This week's memory verse:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men." -- Colossians 3:23
The introduction to this week's lessons talks about Matthew 21:28-31. Jesus tells a story about a man with 2 sons. When he told the sons to go to the fields and work, the first son said, "No, I will not," but later changed his mind and went. The second son said, "Yes, sir, I will go." but he never went.
Of course, the first son is the hero of the story, even if he threw a tantrum and said he wouldn't do what he was told...he DID go! My problem is...I tend to be a people-pleaser, saying and doing things to make others happy. I need to make sure I follow through and DO the things I say I will do.
But I worry about that first son's story...yes he did what he was told, even if he grumbled and refused at first...but HOW did he do the job? Did he go to the fields still grumbling? Did he tend to the crop half-heartedly, just to say he did as his father asked?
Our memory verse AND Colossians 3:17 say we are to do EVERYTHING we do or say in the name of Jesus...which means we should do our best effort...with ALL OUR HEART...
I have many tasks in my life...things that I have to do every day...some are not so much fun...like paying bills and exercising...but since I say I am going to do them, I should give them by BEST effort.
I don't like to think of myself doing anything half-heartedly...but truth be told...I think that happens more times than I want to admit, even to myself. Is there enough of my heart, my energy in me to give EVERYTHING I do that much effort and do it for the Lord? Can I really do things like...cleaning out the cat box (I HATE that job!!!) with high energy and thanksgiving as I do it? If that job helps to take care of my family, then yes I can and I will.
There are MANY things in this life we don't want to do, but there are negative consequences if we don't do them...those are "thankless jobs." But if we look at those jobs in a different light...do them in Jesus' name...with the honor and glory that goes with that...AND remember to give thanks to God at the same time...those tasks may seem easier to deal with.
AND, we can remember that Colossians 3:24 says that when we do things with all our heart, the Lord with give us our inheritance as a reward. We are children of the Lord...the King! If we believe his promises, then we will receive our inheritance and live with him in heaven forever!
I think I will try to remember that the next time I am cleaning out the cat box and paying the monthly bills...doing those not-so-fun tasks with all my heart, giving thanks for the opportunity to do them and KNOW that one day I will be in heaven forever...I know there will be no pain or tears in heaven, but I sure hope there are cat boxes in heaven either!