Encouragement for Today - Nov. 5, 2007
November 5, 2007
Whatever You Do, Do It for Him
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
Tarnie treasures her early morning walks around the neighborhood before her two toddlers wake up and the day flies into high gear. One particular Sunday morning was especially beautiful … the sky was azure blue, the air clean and crisp, and the quiet was accented only by the songs of a few cheerful birds and an occasional car.
As she turned a corner and started the second leg of her walk, she noticed a beat-up Cherokee ahead of her, driving on the wrong side of the street … the same side she was walking on. The car stopped, then started, stopped, then started again. Unfortunately it was a very loud car, which disturbed the peace of her morning. Still optimistic and determined to enjoy her walk, Tarnie thought it would be short-lived … either she would pass the vehicle or it would turn someplace else. Neither happened.
The two kept an annoying pace with each other as the car would start and stop, and Tarnie walked ahead of it, then behind it. Tarnie soon realized it was a newspaper delivery man, tossing out papers to those houses on his route. He seemed about 50 years old, and his face was expressionless as he alternately read his map and tossed the papers to the correct houses.
Tarnie was frustrated. She wanted the peace and quiet of that beautiful Sunday morning so she could talk with God before getting the family ready for church. But all she got was a strange dance with a newspaper delivery man. Why had God allowed this picture-perfect walk to be so annoyingly interrupted, she wondered.
As she started paying more attention to this man in the beat-up car delivering his papers, she realized he was not simply throwing the papers on the driveways … not just whipping them out to land where ever they might land … but instead he was intentionally tossing them. This caught her attention and she watched some more. As she did, she realized that each paper he tossed landed right next to, or right on top of, the other newspaper lying on the driveway that had already been delivered. Now, each driveway had two papers, right next to each other.
“How great to come out of your house and only have to bend down once to get your papers!” Tarnie thought. What at first seemed an annoyance was actually a show of selfless courtesy. But this was a show that will never be seen, known about, or even appreciated by most of those homeowners who would likely walk outside, grab their papers and go about their days.
But Tarnie noticed, and even more importantly, God noticed. She immediately thought of Colossians 3:23 and 24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (NIV). She realized that if she were delivering papers to Jesus’ house, she would make sure they were right next to the other papers so He would only have to bend down once.
Tarnie learned a lot that “noisy” early morning. God was speaking to her after all. Watching a normal paper delivery man in a beat-up car, driving on the wrong side of the street, and doing his job in an extraordinary way … as if He were doing it for the Lord … was a priceless learning experience. She was reminded that everything - everything – can be done for Jesus!
Special thanks to devotion reader Tarnie Coleman for sharing this wonderful story.
Dear Lord, thank You for teaching us important biblical lessons through everyday events. Thank You for instilling value and worth in even the most humble tasks. Help me to keep a right attitude about my daily work, and remember that it’s all for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Becoming a Woman Who Listens To God by
Identify one of your most mundane daily tasks. Imagine if Jesus lived in your home or worked in your office and was the recipient of your service. How would that change your attitude?
In Colossians 3:22-24, the Apostle Paul is writing specifically to those in slavery. How might this advice change their attitude about their work and lives?
Is there anything you feel enslaved to? Identify those areas in your life.
How do we serve God by doing our best at our daily responsibilities?
Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (NIV)
Daniel 3: 17-18, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (NIV)
Luke 4:8, “Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105