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Our Weekly Devotional

Mission-Worthy Labor: Creating Beautiful Work

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 • • General
Polish off your best tools and summon your sharpest gifts and talents: God wants two stories from your work today: (1) An honorable product (2) crafted in a masterful way. Oh, and while you're at it: Change the world.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ---I Corinthians 15:58
     From a leadership perspective, Jesus did it all wrong. He picked inexperienced, flawed men and women as His core team members. Though He spent a considerable amount of time with them doing hands-on training, this core group wasn't understanding His mission or how it should shape them. But instead of dumbing it down or reducing its scope to make it easier to retain and more likely to have impact, He pressed forward relentlessly, letting time do its' part in the process by giving them a chance to be saturated by an intimacy with Christ that is the key to any good outcome.

     Like Mr. Miyagi in the movie Karate Kid, what these disciples were witnessing couldn't make sense until Jesus showed His full power over sin; by living the sinless life we can't and by conquering the unconquerable---death itself. Only then, in a post-Resurrection briefing could fisherman and homemakers, clothspinners and tax agents each experience the "ahaâ? moment, recorded in Luke 44:24.

     Then He was gone, and like parents the first time they take a baby home after birth, this team must have wondered if they were ready for the assignment He gave them as He left: Change the world by introducing them to Me; and by teaching them what you've learned firsthand. Can't you just feel their helplessness?

     Sure we can. Most of us are feeling it now when we read the headlines or just look around us.


     It's time to change the world againâ?¦even if we can'tâ?¦even if we don't have enough time left. Like the first world-changers, He wants us to overwhelm the world with His love while rebuilding it with unmatched skill and God-given talent. We don't have time for bickering or finger-pointing or judging or reproving or punishing or shunning or any other act that blocks someone's view of God's love. We don't have time to worry about who's getting what and who has our share. We don't have time to chide others because we haven't finished working on us.

     What we do have, though, is the work before us. Whether that's building skyscrapers or mining precious metals; washing dishes or running banks, each of us has a roleâ?¦and each of us must find new ways to do those roles; ways that don't choose between the lesser of two sins but instead refuse to bow to sin's shortcuts by finding a more excellent way.

     Want an example: Please take three minutes to watch this video, then come back here to learn why it matters how we do what we do. Below is a commercial made in Thailand that demonstrates the kind of "excellenceâ? Kingdom builders should see as a baseline.

(Video photo and uplink)

     There it is, then: In three minutes, skilled workers managed to produce a video devoid of the shortcuts of sex and violence (shortcuts that work in the short term) to say something significant. How they did what they did is as magnificent as the product itself; meaning we learn not only from the story inside the video but from the story outside it as well. Were they Christians? I don't know; but what I do know is they produced a work worthy of the Savior, and we who know Him intimately must do no less. Changing the world isn't just feeding the hungry or clothing the poor; it is showing the love of Christ is part of everything we touch, everything we feel, everything we believe. Jesus didn't just change our eternal destination when He died for us; He gave us back the beauty of building His Kingdom.

     May the fruit of our labors and the stories in our lives point the way to Jesus, so His love can be seen everywhere we go in everything we do by everyone we meet.
     Can we change the chaos of this world! Those first team-members did 2,000 years ago. We can too, one person, one action, one step at a time.
--Randy Kilgore

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