Friday, September 18, 2009

The Labor of Christ

I would not say to any young man, “Be idle.” If you want to prosper in anything, throw your whole soul into it, and work as hard as you can. Many, many people feel the compulsion of working to get on, or working to support a family. Very proper indeed; but I need not exhort you to do it, for I dare say, as honest and moral men, you will feel that compulsion without any exhortation from me. Some work in order to get fame. Well, that is not so bad a thing in its way; but I need not speak about it, for those who choose that path will fall into it without my advice.

But here is the point, “I must work the works of him that sent me.” Christ came into this world, neither to be a King among kings, nor to be famous among the famed, but to be a Servant of servants, and to fulfill the will of God. “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” He came to do it, and, having come, he did it. Observe the character of the work, which Christ performed. It was not a work of his own devising. It was not a work which he had set to himself of his own will, but it was a work which had been ordained of old, and settled by his Father. “I came not to do my will, but the will of him that sent me.” Observe too, that Christ made no picking nor choosing about this work. He says, “I must work the works;” not some of them, but all of them, whether they should be works of drudgery or works of honor, bearing reproach for the truth, or bearing testimony to the truth; works of suffering himself or works of relief to those that suffered; works of silent secret groaning, or works of ministry in which he rejoiced in spirit; works of prayer on the mountain-side, or works of preaching on the mountain’s brow. Christ had given himself up unreservedly to do for God whatsoever the Father should bid him do.

From a sermon entitled "Work," delivered March 21, 1867. Image by abcdz2000 under Creative Commons License.

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