Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finishing to blessing.

According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.

Exodus 39:42-43sledgehammer

There is a modern proverb: “Hard work is its own reward”. That is not necessarily the case. Many people work hard throughout the world with nothing but pain to show for it. I watched a report on 60 Minutes Sunday night that showed the hardships “recyclers” pay in China. They live in filthy slums on the recycling plant. Harsh toxic chemicals from the computer CRT screens that get sent there to be recycled pollute their homes and drinking and bathing water. They are covered in sores from chemical burns received at the plant as they breakdown TV monitors and computer equipment. They work hard. Their children suffer in the slums they live in. And they receive enough pay to buy a little rice and that’s about it. The US and European companies that send the technology to China to recycle taut it as saving the planet. It is killing people. So much for green jobs.

But hard work for the glory of God is a different matter. It is blessed by God. In this passage Moses saw all the detailed final product of the work to build the tabernacle and its furnishing. And Israel obeyed God to the last detail of the construction. It was pleasing to God. It was hard work, but it was blessed. They obeyed and God was pleased through their leader.

Blessing in ministry is important. Many times churches ask people to work hard behind the scenes. It takes a lot of that kind of work to make the kingdom of God what it is in this world. The metaphor of the New Testament is that the church is God’s building built of many stones. Some are elaborate pillars readily seen. Others are foundation stones buried under the floor that hold it up. But every stone is needed, and is to be celebrated because we are “living stones”. I am so thankful for the scores of people who serve the Lord in my church! They make the ministry such a joy and blessing. May God bless His Church through all the efforts each of us makes in service to the kingdom. One day we will all stand before Him in the glory of His presence. And we want to finish well. We want the joy of His simple blessing to us: “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

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