There are two approaches one can take for work and life on earth.
Approach A “Have a future mind-set” – Direct your work and life with the view of pleasing Christ when He comes again.
- believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation from sin, by grace alone and rely on Christ,
- die daily to self and sin, and work and live only for the Lord Jesus Christ,
- invest more in spiritual wealth and virtues, and engage in God’s work of adding more souls to the Kingdom of God.
Approach B “Have the end in mind” – Imagine what the future will be like. Direct work and life for one’s own sake.
- believe in yourself, work hard to earn your merits, and rely on your own efforts,
- live for yourself and leave behind an inheritance for your family or a heritage for mankind,
- invest in material wealth and physical assets, and, if you can, contribute to the good of
On the surface the above approaches to work and life do not contradict each other. In fact, as Christians, we all struggle to discern and decide how we can faithfully serve God in the contemporary world as salt of the earth and light of the world. Often we are pricked by our conscience when we fail to please Him and become more self-centred and worldly. And His indwelling Spirit is grieved and quenched by our disobedience, sin and pride.
As Christians we desire to do God’s will, and we seek His purpose for their life. But as long as we are seeking worldly pursuits, and not listening to God (i.e. by reading the BIBLE), we will not understand God’s purpose for our work and life on earth.
The difference between the two approaches is stark. Is your motto “To God be the glory” or “To me be the glory”? Is the future your imagination or the future as God paints in the BIBLE? Have the right end in mind.
God has mandated work, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat… they are to do their work quietly and to earn their own living” (2 Thess 3:10, 12). God also says, “work for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:25 cf Heb 6:10).
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food (Isa 55:2 cf Jn 4:13; 7:37-39; Rev 22:17). What is that “good” that we must “eat”? What is the “rich food” that we should delight ourselves in? (Clues: Psalm 19:7-10; 42:1-2; 63:1-5; 107:9; 119:103; Song 1:2; Jer 15:16; Lam 3:24; Amos 5:4, 6, 14; John 6:58; Matt 4:4 cf Deut 8:3).
While we are still alert, able to hear, read, study, and pray, let us be diligent to pay very careful attention to God’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.). It would be embarrassing to stand before the judgment seat of Christ as babes in Christ and plea ignorance.
Hence we ought to pray, “Lord, give us this day our daily bread,” and also “Lord, let us feast on the rich food of Your presence and delight in Your living Word.”
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo