Being and Doing the Lord’s Work
The disciple of Jesus Christ is both a product of God’s workmanship and a workman in His service. Life is a path of growth in Him and service for Him.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8
Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? First Corinthians 9:1
God’s people are both the object of His Providences and the means to accomplishing them. God’s people are used by Him in ministry and are changed by Him for His purposes.
David in Psalm 138 rejoices in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. He praises God for answered prayer, for strength in time of need. Now he experiences trouble, but his confidence is unwavering. God is firmly in control and will complete what He has begun. David knows he is God’s workmanship. “Please,” he prays, “don’t stop working in and on me!”
Paul, too, understood how God works in and through people that He has saved by grace through faith. He wrote to the church in Ephesus, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul adds another layer to this concept. God uses people to work for Him in the lives of others. Paul saw himself as a workman and a gardener in the Lord’s work. The believers in Corinth were his workmanship. He had “sown spiritual things” among them (vs. 11). He had proclaimed the gospel to them (vs. 14). Wherever he went he made himself a servant to all, adapting as much as possible to those he was seeking to win (vs. 19-23). He exercised self-control and disciplined his body in order to do what he was called to do, to complete the work assigned to him by the Lord.
Think about it
You are probably a product of someone else’s work or ministry in you. Maybe you are still being discipled, mentored, and shepherded. Be sure you are an eager, appreciative learner. If you are serving others in the gospel, be careful to run so as to win the prize. After all, you are the work of the Lord’s hands, and He also uses your hands to do His work. We are the Lord’s work, and we do the Lord’s work. May God be glorified in us and through us.