Doing the Father's BusinessBro. David Chancellor
2/2/2003 6:00 PM
O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.
This shows how Jeremiah felt as he tried to speak to the people. They were persecuting him for having the nerve to say what God told him. He tried to keep quiet because of the persecution, but he just couldn't keep quiet. God's word was in his heart as a burning fire. He had the confidence that as long as he said what God gave him, it would come to pass. What God said, did happen. What God says, even today, will still happen. What God says is still true. Just as Jeremiah couldn't be silenced, there should be something in us that wants to see God's work accomplished.
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
At 12 years old, Jesus wasn't ready for his ministry yet. He had to work within the customs and circumstances of his day. He had some more growing up to do. Even at that young age, you can be encouraged to learn God's plan for your life. Jesus sat and listened and asked questions. He felt the need to be in the work of God. God has a purpose for each life. You may not do exactly what someone else does, but God has a purpose. There's a reason why we're here. Your life is to accomplish the purpose of God for the benefit of the souls of men. Your life may accomplish things through prayer, or through witnessing to others. It may be that your life inspires faith in others in what God can do. Seek to be about the Father's business. Jesus did some preparation for his work. He established a testimony. God may be preparing you. Let God develop you where you are at and be willing for whatever course he would have for you.
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Jesus' meat was to do the will of him that sent him. It was his strength and inspiration and life's enjoyment to help others and inspire their faith. It helps when you enjoy your work. There is a perspective to work; it shouldn't be your life. Get your heart set on doing God's work. Christ had set down at this well, worn out. His disciples went to get some food to renew his energy. They returned to find him energized. It was Christ's passion to do this work. You will find that doing the work of God will encourage and energize. There will be times you will have to push to work for God. It doesn't always come easy. Sometimes it will take some extra effort. When you put in that extra effort, there will be some benefit and blessing in it. It may seem hard on the front end, and sometimes things may not turn out like we hope, but God will still bless us for doing it. Christ was despised, rejected, and nailed to a cross, but he rose again, and the work was accomplished. In all the things that pull on us, God knows there are opportunities to do God's work. He called us to be a benefit to souls on the way of life.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus said that this man's blindness was so that the work of God could be made manifest. Have you ever thought that you were made as you are so that God can be glorified in us? Our situation in life could be used of God. Keep a good attitude about it. We need to keep in mind that life is going by fast and we need to work. Kids tend to wish their lives away. We should want to do the work of God while we have the opportunity. Preparation is good, but life shouldn't be all preparation. Don't hurry up your life too much. Work for God where you're at. Do what you can for God in your present circumstances. God allows us to go through the phases of our lives to get some things done while preparing us for the next phase. We should think ahead, but work and live for God in the present. If you would teach the word of God, you need to have something to teach. God can work through you now, as well as on down the road. Jesus saw the need to work and get it done. We don't know how long we have. Work for God now.
This blind man was healed and was persecuted for having been healed. Jesus didn't heal him like the scribes and Pharisees thought he should. The blind man was helped although he was persecuted. We should want God's work accomplished even if it doesn't always turn out as we expected it, too. Desire that others would receive God's blessing.
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Christ came to kindle a fire in the earth, something that would burn. Sometimes fires burn fast. People are out trying to set the world on fire, and go places fast. A lot of these go out to do this without any matches. Christ's people are here to stir others to think about God and what he would have them to do. Christ was ready for that which he had to do. He was ready to face that part so that God's work would be accomplished. Jesus was here describing facing a most horrible death. We may face some hard things. Be ready to go on through. Our determination should be that if this is what is needed to accomplish God's work, "bring it on," and give us the grace to go through. This is how it needs to be with us. We should want to go through anyway so that his work can be done.
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
Peter and John asked them which was more important - to listen to them or to listen to God. They were determined to say what God had put upon their hearts - regardless of what persecution might come from it. We shouldn't be intimidated by the devil. Speak what you've seen and heard. There may be some that will tell you to hush or you will lose. The things we have seen and heard are to be shared, not in a forceful way, but with the love of God. The light of God that shines into our souls needs to be reflected out. This threatening didn't slow Peter and John down a bit. They were like Jeremiah; it was too much to keep quiet. We need to be like this, too.
1 Corinthians 9:16-18
For thou I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
Paul talks about what God had called him to do. God had given him a responsibility to preach the gospel. He was doing what he was called to do and his reward was that it was in his heart to do it, in doing it willingly. Our reward in doing the work of God is that our heart is in it. If you put your heart into something you can come out energized. You feel like you have accomplished something. When we put our heart into working for God, we will get a blessing from it. Carrying the gospel should be the love of our lives. It should be a burning desire to be used by God. There is a reward for willing service for God. You can please God early in life. Whatever place you're at in life, have a heart willing to work for God. Have a desire to be used by God for his glory. God's still looking for people willing to accomplish his purpose. Our desire in all we do is that souls be brought to God and reconciled to him.