Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

Going to Jesus

Daily Thoughts

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Thought for the Morning
12-24

Work

"And unto Adam God said, 'Because you have hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,
and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, "Thou shalt not eat of it",
cursed is the ground for thy sake. In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.' "
God, in Genesis 3:17

The inconveniences, the disappointments, and the sorrows of this life are evidences of the wrath of God for man's sin and rebellion, and when we endure those things humbly and remain faithful to God, He takes the bitterness out of our grief and the sting out of death and the grave. The disasters that strike the earth are also evidences of God's wrath against sin, and those who endure such things with humility and faith are not destroyed by them but through those things are made better and wiser people.

Every day you go to your job, you are submitting to the chastening hand of God, for God cursed Adam with the necessity of labor in order to have the wherewithal to feed himself and his family. If you are an honest, hard worker, God will bless you for submitting to His discipline in a godly manner. If you are a lazy or dishonest worker, God will make the punishment even more severe.

While we are laboring in the flesh, we must also be laboring in spirit toward God's righteousness if we hope to attain to eternal rest. Wise men and women understand that all people are sinful by nature and, so, are worthy of death; consequently, they are grateful for the time God gives them on earth before they die. And they are very thankful for every chastisement and correction from the Creator because they understand that it is given to them while they are still alive and able to change their ways and please God. They take advantage of the time to repent, to be washed from their sins by the blood of Christ, and thereafter to "work righteousness" in God's sight. They labor to secure for themselves a part in the first resurrection, the resurrection that Jesus called "the resurrection of life". The poet John Donne, a profligate sinner who had been convicted of his sins, repented, and come to Jesus, once wrote, "Affliction is a treasure, and hardly any man hath enough of it." He had learned to suffer all things in humility and fear before God, thankful for the opportunity to suffer and to learn by the suffering.

Let us all go to work, more faithfully and humbly than ever. Labor is a curse from God, yes, but at the same time, God has promised to reward us for the labor we are cursed to do if we work "as unto the Lord".

Some people do good works; others do evil works. But all are working, and all are working toward an end. Whether our personal end will be an end of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" or an end of eternal life and peace depends on the kind of works we do. And Jesus let us know what to expect (Jn. 5:28-29): "Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which everyone who is in the tombs shall hear his voice and shall come out, those who have done good unto a resurrection of life, but those who have practiced evil unto a resurrection of damnation."

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