In looking over the next section of John 6 I had to pause for a moment on verse 27 and ask myself - "What am I working for?"
If I take an honest evaluation of my days and the way I spend them how must I honestly answer this question? How must you? Is the bulk of our time spent working for "things" that will rust and fade or on things that will last forever? Are we living and striving and giving ourselves to a house, a yard, a hobby, the computer, a career, a sport - the list could go on and on? Is the greatest investment of our time spent in passing things or on eternal things?
[As an aside, please note that we ARE to be diligent in all of our duties. Scripture speaks much about labor and the importance of it. I do need to be a good housekeeper (sorry, you'll find no excuse here for ignoring the laundry or the dishes). I do need to be concerned about putting daily bread on the table for my husband and my children because "things" do matter. God has placed us in a physical place within a physical time. BUT am I so concerned with the things of the moment that I am forsaking the things of forever? Am I doing the things of "time" while ignoring the things of "eternity'? Am I so caught up in my physical duties that I am ignoring my spiritual duties? Are the scales of my life balanced or does one far outweigh the other - for both are important?]
J.C. Ryle is very thought provoking when he writes concering the importance of our spiritual labors. He says:
"Christ would have us take pains to find food and satisfaction for our souls. We must labor in the use of all appointed means. We must read our Bibles like men digging for hidden treasure. We must wrestle earnestly in prayer like men contending with a deadly enemy for life. We must take our whole heart to the house of God and worship and hear like those who listen to the reading of a will. We must fight daily against sin, the world and the devil like those who fight for liberty, and must conquer or be slaves. This is laboring! In this, we shall have little encouragement and much opposition. We must strive, we must run, we must fight, we must throw our whole heart into our soul's affairs."
Wow! When you put it like that I have to hang my head in shame. How often do I dig for treasure, wrestle for my life, worship like an heir, and fight against my flesh like one whose whole freedom depends upon it? I am lazy. I am glad He is patient. Well, I need to go and do my dishes but I think there is some pretty important pre-washing that needs to go on in my spiritual closet first. Going to get to work!