BY PASTOR JEFF SMITH
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2018
“Laboring for the Lord”
WARNING: Do not read this if you’re currently eating!
I marched up the stairs, armed with a roll of paper towels and grim resolve. I knew what awaited me. I opened the door, and my eyes immediately scanned the room. There on the carpet, I saw my target–the contents of my infant son’s stomach. It was almost artistic, but more like a Jackson Pollock gone horribly wrong. And as I bent down to start scrubbing the remnants of the baby’s dinner from the fibers of the carpet, I thought to myself, “I am doing the Lord’s work.”
(Wait a minute, what did he just say???)
That’s right. The Lord’s work. Even cleaning up vomit can legitimately be considered serving God.
Let me refer you to a couple of wonderful verses from the Bible: Paul writes these words in Colossians 3:17— “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
And then in another letter, Paul continues this theme. Here are his words in 1 Corinthians 10:31— “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Both verses say “whatever you do.” Whatever you do in word or deed, you are encouraged, nay commanded, to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus and to His glory.
We all have various responsibilities to do and roles to fill in our lives. And my hunch is that we all have some that we consider more noble and glamorous than others. One problem that I’ve noticed is that we tend to compartmentalize our lives too much. For example, we serve at church or volunteer in the community or assist a neighbor who needs help and we call that “doing the Lord’s work.” But then we separate the things we do at work or at home or in other areas as simply other duties we carry out.
But God is telling us in His Word that “whatever” we do is His work. All the responsibilities and roles we have come from God Himself. This opens up everything we do in our busy day to be true service to our Lord.
This is why I was focusing on doing the Lord’s work when I encountered Vomitgate ‘18. I knew that by performing this task I was being a faithful father and husband. God has graciously given those blessed roles to me, and I was serving Him and my family by cleaning up the mess.
The story I’ve shared is not an unusual or exceptional one. I share it with you as an example of a normal, mundane occurrence similar to things that you also do every day. Think about the most boring, or the least desirable, or the most common task you do at work or at home on a regular basis. Now think about how that task is a way God has prepared in advance for you to do in His name and to His glory. Doesn’t that change the way you’ll look at doing that thing from now on? It should!
Through Paul’s words, God has unlocked all aspects of our life to be done in service to Him. So, the next time that you’re changing a diaper, doing dishes, entering data into your computer, responding to email, making a needed repair, or whatever it is you do, remember that you are doing the Lord’s work. He has called you to do this task, so do it with all your heart, in Jesus’s name and to His glory.