Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work and Knowledge

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsufferingwith joyfulness.      Colossians 1:10-11
Ever had a verse slap you in the face? These did that to me a few weeks ago. I've read them over and over before. I've even studied them for months as this was my book in Bible Quizzing one year in high school. But the last time I read them they seemed totally remarkable!  I'm working on memorizing these two verses because they speak, very convictingly, to me on a couple of subjects.

First of all, I want to live my life in a way that pleases God. That is laid out as the primary objective.

Secondly, verse 10 describes a very important balance. I love learning. I always loved school (weird, I know!) and going to school. And increasing in the knowledge of God is mostly learning, studying, listening. That part makes me feel like I'm pleasing God. And sometimes I feel like I don't do enough of it.  But guess what? My little boy needs to be taught and trained. My husband needs time and attention. Dinner needs to be cooked. These are not second-class activities. They aren't works that I have to do but God rolls His eyes because they take up so much of my time. God designed them as part of my eternal work as a wife and mother.

That's where that phrase "Being fruitful in every good work" smacked me right in the nose! Being fruitful in good works pleases God just as much as my time increasing in the knowledge of God. Fruitful means "productive, plenteous, abundance." My good works should be growing and growing each day! What do my good works include? Reading to Micah, cooking dinner, washing clothes, playing in the yard, mopping the floors, singing at church, working in the nursery, soul-winning, grocery shopping, etc. 

That changes my perspective so much! Instead of seeing the work of my life as a necessary evil that removes me from studying the Bible I can see my work as pleasing God. I can see my work as part of that vital balance that should characterize all believers. Why? Because what we learn in the Bible should affect our lives or it's not very real.

Everything in its appropriate place. God would not be happy with me if I replaced my time studying and learning His Word with work. But neither would He be happy if I neglected the great work He has given me to simply store knowledge in my head. And it would only be in my head. If it affected my heart, it would affect my life! So let what you are learning affect how you live! Grow in those good works knowing that God is smiling as you do! (Oh, and we'll come back to verse 11 later :)

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