Monday, March 14, 2011

The Splendor of Work

Northern Lights over Galena Bible Church

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily,as for the Lord and not for men.

     Life in Galena can be described in seasons. Right now it is wood cutting season. Every man at church yesterday could be heard saying, "mumble mumble mumble fire wood. Mumble mumble need to get out to the wood lot. Mumble mumble just got a new chainsaw. etc"  I myself am in that group now. The church parsonage does not have a wood stove, but the plan is to put one in this summer so that I can help cut the heating cost of the parsonage for next winter. Right now the parsonage costs about $11,000 a year to heat. So I'm cutting firewood for next year. It's a strange thing to be waist deep in snow, and be warm enough to be wearing a long sleeve t-shirt while logging trees. It is work.
     Many times I think that we grumble about work, because we equate it with the Fall. (By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread). But the truth is, there was work before the Fall. Adam and Eve were charged to tend the Garden. Anyone who's tended a garden before knows that it is work. The consequence of the Fall was that the work would now be hard. Now we have to pour much more labor into our work before we see fruit, and thus the frustration that we have with our labor is that we see no fruit immediately. So it is with ministry. Our heart's desire is to see Acts 2 kinds of conversions, people beating down the doors of our church buildings to be saved. However, the Lord has different plans about how He chooses to work in and through us. I am so thankful that it is always God who gives the increase to our labor! Jesus told the Disciples, "Follow me...", that was His command to them. Work at following me. Then Jesus' part would be, "and I will make you fishers of men." We can lose track of the order of all that. We want to be "soul winners" when what Christ wants us to be is "Christ followers". That is work! It's arbitrary a lot of the time! You get to the end of your labor and ask "What did I just do?" We look for the immediate results ...kind of like cutting fire wood. 
     I cut down trees, and then I have a jumbled mess. I limb the trees, cut them into 9' sections and stack them into piles. Then I have an ordered mess. Then we load them onto a sled and pull them out of the woods 5 miles to our home. Now we have a moved mess. Then we stack them there. We now have an ordered moved mess. Then we cut them into 18" sections. We're back to having a big mess. Then we split them so they can dry over the summer. Still...a big mess. Then we stack them in an orderly fashion so that we can pull from the pile. Now we have a HUGE pile of wood that has TONS of work poured into it...that we don't do anything with for 6 months! We finish all this in May. We don't see the USE (or fruit if you will) until late October. But when October comes we thank God for the ability to have done the work! May we as the Church always look forward to when the 'season of October' comes in the work of following Christ! Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9).

Praises & Things you can pray for: 
  • God has been answering prayer for the staff positions that are opening up at the schools here in Galena. A Christian couple has accepted the aviation position at GILA and we look forward to getting to know them. There are several college students who are praying about coming to serve on staff at the dorms. Please pray that God gives them clarity.
  • Continue to pray for safety for all the men of Galena Bible Church who are cutting wood over the coming weeks. 
  • Pray for our Church as we seek to raise financial support to repair our septic system, and add a second bathroom and kitchenette to our building. 
  • Pray for the people of Galena, that they would know how much Christ loves them, by the love they receive from the Galena Bible Church.


Anonymous said...

I have thought about this several times. Work is a blessing. I don't like hearing Christians complain about work as though it's not something that God intended for us. What? He wanted us to surf couches all our lives?

Thanks for the good article. There are many right now who'd give a lot to have a job. Work is a blessing, and not just for the financial reward.

Karrie said...

We LOVE having you here, Pastor Bubba! Sometimes when you're preaching, I just smile in gratitude at what the Lord has brought our fellowship through, and where we are now with you & Chelle as our shepherds. The words of your sermon are perfect for all who hear. Yay God!

John Campbell said...

Thanks for the update keep them coming. You are in our prayers.