“‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” —Haggai 2:4 (NKJV)
“Hey, can you come out and play,” my buddy Mark from down the street came and asked me early one Saturday morning. “No, I gotta mow the lawn,” I told him. “Awe, man! I am SO glad I’m not you. I hate mowing the lawn,” Mark said. I told him I liked it and he replied with, “You’re weird.”
Maybe I am weird. But I like work. I like the smell of gas, oil, and exhaust. I felt privileged to use my dad’s lawn mower and gas-powered weed eater. I loved the way the yard looked when the grass had that manicured look by the fence and around the trees. I was proud when I took my dad outside and showed him how I mowed perfectly geometric lines across the yard. He was pleased with my work. That meant everything to me. He always gave me a few bucks to spend afterward. That was a great Saturday.
What my friend didn’t know was that I didn’t get to see my dad very often. My parents were divorced and my dad’s job moved him 1,000 miles away. Since I lived without a father, I was excited to be with him in his house. And he never hid that he was happy to have me with him.
I didn’t have to mow the grass. I got to mow the grass. The work was all a bonus. It was one the benefits of being with my dad.
Because of your faith in Jesus, you don’t have to work to get God to accept you. But God has work He wants to share with you—a gospel project. He has a role made specifically for you and tasks to move His project forward. This is work you get to do. God’s Spirit is at work in you as you do His work. Sometimes the beginning of the work is small and seemingly insignificant, but a bigger job is around the corner.
According to the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14–30, there’s a place God wants to promote you to. Be faithful, do the work well, and watch how God uses you in the future. Your participation in the work now holds a place of greater responsibility for you in the future. That’s both a hope and a promise.