4 March, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Industrious – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23
The definition of industrious is to be unflagging, diligent, tireless, persistent and conscientious. In other words to be hardworking with a purpose, having an objective to achieve. This is not to be confused with being busy. Business doesn’t always result in accomplishing what we set out to do! We can find ourselves doing lots of different tasks, being pulled in all different directions which might result in becoming side-tracked into doing unproductive things.
We read in Acts 9 v 36-42 of a Jewish woman called Dorcas who had become a Christian and had made a huge impact on the port of Joppa where she lived. Not much is known about Dorcas herself but what we do quite clearly glean is that she was industrious amongst the people, ‘who was always doing good and helping the poor.’ She bought material and made beautiful garments for them. Bearing in mind she only had a needle (had no access to modern day sewing machines!), Dorcas produced vast quantities of clothing ‘all the widows stood around….showing him the robes and other clothing Dorcas had made…’v39. She was hard working and tireless in her efforts. Dorcas found her mission field on her doorstop, she was aware of the opportunities around her, mothering the needy. It was, first and foremost, her love for her Saviour that spurred her on to use the talent that He had given her.
Jesus Himself was industrious throughout His mission whilst on earth: ‘For the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.’ Lk 19v10. He remained persistent and unflagging even unto the point of death on the cross that we might be restored in our relationship with God.
God has a plan for each of us, equipping us to be industrious for Him using the gifts and interests He has given us. In the words of the hymn: ‘There’s a work for Jesus ready at your hand, tis a task the master just for you has planned. Haste to do His bidding, yield Him service true; there’s a work for Jesus none but you can do. Work for Jesus day by day, serve Him ever falter never; Christ obey. Yield Him service loyal true. There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.
Let’s use this time of reflection during lent to ask ourselves whether we are being busy for God or industrious for God! Remember that ‘whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.’