Is there a balance between work and ministry?

Work and Ministry

Jesus worked as a carpenter until He was called into His full-time ministry on earth (Mark 6:3). Most of His disciples labored as fishermen (Matthew 4:18-22), and one was a tax-collector (Matthew 9:9-13). They all worked until they were called to ministry. The point is, they were active in pursuing life until redirected by the Lord.

Jewish children had to learn some sort of trade, even if they were wealthy and would potentially never need to work in that trade, they were taught something in which they could support themselves should circumstances change. Paul, for example, was a wealthy Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. When he accepted Christ, his position and wealth were put to the gospel work and at some point he had to support himself with the skill he had learned in his youth, tent making (Acts 18:1-4).

Proverbs 3:6 tells us to acknowledge the Lord in all that we do and He will direct our paths. Yet, Proverbs also describes a virtuous woman as very active and goal-driven (Proverbs 31:10-31). Let’s examine it closely:

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff… She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant… She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness…Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

This virtuous woman does not wait to see what the Lord will have her do, rather she goes and does whatever her hands find to do. Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us to do our best in whatever falls in our hands. We are to be constantly diligent and productive. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13). The word “occupy” here means to carry on work diligently (Luke 19:15; Ezekiel 27:9, 16, 19, 21, 22). Whatever we are called to do, we are to do it to the Lord. This principle can be applied to our lives and service for God that we may be a blessing to others and glorify Him in all of our circumstances (Matthew 5:15; 1 Peter 2:12).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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