clothes, which is commonly undertaken via our function. It is maybe easiest understood when we assume of it in the context of our motivation for performing that function.
A single typical motivation is basically to function in order to get income to reside. On the other hand, Jesus says that the believer should really “seek very first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” in the procedure of gaining the wherewithal to reside. The factors required for living will be added as nicely, and right here is the point—they are no longer the most important motive for performing the function. For the believer, the most important motive is to knowledge God’s kingdom, that is, his rule in our each day lives. In sensible terms that will imply searching for his righteousness. Every single job, every single sort of function, no matter if paid or not, no matter if in a hospital, a factory, or a church, provides rise to moral issues, concerns of private and corporate probity.
Feel of it this way: There are two elements to function for a believer, not just one particular. Initially, the objective of function (as just talked about): searching for God’s rule and then the by-items of function: meals, clothes, housing, and so on. The sad tragedy is that numerous persons confuse the objective of function with the by-solution of function. For them the most important objective of function is meals, clothes, housing, and all the rest of an inexhaustible list of private possessions, up to private aircraft, yachts, palaces, and even football clubs. Their prime motivation is to get these factors. The danger is that their want to possess them might overrule moral qualms, and they might give in to the temptation to obtain them by dishonesty, cheating, corruption, theft, and a thousand other unique approaches of manipulating the technique.
John C. Lennox
Emphasizing the significant themes in the Joseph narrative—such as the sovereignty of God, suffering, temptation, forgiveness, and faith—John Lennox applies the life of Joseph to readers’ lives now.
What such persons do not understand is that though they might nicely have gained goods and home, they have lost the most important objective for which function was intended by God in the very first place—experiencing his rule and righteousness. God is interested in character far much more than possessions. His intention is that our function becomes an integral aspect of the procedure of character improvement.
My Hungarian pal exemplified this memorably. A different vivid instance I came across is that of a young man in his twenties who had educated as an electrician. Right after just a couple of weeks in his very first job performing the electrical wiring in new homes, he was summoned to see his boss, who angrily accused him of laziness in that he had wired fewer homes than his workmates. He replied that he could not function any more rapidly, because the wiring below the floors had to be carried out particularly meticulously to fulfill the regulations with regards to fire hazards. The boss angrily retorted: “Who sees below the floorboards?” “My Lord does,” answered the young man devoid of hesitation. He was fired on the spot but got a new job quickly afterward.
This incident captures precisely what Jesus teaches. The young electrician was searching for God’s rule and righteousness in his everyday function. He was not ready to reduce moral corners mainly because he believed God was interested in his character. God was watching the way he worked.
This short article is adapted from Joseph: A Story of Really like, Hate, Slavery, Energy, and Forgiveness by Joseph C. Lennox.