Doing the Will of God. Luke 2:49

By Steven Chan

1. Jesus came down to this world to do His Father’s will (John 6:38). Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (John 4:34-36)

In John 17:4, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). His commitment to finish the work of God was also echoed by the apostle Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7).

2. Unfortunately, God’s people do not always commit themselves to doing God’s work.

They do not reject doing God’s work; they merely procrastinate or delay their effort to do God’s work: ““Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” ’ ” Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:2-5).

3. Many offer excuses for not accepting God’s invitation or delaying our commitment to start actively doing God’s work: “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’” (Luke 14:18-20). 

4. Has God given us work to do? “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58). “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” (1 Cor 3:9-10)

5. Doing God’s work encompasses being the people of God whose lives are being transformed in conformity with God’s will: “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:1-2) 

6. Jesus has also charged us with the work of “making disciples”: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matt 28:18-20)

7. As members of His Body, the church, we have responsibilities towards one another such as “loving one another” (John 13:34-35), bearing one another’s burden (Gal 6:2), “serving one another” (Gal 5:13; 6:10; 1 Pet 4:10) and “every part (member) does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:16).

8. God’s plan for evangelism is for all His disciples (that means all of us who believe in Him and who have put on Christ) to preach the gospel to everyone (Mark 16:15-16) – even under challenging circumstances: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.”(Acts 8:4).

9. Nothing ought to prevent or delay us from doing God’s work. It does not require big financial commitments or resources. It needs our heart to be committed to do whatever we can to further the cause of the gospel. We need to just make every effort to “start” from wherever we are and then we progress from there (1 Tim 4:12,15-16). There is never a more convenient time than now: “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:1-2)

10. When we have done God’s will, then we can look forward to the hope of heaven: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt 7:21). “Knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Heb 10:34-36)