Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately — no excuses, no arguments — and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty. --- Paul to the Thessalonians
I was supposed to celebrate this one day, but it came and went like a blur.
I was supposed to celebrate the day I went back to work... But I forgot, because of work. ;)
“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible.
"Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata --- of creatures that worked like machines --- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they've got to be free.
"Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (...) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will --- that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings --- then we may take it it is worth paying.”
"When I was an infant... I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good."
--- Paul to the Corinthians
"Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship --- a different kind of 'sacrifice' --- that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets."
--- Letter to the Hebrews
I'm happy to be grown up and all, but there's one thing I do miss from my childhood days: that RUSH to get my schoolwork done. Believe it or not, there was a time I finished my homework before I reached home. 8-D
Now, I'm not like that anymore. Which is why I'm still a schoolgirl.
So my prayer for this season is to just do it. Sit down and finish *it* already.
Yes, wisdom ultimately comes from God, and there are other things I also have to do, but...
I pray for the courage to face my thesis :) ;
I pray for the endurance to go on even when I'm discouraged, afraid, lazy, busy, distracted, and whatever excuse I can come up with;
I pray for motivation, even enjoyment, just like in those grade school days;
I pray for the endurance even when I'm not motivated nor enjoyingwhat I'm doing.
Resting from the craziness that is *school*, I came across a reminder to the young generation. (Though I'm sure everyone else can use this...) From Ecclesiastes 11:9:
You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.
From John Piper's "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist":
insistence that we ask Him to give us help so that He gets glory (Psalm
50:15) forces on us the startling fact that we must beware of serving God, and must take special care to let Him serve us, lest we rob Him of His glory...
Our job is to "wait for Him"...
God is not looking for people to work for Him, so much as He is looking for people who will let Him work for them. The gospel is not a Help Wanted ad. Neither is the call to Christian service. On the contrary, the gospel commands us to give up and hang out a Help Wanted sign (this is basic meaning of prayer). Then the gospel promises that God will work for us if we do. He will not surrender the glory of being the Giver...
"flesh" always wants to work for God (rather than humbling itself to
realize God must work for it in free grace). But "if you live according
to the flesh you will die" (Romans 8:13). That is why our very lives
hang on not working for God.
Then shall we not serve
Christ? It is commanded: "Serve the Lord!" (Romans 12:11). Those who do
not serve Christ are rebuked (Romans 16:18). Yes, we must serve
Him. But we will beware of serving in a way that implies a deficiency on
His part or exalts our indispensability.
then shall we serve? Psalm 123:2 points the way. "Behold, as the eyes of
servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the
hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till He
have mercy upon us." The way to serve God so that He gets the glory is
to look to Him for mercy. Prayer prevents service from being an
expression of pride.
Any servant who tries to get off
the divine dole and strike up a manly partnership with His Heavenly
Master is in revolt against the Creator. God does not barter. He gives
the mercy of life to servants who will have it, and the wages of death
to those who won't. Good service is always and fundamentally receiving mercy, not rendering assistance...
so we will serve God by believing His promise of fullest joy and
walking by that faith. We will not serve by trying to put our power at
His disposal for His good, but by doing what is necessary so that His power will be ever at our disposal for our good.
And of course, God has appointed that His power be at our disposal
through prayer. "Ask and you will receive!" So we serve by the power
that comes through prayer, when we serve for the glory of God.
doubt this sort of serving also means obedience. A patient who trusts
his doctor's prescriptions obeys them. A convalescent sinner trusts the
painful directions of his therapist, and follows. Only in this way do we
keep ourselves in a position to benefit from what the divine Physician
has to offer. In all this obedience it is we who are the beneficiaries. God is ever the Giver. For it is the Giver who gets the glory.
Peter 4:11 states the principle so well: "Let him who serves serve in
the strength which God supplies in order that in everything God may be
glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen." The Giver gets the glory. So all serving that honors God must be a receiving. Which means that all service must be performed by prayer.
To be sure, let us work hard; but never let us forget that it is not we, but the grace of God which is with us (1 Corinthians 15:10). Let us obey now, as always, but never forget that it is God who works in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Let us spread the gospel far and wide, and spend ourselves for the sake of God's elect, but never venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through us (Romans 15:18). Let us ever be praying for His power and wisdom, so that all our serving is the overflow of righteousness, joy and peace from the Holy Spirit. "For he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men" (Romans 14:17-18).
So the astonishing good news implied in the duty of prayer is that God will never give up the glory of being our Servant. "No eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him" (Isaiah 64:4).