I remember riding on a tractor with my Daddy on hot, summer days. I remember watching him shovel rice levees while sweat dripped down his face and clothes. Then we would take a break (not that I was working – I was always the supervisor haha) and drink out of the huge orange water cooler. That was the best water in the world back then!
If I was lucky, there would be blackberries on a bush that I could pick and eat while Daddy worked. Those were the days. I thought it was just grand to eat those blackberries and drink that delicious water. Such wonderful memories.
My Daddy taught me many lessons about hard work back then. He taught me that it takes hard work to support your family. He taught me the importance of staying strong and getting the job done. Even when you may want to sit down and throw your hands up. He worked until the job was done.
I have been at the company I work for over half my life. I started in 1996 as a temporary worker filling in for a lady who would be out two weeks and they haven’t been able to get rid of me since haha! The example my Daddy set has played a big part in my life and how I handle myself in my business and personal life.
Looking back, I think the most important lesson he taught me about hard work is not to be afraid of it. Just roll your sleeves up and tackle the job at hand. Do your best and it will all work out in the end.
I didn’t truly realize the importance of working when I was a kid. The importance of doing my best to glorify God. It wasn’t until I obeyed the gospel that I realized that what I do is a direct reflection upon my Father.
Ephesians 6:5-6: Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
I know I am required to put forth my best effort on the job because, as a Christian God expects me to. I work to glorify God and not self.
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
The effort I put forth in my job can mean the difference between a promotion or a raise or even whether or not I am allowed to continue in my job. So, yes, it is important to have the drive to work hard in my secular work.
However, there is an even more important work that should be at the top of my mind. A more important work that can have far reaching consequences if I put forth little effort. Soul impacting consequences.
So, what work am I referring to?
The Most Important Work
Let’s get down to it. Do we (yes, we) sometimes put more of a focus on our earthly work than our spiritual? Do we work harder at our secular job? Do we put forth more of an effort while we are on the clock?
If so, why is that? Are our secular jobs more important than our work in the church? That is a hard no.
It may be that we don’t realize we are putting more of our time and energy in our secular job than we should. Life can get ahead of us. I get it.
If you are reading this and a lightbulb is going off, then what are you going to do about it? That is the million-dollar question. How are you going to put Christ and His Kingdom first?
Find out how YOU can use your talents and abilities to help the church. Get with the Elders and/or Deacons to find out what is needed.
Then volunteer in an area that needs you. (there are many)
Teach a class.
Clean the building or do yardwork.
Work up lessons.
Do you feel like you have no talents and abilities? Change it. Change it by studying to build on what you DO have.
Start out by doing something that you can do – pick up a church directory and start sending out cards or texting/calling people.
Make a list of members who have been missing service – reach out to each one. Let them know you miss them.
Hand out tracts. Leave them in stores, doctor’s offices, and give to friends and family.
Invite people to come to service.
There a can help – just put forth the effort!
Colossians 3:23-24: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men; Knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD Christ.”
Proverbs 16:3: “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
I think of and miss my Daddy all the time, but April is always a month that my thoughts of him are magnified. He was born this month in 1929 and he passed away April 2, 2006.
I went to bed with Daddy on my mind and I woke up with him on my mind this morning. Memories of my childhood flooded and my heart smiles that I have those memories to cherish.
We have our memories of loved ones that we can cherish. How much more will we cherish memories of our time working in the Kingdom?
If you are not a Christian, you have time and opportunity to become one! You have time and opportunity if you are reading this. Don’t wait until it is too late! Let us work together to build up the Lord’s Kingdom!
Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
In Christian Love,
In Loving Memory of James Hugh Castleberry, April 12, 1929 – April 2, 2006