Old memories, mingling with recent conversations, came to the forefront of my mind, as I read through South Forty Rocks this morning. I’ve been blessed over the years with good horses and a good husband reared by a family-full of good men (and women, too!). I’ve had my fair share of difficult horses, but they have been just as important in my life and education. They have taught me patience and the value of working hard, working smart. Many of those difficult horses became good horses because I refused to allow them to stay stuck in their old ways. I wanted them to have a good home when their days with me had come to a close. I wanted to add value to their character. I wanted them to have a good future.
This path requires work. Sweat. Sometimes blood.
It’s a poignant reminder of the work God did to secure our own good future. He was not content to leave us in our old ways. This work that He did required His sweat. His blood.
Our eternal salvation is secured through the work of Jesus. Through our faith in His work. Yet, we are still commanded in Philippians 2:12 to work it out – to repent, to turn from our sins, and walk in obedience. We are reminded in James 2 that, just as the body without the spirit, faith without works is dead.
In our society it can be so easy to lose sight of exactly what work is truly, eternally, important. We get wrapped up in our own little lives, in our jobs, our family. Even when what we are doing could be considered “good” by this world, the eternal implications are lacking in weight. So, what work does God say is important?
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the leastof them, you did it to Me.’ -Matthew 25:34-39
“…putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” -James 1: 21-27
Have faith. Do good. And get the work done.