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Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Surging Donegal Creek
"Sermon On The Rockpile"
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"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does" (Ephesians 6:7,8). "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23,24).
I (Stephen) have four siblings; two older brothers and a younger sister. Thankfully we all get along which is one way we continue to honor our parents though they have been absent for a number of years. We're spread out in four directions so we have to be intentional in keeping in touch with each other.
Today is my brother Pat's birthday. Like me, he is a preacher, and presently serves a congregation in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania (about 100 miles northeast of us) where he has been for over 20 years. He was saved while serving in the military in Europe following high school. Upon his discharge he immediately enrolled in Bible College to prepare for ministry.
He had the GI bill which paid for his education but since he still wanted to work he chose to work with a college work crew. Pat told me about one of his first sermons, which he recalls as the "Sermon on the Rockpile", I suppose a take-off of Christ's slightly more famous, "Sermon on the Mount". He was working on a rockpile and noticed several of the other workers slacking so he began to preach his message, exhorting them to diligence in their work and thus the "sermon on the rockpile"!
The Scriptural teaching in our daily texts is a call to diligence in work. This is a much needed teaching today. Many have a slovenly attitude toward their work, doing as little as they can. Today's texts are teaching from the Apostle Paul to Christian slaves but this principle can easily be applied to all secular work and to the work of ministry. Consider the phrases, "Serve wholeheartedly" and "Work at it with all your heart."
In our work responsibilities we should indeed serve wholeheartedly. Christians should be diligent. As part of their testimony they should be among the most exemplary workers any company has! What kind of employee are you? I encourage you to consider the end use of the product you are making or service you are providing and the blessing it may be to many people.
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does."
We should apply these principles in our work ethic toward our employers. In whatever we do, our work should be "as to the Lord." I like the pulpit study notes on this verse: "Every mean and hard task is dignified and sweetened by the thought of being done for Christ, and the commonest work must be done with the zeal and thoroughness that His service demands."
This verse reminds us that we're in service for the Lord rather than man, implying that our service is actually rendered to the One higher than "man". If we murmur, cut corners, or display a bad attitude toward our co-workers and administration we cast a bad light on our testimony. On the other hand if we show diligence and joy in our work kingdom principles are visible to others as they witness character building in our lives. Either attitude that we display will spread to those around us, making the workplace environment either miserable and unproductive or pleasant and productive.
Should you feel that you are not being rewarded adequately for your hard labor here on earth, remember that the underlying and overall motivation for our diligent labor is the future inheritance we will receive "from the Lord". And what is that inheritance? It's being promoted to heaven where there is no more sorrow, sin, or suffering. Promotions at our workplace, even a big bonus or a Disneyworld vacation, pales in comparison to our future eternal home that can "never perish, spoil or fade."
May the joy of the Lord accompany you in your work today. Be sure not to keep it to yourself; spread it to others around you!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, when we're tempted to be halfhearted in our vocational work or find ourselves bored by monotonous repetition help us to find creative means that will make us even more productive and content in our work assignments. May our conduct and attitude reflect values set forth in Scripture. Make us a blessing so that we bring joy to our co-workers, supervisors, and to the workplace in general. During times of personality conflict or when disagreements arise bring to our memory the Scripture that reminds us that our primary motivation for being a good worker is that we are serving You when we are diligent in our work. Not only in our service do we want to do our best but we also ask You to keep our attitudes in check and our words uplifting in the work place. Help us to be quick to see another co-worker's need and respond accordingly. May we be slow to judge and find fault with others. Prompt us to be faithful in prayer for our employers, supervisors, co-workers, and the business in which we serve. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Pat and Laverne Weber and their family 2014
Here's a photo taken of the three Weber brothers in 2006 at my elementary school in Belton Missouri. Our dad was on the school board at the time the school was built in the early sixties and his name is still on a plaque in the background. Pat is on my left and our older brother Mike to the right.
Pat conducted our wedding and is going over the order of service with the young 21 year old groom prior to the ceremony in 1976.
Later this month we are going with some friends for a bike ride in New Yok City so yesterday I checked our bikes out, aired the tires up and so forth.
Just before sunset we took our bikes for a ride on the trail we normally walk and often photograph (the lead-in photo is taken on the trail.)
Farm work is really busy in our area with harvesting (grasses for hay), plowing, and planting. Today we are getting one of the least pleasant aspects of rural living, an application of organic fertilizer on the field across from our home.
We saw our farming neighbor Leon out in the field. Does anyone care to guess what he is doing? Respond here.
Another set of geese families out on Donegal Creek.
(This is in a different area than the photo shared yesterday.)
Across Donegal Creek is the Rutt farmhouse.
For many years we have seen this duck couple either swimming in the stream together or waddling off in the pastureland. They are always together!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"How Can I Find Satisfaction In My Work?" A study booklet you can either order or read online as a pdf. Find out what the Bible has to say about work and your attitude toward it. With wisdom from the Word, Kurt De Haan shares four principles to help you better understand God’s blueprint for your work life. You’ll discover how you can experience a sense of fulfillment when you follow the “job description” God designed just for you.
"Working With Joy" Video West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir (It is hard to find a song to go along with today's message!)
"We'll Work 'Til Jesus Comes" Video Homecoming series
"Crown Him With Many Crowns" Video When our labors on earth are over! Congregational singing with an unidentified female lead singer. Sacred music at its best.
A powerful short audio message by Erwin Lutzer regarding the times we live in.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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