Tuesday, February 21, 2017

what is our work

As God's children we are to work but not in the sense we commonly understand it. By work we normally think of doing/acting/working to gain some direct or immediate benefit for ourselves. Whatever that gain is, be it money, fame, safety, security etc, it ultimately leads to a sense of our identity/ value (because we are broken we use God's good gifts for the wrong end i.e. to bolster our poor sense of value.  Matt 6:25-33  Our work should be to honor (value) God and bless (value) others). When we peel back the layers, this sense of positive identity/value is what ultimately drives most if not all behavior e.g. pursuit of money, fame, safety, security etc. 

However as believers our work is the work of being (who we already are), not doing. When we work, it is to come out of being i.e. All good and right doing springs out of (is the fruit of) right being first. 

John 15:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

We do, because we already are i.e. we don't work to gain identity/value/love, we work because we already have it.

And who or what is it exactly that we are? 

We are fully and infinitely loved, cherished and cared for if we are in Christ.  Being is to remain in (not move from or off) this posture i.e. fix our heart and mind on who we are in him and not move from this status/position. We are to always recognize (believe) we are loved and never stop believing this regardless of whatever else is going on. To use a biblical analogy we are to *abide in Christ. Our status (state of being) is one of being perfectly loved and embraced by God at all times in all things because of all Christ did on our behalf. Rom 8:35-39

John 15:9  As the Father has loved meso have I loved youAbide in my love

Christ is saying the very same love (i.e. an infinite and bottomless love) that the Father has for him is the same exact love he has for us. Our "work" is to believe this reality is true (then act accordingly) even if and when we don't feel it is. 
"Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28  Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29  Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” - Jesus - Joh 6:27-29   
And it is indeed hard work for often our circumstances make it hard for us to believe God is still with us, has not abandoned us, is caring for us, watching over us and fully embracing  us when circumstances are challenging and we don't feel his presence or see what we might think is evidence of his hand. 

When we rest (abide/stay/stand) fully in who we are as God's beloved child, we will do what we are designed to do i.e. legitimate doing comes out of being first.

John 15:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

*abide - μένω - menō

Thayer Definition:

1) to remain, abide
1a) in reference to place
1a1) to sojourn, tarry
1a2) not to depart
1a2a) to continue to be present
1a2b) to be held, kept, continually
1b) in reference to time
1b1) to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure
1b1a) of persons, to survive, live
1c) in reference to state or condition
1c1) to remain as one, not to become another or different
2) to wait for, await one


For a further discussion on being/abiding click here

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Grace to you
Jim Deal