183. THE BEAUTY OF BEING ABOUT THE FATHER’S BUSINESS

(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 4)

Jesus was always mindful of the purpose for which he came to earth, which was to fulfill the will of his Father.

As a child, at the age of twelve, when his parents had gone with him to Jerusalem and then left to return to where they lived, after a day’s journey, they realized that Jesus had not returned with them and was not among other family members and acquaintances. They therefore returned to Jerusalem to look for him and were amazed to find him in the temple in the midst of doctors, hearing them and asking questions.

In response to his mother’s question as to why he had treated she and his father (Joseph) in that manner and that they had been looking for him, sorrowing, Jesus shocked her by replying “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

Joseph, being engaged to Mary when Jesus was conceived in her womb of the Holy Spirit and then later married to Mary, he was the earthly man appointed by God to contribute, as somewhat of an adoptive earthly father, to the upbringing of Jesus. However, Jesus was ever mindful, even as a child, of his heavenly origin and mission. He kept at the fore of his mind the purpose for which he, God the Son, came to earth and had one main priority that superseded all other earthly priorities and wishes. That was to fulfill his heavenly Father’s business.

He did not set out to make those entrusted with his earthly care as parents, sorrowful or worried or upset but he was determined that nothing would derail him from his purpose, which trumped all other purposes, wishes and sentiments.

He always did those things that pleased his heavenly Father (John 8:29). In a situation therefore, where his heavenly Father’s will was for him to remain at Jerusalem and do his work and his parent’s will was for him to leave Jerusalem with them, in obedience to his heavenly Father, he chose to remain at Jerusalem and spend time working in the temple, to advance the purposes of God. Him being sinless, he did not therefore sin in this instance. For, as it is written in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Hence the reason Jesus stated to his earthly mother, “…wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Jesus was in his Father’s business, seeking and saving lost souls, calling sinners to repentance and through faith in him, forgiving them of their sins and bestowing to them the gift of eternal life in heaven.

In John 3:13-17, he stated:

  • “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

In Matthew 20:28, he stated, despite his heavenly origin and majesty,“…the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” In short, he came to work on behalf of his heavenly Father and not to be waited upon.

Years later, as an adult, in John 9:4, he was still at it. He was still focused. He told his disciples, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

As Christians, Christ having given us a mandate, we too must be about our heavenly Father’s business. We must reach souls for Christ with the gospel of Christ and use our gifts and talents to edify, encourage, support, build up the saints in their most holy faith, apply God’s Word to exhort, rebuke and reprove where necessary and we must use whatever God has graced us with to bless humanity in general.

We ought not to be attending to our own business and affairs to the point where God’s work is put on the shelf or back-burner, in neglect.

This is what God’s people in Judah did in Haggai 1. God’s house was lying waste while they focused exclusively on themselves, their life goals and ambitions. They were all trying to get ahead, to be ‘successful’, to make it in life, yet, they got nowhere worthwhile because they were not seeking first the Kingdom of God and allowing all other things to be added by God to them.

They were out there ‘hustling’ as the saying goes, trying to make something for themselves and fix themselves, without regard to God’s work, which was lying neglected.

After they had laboured seemingly for nought (because as hard as they tried to get ahead and to advance in life, they were seemingly just going around in circles and making no real progress), God told them through his Prophet, why this was happening.

He told them:

  •  Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
  • Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
  • Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.”

The same holds true today. God expects us to give his work priority. His work is not a bore or a chore. We should consider it to be an honour to work for him and be excited about what he can use our gifts and talents (which he gave us), to do for Him and His purposes.

Of a truth, the Word of God reminds us that God is no man’s debtor. He owes us nothing and he has already given us much more than we deserved in the form of salvation. Yet, he still rewards his children for their service, as he sees fit, whenever he sees fit. When we work willingly in God’s vineyard, doing whatever our hands find to do that will bring him glory and in so doing, contributing to His Kingdom agenda, there are beautiful benefits that we get blessed with.

Just to mention three (3) of them, these blessings are as follows:-

1: When you do your heavenly Father’s business, you grow spiritually

I have personally experienced this. When you devote time to doing God’s work, you do not remain the same. You grow spiritually.

For example, some years ago, hearing the continuous weekly request at Church for a volunteer to teach a Sunday School at a certain location where many children resided and nobody coming forward week after week, I finally told the Lord that I would volunteer and would teach two classes each Sunday if the number of the children could not fit into just one class session.

Shortly thereafter, I commenced the teaching of the class, along with a guy who also volunteered around the same time.

I volunteered to minister to others but God used the sessions to minister to me as well. I observed that as I prepared the lessons to give to the children, the Lord used the very lessons to work on me, to grow me, to strengthen me, to change me and to even prepare me for some things that I was about to go through.

I can therefore attest, that one of the best ways to become more spiritually mature is to put yourself out there and get busy serving God. He will use what you are doing to reach others, to reach YOU and take you to the next level spiritually.

2. When you do your heavenly Father’s business, you feel fulfilled

When you take your eyes off of yourself, your wants, your needs and your desires and instead, focus on serving God and others, you tend to feel fulfilled and life takes on a whole new exciting meaning. This is because as human beings, we were designed to bring God glory, to give to others and to make society better, not to focus on ourselves and to keep everything selfishly for ourselves.

Sin is what caused a preoccupation with self and self-focus. Alas, people who can’t see past themselves so as to reach out selflessly to the needs of others, tend to live a miserable and unproductive life. They may amass a whole lot of this earth’s riches and goods but consumed with themselves, they live lives of futility, discontentment and have no peace.

It is due to selfishness, that so many celebrities are depressed and some have even committed suicide. Constantly focusing on how better to please self and on what self does not have but what self feels it deserves, even comparing one’s lot to that of others is a sure recipe for depression.

Feeling meaningless in life and overwhelmed with sadness from day to day is usually borne out of too much focus on self and a desire for self-comfort. Such a person feels sad because he thinks to himself, I (self) should have gotten more, I (self) should have been further ahead in life than where I am currently. I (self) want that. I (self) am not satisfied with where I have reached. I (self) want more. What I (self) am going through is not fair to me (self). Why do I (self) have to be deprived of this when so and so has it? Why can’t I (self) have all that I (self) want and be where I (self) want and do what I (self) want to do? How can I (self), outdo and outshine so and so who dares to steal my (selve’s) limelight and glory? What can I do to better serve my(self)?

There are too many people thinking like the rich man who, having so many goods in life, that he was bursting at the seams, pondered what to do with all of it and decided to expand his barns so that he could store more for him(self). Not once did he think of how he could use some of what he had to reach out to the less fortunate or to contribute to some worthy cause. Alas, all he thought of, all he saw in life seemingly, was him(self).

As Christians, we must be like the Shunnamite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-11, who saw how all that she had been blessed with by God, could be used to bless others. She considered the needs of Elisha the Prophet and fed him selflessly with bread, whenever he passed that way. She even went so far as to invest money to build a room for him, so that whenever he passed, he could stay at the home where she and her husband resided.

She did all of this with not a thought as to herself and how she would benefit, very much like Rebekah did in Genesis 24, when she willingly did the work to fetch water for Abraham’s servant and all of his camels, at the well. This brings me to my third point.

3. When you do your heavenly Father’s business, it links you to opportunities

We ought not to serve to get back but it is a well-known fact, that serving God in his vineyard and doing his Kingdom work with the right motives, has the potential to link you to beautiful opportunities.

The Shunnamite woman selflessly served God by attending to the needs of Elisha his Prophet and although she never said a word to Elisha, he pronounced that she would no longer be infertile by informing her that by that time next year, she would have a son, which she did. She did God’s work cheerfully and selflessly and God rewarded her by opening up her womb and giving her conception.

Similarly, when Ruth, a poor, seemingly helpless Moabite widow with a lot of sorrow in her life and what some may consider to be baggage, decided to go look for food in the fields (which involved hours of work), she did it so that she and her mother-in-law would have something to eat, as they had no man to take care of them. While toiling in a particular field at random, she was spotted by the owner of the field, who just so ‘happened’ to visit on that very day. Needless to say, she eventually got married to him, they had a family and I assume, lived happily ever after.

Rebekah’s willingness to work selflessly and her heart of service, also resulted in God appointing her to be the wife of Isaac, the son of Abraham, one of the most wealthy, godly families in existence back then.

As stated before, God is no debtor to any man. He is faithful and finds ways to reward those who serve Him. As was stated in the Bible, there is profit in work (Proverbs 14:23) and the best work is work that is done for the Lord.

In conclusion, it may not be monetary but there is benefit to the person who gives of himself to God and to others.

Work for God. Give of your time, talents, gifts, abilities and resources and once you do it with a pure heart, it will come back to you, in God’s own way and in his own timing, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Luke 6:38 states:

  • Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

 When you do your heavenly Father’s business and make it a priority, when you give of your time, resources, gifts and talents, not grudgingly but willingly and cheerfully, it opens doors that you may not have even known existed, had you not been in that work vineyard. Had Ruth not been in that field when she was and working, she may have never met the likes of Boaz. That opportunity may have never again come in her lifetime.

On the other hand, selfishness, being stuck on self and refusing to work for God or doing so grudgingly or with the wrong motives, shuts the doors of opportunities, hides them and leaves you stuck in that room you’ve created for yourself, called SELF.

(Written on 7th Jan 2018 and expanded on 30th May, 2021)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 169 – ‘The Christian’s mandate: Go’
  • Note 187 – ‘Stirring Up The Gift – Getting God’s Work Done’
  • Note 210 – ‘The Urgency Of The Commission’

Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters of God’ Page:

  • Note 56 – ‘Rebekah, Zipporah And Ruth – How They Got Found’
  • Note 136 – ‘How I Used My Single Years To Pray, Preach, Plan And Prepare’
  • Note 158 – ‘Dispelling The Myths About Purpose’
  • Note 240 – ‘Serve God Wherever And In Whatever Ye Are Called’

Additionally, under the ‘COURTING OR ENGAGED Daughters of God’ Page:

  • Note 59 – ‘How Beautifully God Rewards A Cheerful Giver’

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