The Work God Wants

‘I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do.’ John 17:4 NIV

Some people change their jobs constantly because of stress and discouragement. How can you avoid that? By following Christ’s example. How did Jesus do it? He tells us: ‘The Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does… By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.’ (John 5:19–20, 30 NIV)

Sounds simple, right? Simple—but not easy. People will try to talk you into doing good things that are not necessarily God’s highest priority for you. You can spend your life doing the ‘good’ and never get around to doing the ‘best’. Jesus said, ‘I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.’ (John 17:4 NKJV)

If God doesn’t give a job to you, don’t take it on. And if He does, don’t try it without His help. Jesus often rose before dawn to pray and sometimes prayed all night. He put His relationship with God before His work, so that His work would always bring glory to God.

The Bible says, ‘Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.’ (Psalm 55:22 NLT) But He can only carry them when you give them to Him.

SoulFood: Zeph 1–3, John 7:1–13, Ps 104:1–23, Pro 24:26–27

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Zephaniah 1–2:8 ()

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1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

  “I will utterly sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
  “I will sweep away man and beast;
    I will sweep away the birds of the heavens
    and the fish of the sea,
  and the rubble with the wicked.
    I will cut off mankind
    from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
  “I will stretch out my hand against Judah
    and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
  and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal
    and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,
  those who bow down on the roofs
    to the host of the heavens,
  those who bow down and swear to the LORD
    and yet swear by Milcom,
  those who have turned back from following the LORD,
    who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him.”

  Be silent before the Lord GOD!
    For the day of the LORD is near;
  the LORD has prepared a sacrifice
    and consecrated his guests.
  And on the day of the LORD’s sacrifice—
  “I will punish the officials and the king’s sons
    and all who array themselves in foreign attire.
  On that day I will punish
    everyone who leaps over the threshold,
  and those who fill their master’s house
    with violence and fraud.
10   “On that day,” declares the LORD,
    “a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,
  a wail from the Second Quarter,
    a loud crash from the hills.
11   Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!
    For all the traders are no more;
    all who weigh out silver are cut off.
12   At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
    and I will punish the men
  who are complacent,
    those who say in their hearts,
  ‘The LORD will not do good,
    nor will he do ill.’
13   Their goods shall be plundered,
    and their houses laid waste.
  Though they build houses,
    they shall not inhabit them;
  though they plant vineyards,
    they shall not drink wine from them.”
14   The great day of the LORD is near,
    near and hastening fast;
  the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter;
    the mighty man cries aloud there.
15   A day of wrath is that day,
    a day of distress and anguish,
  a day of ruin and devastation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
  a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16     a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
  against the fortified cities
    and against the lofty battlements.
17   I will bring distress on mankind,
    so that they shall walk like the blind,
    because they have sinned against the LORD;
  their blood shall be poured out like dust,
    and their flesh like dung.
18   Neither their silver nor their gold
    shall be able to deliver them
    on the day of the wrath of the LORD.
  In the fire of his jealousy,
    all the earth shall be consumed;
  for a full and sudden end
    he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

2:1   Gather together, yes, gather,
    O shameless nation,
  before the decree takes effect
    —before the day passes away like chaff—
  before there comes upon you
    the burning anger of the LORD,
  before there comes upon you
    the day of the anger of the LORD.
  Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
    who do his just commands;
  seek righteousness; seek humility;
    perhaps you may be hidden
    on the day of the anger of the LORD.
  For Gaza shall be deserted,
    and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
  Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
    and Ekron shall be uprooted.
  Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
    you nation of the Cherethites!
  The word of the LORD is against you,
    O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
    and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
  And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
    with meadows for shepherds
    and folds for flocks.
  The seacoast shall become the possession
    of the remnant of the house of Judah,
    on which they shall graze,
  and in the houses of Ashkelon
    they shall lie down at evening.
  For the LORD their God will be mindful of them
    and restore their fortunes.
  “I have heard the taunts of Moab
    and the revilings of the Ammonites,
  how they have taunted my people
    and made boasts against their territory.

John 7:1–13 ()

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7:1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

Psalm 104:1–23 ()

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104:1   Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD my God, you are very great!
  You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
    covering yourself with light as with a garment,
    stretching out the heavens like a tent.
  He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
  he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;
  he makes his messengers winds,
    his ministers a flaming fire.
  He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
  You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
  At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
  The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
  You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.
10   You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills;
11   they give drink to every beast of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12   Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches.
13   From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14   You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
  that he may bring forth food from the earth
15     and wine to gladden the heart of man,
  oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
16   The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17   In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18   The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19   He made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
20   You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21   The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
22   When the sun rises, they steal away
    and lie down in their dens.
23   Man goes out to his work
    and to his labor until the evening.

Proverbs 24:26–27 ()

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26   Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.
27   Prepare your work outside;
    get everything ready for yourself in the field,
    and after that build your house.

Wed 28 October, 2020


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