Ecclesiastes 9:10 Do Your Best

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10

While many people work well, very few give their work their best effort. Many do the job to get it done in the easiest and shortest way possible. They do not want to put any extra effort into the job being done.

Working in this manner quickly separates those who just survive and those who succeed and are masters at what they do. Musicians see or hear someone who is a master at playing the piano and want to be like that person. Yet, when it comes to practicing on the piano, they only want to practice a few minutes each day. One does not see the hours of practice that the master pianist has put in to get to where he is at today.

It is common that many people will give their best in one area of their life, but do the rest only with a half a heart. People try to cut corners and get by with the least amount of work. This is true when it comes to working for others, but also in doing things for themselves.

As Solomon wrote these words, he did not have a lot of hope for after death. His focus was just on living today and being the best at what one does. He determined that if you must do something, give it your best.

Paul tells you that whatever you do, do it as though doing it for the Lord. Do you want to only give God your leftovers, half-hearted effort?

Since Jesus has come there is now a hope of eternal life after death on this earth. You have a reason for doing your best for God and for everyone else.

Giving your best for someone else, such as a boss, shows God’s love through you. It shows your commitment and honesty. God gave His best for you, why not give your best to Him and to everyone else?

Whether you are working or playing, give it everything you have. Put your best into it. God can use that to touch the lives of others.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to give your best; that God will guide you in what to do and how to do it; and that you will know the hope you have in Jesus for all eternity.

Proverbs 6:6 Ants And Life

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 6:6

Ants are a little creature that no one really likes, yet they are very amazing and interesting. They can be seen always moving, always working. Watch a line of ants going somewhere. They are always in line with each other as they travel. Disturb an ant pile and watch them go to work to repair the damage.

Along with seeing them work, just take a look at the ant hill that was made. Ant hills can be several inches high and a foot across. Looking at how small each ant is and how small each granule of sand or dirt is, it is amazing how much work they had to do in order to build that hill.

Solomon tells the people to look at the ant and consider its ways. It is always working and building.

Many people do not like to work. They want to sit at home or somewhere else and relax. The method of relaxing is different for each person. Some like to play games, watch sports, read books, sleep, or something else. The common thread is that they do not want to do any work.

People like to procrastinate on what needs to be done. Or they want to let someone else do the job.

Solomon was looking at the provision for self. Working to provide food, clothing and shelter for yourself.

Along with needing to work for those things, Jesus gave you a job to do. His job is to build His kingdom. It is a spiritual, eternal job on this earth. That job is to go out and tell others about Him. How many people in the world around you still do not know about Jesus?

As you go through your days, you must take an inventory of how you are spending your days. How much time are you just relaxing?

And how much time are you working to do God’s will on this earth and build His kingdom?

Do not allow this world to distract you from the job you need to do. Allow God to give you the strength needed to get the work done. Do not slack off today.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will strengthen you for the job to be done; that God will reveal areas that need work; and that you will find rest in God alone.

Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Come

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4

After the people of Judah had been released from full captivity in Persia, they were allowed to go back and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Many were excited to be a part of the building project and began immediately setting the foundation. Immediately the groups of people around Jerusalem set out to discourage the people from continuing to build the temple. They would try to make them afraid to build it.

Any time a person starts to do something new or grand, there are people who try to discourage it. Often the people try to stop it because it sounds crazy or too big to really accomplish. Other times it is out of fear that they try to stop the project.

All the other groups of people in the areas around Judah had heard the stories of the Israelites. They knew that when the Israelites were worshipping God as they were supposed to, things would go in their favor. All the nations around would then suffer, because they did not serve God. This would cause them to rise up in opposition to stop the worship of God.

Times have not changed. Any time you begin to do something for God, there will always be an opposition that will rise up and try to discourage you. The world does not want you to succeed as a believer in Jesus. If you succeed, that means that they have failed. You are a threat to their way of life.

You are to be the light of Jesus in this world. His light shines into the dark lives of people, exposing their sin. No one wants to be exposed, so they will try to stop you. This can happen from outside the church as well as inside the church.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and do not give up. Continue to go on building God’s kingdom and doing His work while you can. Although the nations may rage against you, you will not fail, as long as you are doing God’s work in His way and time.

Do not be discouraged at the opposition that will come against you. God is on your side.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will do the work of God; that you will not be discouraged; that God will strengthen you to do His work; and that you will continue to build God’s kingdom.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 Being Non-Productive

“We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11

As Paul brings this second letter to the Thessalonian church to a close, he has some words of accusation against some of the people in the church. Somehow he had heard a report that there were some people in the church being idle and disruptive. They appear to be busy, but in reality are just busybodies.

Being idle is just not doing anything. It is just sitting there watching everyone else work. It does nothing good or bad directly to a situation. The challenge with being idle is that often it can lead to doing or saying something that is disruptive or that harms the situation.

There are people in the church who do not help in any type of ministry within the church in any way. They do not participate in ushering, teaching, nursery, choir, clean up, set up, outreaches, or anything else. They just attend the church services.

Yet, these same people have a lot to say about what is going on or happening. They challenge the improvements being made, or the things stopped for lack of success. They challenge changes made in the physical structure of the building or on the grounds. They also know about everyone’s business, and let everyone know. All they want is to be fed and have their own way.

People like this are idle, since they are not helping out, and they are disruptive because they are not allowing those working to keep going forward in the ways being led by God. Paul calls them busybodies.

Busybodies are people who appear to be very active and hard at work, yet, are doing very little to nothing. All they are doing is getting in the way of those who are working for God.

Take a look at your life in your church or community. Which side are you on? Are you hard-working? Or are you getting in the way of others, a busybody?

You will not be able to do everything, but everyone can do something. What are you doing to build God’s kingdom? Inside the church? And outside the church?

I pray today that God will reveal to you work that you can do; that you will not be idle and disruptive; that God will strengthen you to build others up; and that God will help you build His kingdom.

Luke 5:5: Because He Says So

“Simon answered, Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5

Simon, with several other fisherman, were sitting on the shore mending their fishing nets. They had been out all night trying to catch some fish and were unsuccessful (like I would be). Jesus comes up and asks them to take Him out on the water a little ways.

While out there Jesus begins to teach them. Luke does not tell us what He had taught. At the end of His teaching Jesus tells Simon to let down the nets to catch some fish.

Simon may have been thinking who is the professional fisherman here as he makes the statement in the verse today. How could Jesus help them, He is not a fisherman? Yet, Simon, recognizing Jesus as the Master, obeys because He said so. He does make the statement about how they had no success during the night, but that does not stop Him from obeying Jesus.

Often in life a person struggles at doing something. He fails over and over. He gives up because it just is not working. Everyone else may even be telling him to quit and do something else. In the eyes of everyone it looks hopeless.

Yet, Jesus comes up and says go ahead and try it again. This time Jesus was telling Simon what to do. Before, Simon was just doing what man has said to do, and he failed.

No matter what your experience or knowledge is, or what others may say, if Jesus says do something…you must do it. Like Simon, recognize Jesus as the Master. He has the experience and knows what is going on and what is best.

Also, like Simon, just go ahead and do what Jesus says. God has a reason for your doing what He is calling you to do, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem. Neither you, nor any other person is the true expert in anything as Jesus is.

Read the next few verses and see the great catch of fish that Simon brought in because He obeyed Jesus in something that sounded crazy.

I pray today that you will hear what God is saying to you; that you will see Jesus as your Master; that you will do what Jesus says to do; that you will allow yourself to be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that God will use you to catch many people for His kingdom.