Tongues AfireWhen have you recently endured the wound of another person’s words?
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Warn those who are lazy
(1 Thessalonians 5:14).
Think back to a time when you were part of a team
through school, church, business, volunteer work, or
sports. With that experience fresh in your mind, answer
the following: What was your team’s primary goal? Prepare
a class presentation? Share the gospel with 500 people?
Increase sales by 25 percent in three districts? Win a state
or national championship? Did your team meet its goals?
Why did your group effort succeed or fail? Who worked
the hardest on your team? Did anyone fail to put forth the
effort needed to achieve the desired results?
On almost every team, there’s a standout performer, the
one who works tirelessly and who diligently makes “use of
everything they find.” There’s also often a person who’s rich
with talent, but who’s lazy and poor at execution; the type
of person who doesn’t “even cook the game they catch”
People who fail to make the most of opportunities or
to follow through with their responsibilities hurt not only
themselves, but also their teammates. God’s Word has
much to say about the value of work. For example:
• “Lazy people want much but get little, but those
who work hard will prosper” (13:4).
• “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (21:5).
• Be happy in [your] work. That is why we are here!”
• “Enjoy your work . . . this is indeed a gift from God” (5:19).
• “Those who work [hard] deserve their pay” (Luke 10:7).
Jesus also said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to
eternal life” (John 6:27 NIV). Make it your goal to complete what God calls you
to do, keeping in mind that no work “you do for the Lord is ever useless”
(1 Corinthians 15:58). —Roxanne Robbins
Read Acts 20:24 to see
the work God assigned
to Paul. Consider how
this is your work as well.
What is something God
is calling you to do?
How are you putting
forth the required work to
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