While I was going through seminary I worked nearly full-time for a small, entrepreneurial company. There were four of us, including the president, and we all were his direct reports. Here’s what he required of us — each night before we went home we were to provide him with a detailed log — broken down into 15-minute blocks — of how we planned to spend the next day, along with a detailed log — also broken down into 15-minute blocks — of how we spent today (and how we spent today was evaluated based on how we told him — the day prior — that we were going to spend it). Does this make sense? Each day we presented him a log of how we planned to spend the day, how we actually spent it, and how we planned to spend tomorrow. I lived in this work environment for five years, and while I did, one of the most challenging verses for me was Ephesians 6:7. I hope you can see why.

Yesterday we were reminded to work wholeheartedly. Today we are reminded for whom we are to work so hard. See, here’s the deal — what’s just as important as how we work is for whom we work. And I want to submit that Paul is suggesting that we won’t work wholeheartedly (for anyone or for anything) over the long haul unless we are working for Christ! And why would that be? Simply because no one else and nothing else will ultimately provide the motivation that comes from working for him.

Recently I’ve been watching a ten-part documentary on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls. One thing that has stood out to me is how Michael Jordan used just about anything he could to provide himself with a source of motivation. An insult from an opponent, a criticism from a fan, some bad press, you name it, he would use it. Frankly, I was quite impressed by this, until I realized that he had to continually shift and find new sources of motivation in order to keep his production high. As Christians, we don’t need to do that. We can keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and let what he’s done for us fuel what we do for him. Then, even on those days where we find it to be harder than we thought, there is motivation and energy and vision. Remember, we work for him because he first worked for us! (You know what I mean by this.)

Today, how can you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus a little bit more and do your work for him with even more wholeheartedness, not to earn his love or favor, but because it’s been freely given to you through faith? How can you further develop a “thanks-driven” work ethic?

In it with you!

By Scott Smith
Pastor of Discipleship Ministries

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