Today's Overflow

is a week-day devotional thought

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Heavenly Rewards

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matt 25:23 (KJV)

Those who live by faith will serve the Lord with gladness.  Scripture tells us that we will receive rewards in the hereafter. Those who are faith over little things on earth will become stewards of greater things in eternity. We do not know much about what the rewards will be, but it is reasonable to think that the God who made the mountains will have some surprising wonderful rewards for His Forever Family.

 

Serving the Lord is its own reward but there is more to come. There are also rewards for those who face persecution:

 

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matt 5:11–12 (KJV)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Rewards for the Works of the Saved

Saved people are not judge about whether they are saved or not.  But our works will be tested

 

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Cor 3:8–15 (KJV)

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Rom 14:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10

 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Do You Wonder?

Do you ever wonder about why the little guy always seems to lose?   You would think he would he (we) would catch a break sometime.  Why is it that the mean spirited can burn buildings, throw brings into windows, pillage anywhere at liberty, shoot police officers and then blame it on the officers! I just saw Christians being arrested for not wearing a mask.

 

I’ve raised questions that I can’t answer but this I know: payday is coming someday! God’s Word promises it is so:

 

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shoulde st give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Rev 11:18

I don’t know when but I think we are in the season.  Be careful that you don’t lose rewards for lack of living by faith in times of terror and  darkness

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 2 John 8

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor 15:58

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Judgement Seat of Christ

There is a coming judgment of the nations and a rewarding of the saints.  God’s people will never be judged about eternal life and Heaven.  That judgment took place on Christ crucified.  It is finished and we are free and saved!

 

We will stand at the Judgement Seat of Christ for the judgement of our works and to be rewarded for that done in the body that brings glory to God.

 

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10 (KJV)

The Lord has promised to reward us:

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Rev 22:12

And the nations and peoples without Christ will face an awful judgment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Reward of Work

16 Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, And thine eyes from tears: For thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; And they shall come again from the land of the enemy. Jer 31:16 (KJV)

Work done well is its own reward. But there is more to it than that.  Work done in the will and for the glory of God is promised rewards.   God rewarding His servant-children is a difficult theology for us to wrap both our minds and hearts around.  Eternal life and heaven is more than enough; but there is more!

 

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Cor 3:13–16

 

No wonder the Bible calls us to “rejoice, and again I say rejoice,’ and to "serve the Lord with gladnessI"

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before his presence with singing. Ps 100:2

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Phil 4:4

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Works that Give Evidence

19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Acts 26:19–20 (KJV)

Paul was on trial before Agrippa and was defending himself against the Jews. It is here that one of the great nuggets of truth is brought forth:

 

God’s people are a repentant, repenting people. In that spirit we continue to do good works that give evidence of repentance. Once again, the point, this is not about getting saved it is about being saved.

 

Dr Bob Jones Sr. used to say it like this: A duck will waddle like a duck, quack like a duck, and look like a duck, and act like a duck.  A Christian should walk like a Christian, talk like and Christian, look like a Christian and act like a Christian.

 

We are coming soon to the end of our devotionals in search of a Christian theology of Labor. We continue to make the point that works are not about being saved but that they should give the evidence that we are saved and have a changed life.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Faith without Works

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:18–20 (KJV)

We are saved by grace through faith, not works:

 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8–9

Works is about living in the Spirit and serving the Lord with gladness.  Such works are a part of the Christian life if there is genuine faith.

 

Paul made the point in Ephesians 2:8-9, that real salvation is a gift from God; it is all about grace.  James 2:18-20 teaches that the saved will serve the Lord and that our works are not about getting saved but about the fact that we are saved.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Work of Faith, Labor of Love

2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 1 Thess 1:2–3 (KJV)

The work of faith is the only work that really matters.  The just shall live by faith.  One of the great parts of life is a life’s work. It is to be accomplished by faith in God.

 

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

The work of faith is a labor of love.  We do not serve the Lord to get saved; we serve Him because He has saved us, and we love him. A great characteristic of a true believer is found in his or her love for God and for the brethren:

 

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Laborers with God

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 1 Cor 3:8–9 (KJV)

 

The text is dealing with the jealousy and division between those who followed Apollos and those who followed Paul. They needed to learn that God’s work is not about personalities. It is about God.  We are laborers together with God.

 

When our work is about God’s glory and God’s purpose there is no room for petty jealousy, prejudices or favoritism.  Jesus is always the favorite.  He is Lord of all the circumstances of life.  He is Lord of all of the temporal and infinite nuances of life.  Jesus is Lord of all.

 

What a holy honor and privilege is is that we might be laborers with God!  O what glory to be found in fields of ministry and ways of life in service to and with the King of kings!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

It Is All about Jesus

1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Ps 127:1 (KJV)

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

There is much labor in this world today that is all vanity because it does not take into account the purposes of God and the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Much work have I done in this life that was all about me.  It will be briefly recognized at the Judgement Seat of Christ and then enter into is proper fiery disposal as hay, wood and stubble:

 

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Cor 3:12–13

Only that work done in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God will stand in the chambers of eternity.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Needy or Lazy

6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, And gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, And thy want as an armed man. Prov 6:6–11 (KJV)

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thess 3:10

 

The Bible teaches that God’s people should care for the needy, but it also teaches that the lazy should be on their own.  It is not a good thing to keep up people who are able to work but will not work.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Work We Must Do

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil 2:12–13 (KJV)

On Friday we considered the work we can’t do. None of us are capable of a work that gains salvation.  It is all of grace.

 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8–9

But all of us need to live out the wonderful salvation that God is working into us. 

 

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil 2:12–13

Yea it is with fear and trembling mixed with utter joy as we seek to serve the Lord with gladness. My greatest longing is not long years of life, health or wealth. It is only found in the judgment seat of Christ as He might whisper to me:

 

“Well done thou good and faithful servant!”

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Work We Can’t Do

On September 11th I’m reminded of the fall of the Twin Towers and realize that there are some things we just can’t do.  We can’t bring those back that we lost, we can stay the terror that is found across the world. We can’t fix each other of our brokenness. And we can’t do some work that will make us worthy of God’s favor and God’s Heaven.

 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8–9 (KJV)

The Law given to Israel was a system of rules and regulations that they actually thought that they could do them:

 

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. Exod 19:5–8

They missed the point.  They would never keep the law.  The law would never be their salvation.  Only Grace would do or will do.  Dear friend, do not try to work your way into God’s graces or God’s heaven.  Only believe.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

A Christian Work Ethic

There are many texts on work that lend themselves to any believer who is developing work habits on the basis of Christian principles. We might spend many days in study over them.  For my purposes I only need these two verses:

 

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Col 3:23 (KJV)

 

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31

 

If my work/calling is to the Lord and for His glory, then:

  • Whatever the job/occupation it must be a calling from God and have His blessing. If that is not so I need to quit and find something else to do.

  • I’m not going to start on time, I’m going to be early.

  • I will do my best to put more into my work than I get out of it.

 

At the end of the day, job, or task at hand, I want to be able to look back at it and see that it is better after I put my hands and heart to it

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Leaving Your Work

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Gen 2:2–3 (KJV)

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt 11:28–30

The Sabbaths spoken of in the Old Testament especially in the Law were God’s command to Israel, not the church, or anyone else.  But the idea of rest from our labors is illustrated by God in Genesis 2.   Why did God rest?  Could God have been weary or tired?  Of course not! God’s rest speaks of the fact that He had completed Creation.  God rested to set a precedent for the people created in His image.

 

It is the devil that lures people into workaholism or to laziness.  He works both sides of the coin, he has something for everybody.  Rest and relaxation are needed for the human body.  Those who learn to rest will accomplish more in life then those who never rest.  But let us beware that we find our rest in Christ and not away from Him.

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Loving Your Work

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Col 3:23 (KJV)

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31

Can we really love our work? Absolutely!  God help any poor soul that hates work. It is part of our calling and thus it is one of the keys to our being,

 

Retired people still have to make their beds! Children go to school.  The roads are filled every morning and afternoon with people of all kinds headed for the job.

 

Those who love God than what we do must be done heartily and for His glory.  If you can’t put your heart in your work that you are missing out on what of the great mysteries of grace.

 

One of the greatest gifts a parents can ever give their children is a sense that work is a good thing and getting to work is a blessed thing.

 

If you can’t do whatever you do for God’s glory than it’s time to change you or what you do. I know the greatest change agent of all time. Jesus is His name.

Monday, September 7, 2020

 

Toward a Christian Theology of Labor

Labor Day is a holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.  It has become a day off for many as it is a Federal holiday.

 

COVID-19 put a lot of people out of work. Only essential occupations stayed on the job (law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, nursing homes, grocers, and a few more).  Church ministries continued but in an odd almost surreal pace and way.  Hospitals and nursing homes are still closed to visitors, worship has been online, outside and irregular. It is as if Our Father said to the world “you have misbehaved, GO TO YOUR ROOM!”  All the world is beginning to re-think how, when, and where we go to work now.

 

With all of that in mind I’m beginning a series of devotional thoughts on a biblical view of labor.

 

My opening text reminds me that while much has been changed by COVID -19, yet the principle and practice has stayed the same for believers even when we could not go about our daily work habits and routines:

 

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Col 3:23 (KJV)

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31

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