In today’s economy, where jobs are few and applicants plentiful, going the extra mile at work can really pay off. As more and more are laid off, those who remain are expected to carry the brunt of the workload. Flexibility and willingness to assume the responsibilities formerly carried by others can go far in assuring an ongoing paycheck. Now is not the time to tell our employer “It’s not my job!”
Yet I wonder how often Christians shrug off the responsibilities God has placed on us with a similarly cavalier attitude. His commandments are clearly spelled out in His Word, yet we often dismiss them because many in authority and in positions of worldly influence seem to blatantly disregard them (Ephesians 6:12).
We judge ourselves by the cultural norm, and conclude that we look pretty good in comparison to the lost, forgetting that we serve a just and holy God who demands a higher standard (Leviticus 20:7; Romans 6:13,16; 2 Peter 3:11). Our sins are forgiven and washed away by His righteousness (Romans 3:25; Romans 5:21), but that does not give us liberty to continue in a sinful lifestyle or to stay where we will be tempted into habitual sins (Romans 6:15).
He has plainly told us, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15) and “feed my sheep” (John 21:16). The last words of Jesus before He ascended into Heaven were the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), where He commanded believers to spread the Good News about Him and to teach one another from His Word.
This job is not reserved for pastors and teachers, but is the responsibility of everyone who has trusted Christ as Savior and has faith in His death, burial and resurrection as the only way to eternal life (1 Corinthians 15). He has placed each of us in a unique sphere of influence and equipped each of us with different gifts, personality traits and talents to be able to reach people no one else could reach (1 Corinthians 12).
Sharing His Word and leading others to Him is, however, not really a job but an awesome privilege, blessing, and opportunity to worship and thank the One Whose sacrifice gave us eternal, abundant life (John 3:16;10:10). He could have written the plan of salvation in the sky for all to read; He could have entrusted the Gospel message to angels; but instead, He appointed every believer to be His ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) and allowed each of us to share in the joy of leading a lost sinner to Him!
If we are faithful to carry out His general will for our life by avoiding and hating sin, praying, loving and witnessing to others, and if we listen for His voice, He will also give each of us specific instructions for how to best fulfill His specific will for our lives (2 Timothy 1:9).
Ultimately, it is not our job to “save” anyone, for that can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit convicting the lost person of his sin and of his need for a Savior (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). Our job, and our amazing privilege, is to plant and water seeds of His Word by our testimony, of His holiness through our lifestyle, and of His love through how we treat others (1 John 4:7).
We may not know in this lifetime what effect these had, but we know that our labor for Him is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). If we carry out His commission, we will meet in glory those we helped lead to Him, and we can present them to Him as a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19). He will say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” (Matthew 25:21) and He will reward us throughout eternity! (1 Corinthians 3:12)