God’s Word Will Last Forever

A popular statement among Christians not so long ago was “God said it, I believe it and that settles it.” Before long some believers had modified the slogan to say: “God said it, and that settles it—whether we believe it or not.”

They were pointing out the utter reliability of God. His Word is sure—even when our faith is shaky. And because he himself is one hundred percent faithful, he is worthy of our complete trust.

The goal is not to clutch at a few Bible promises like a desperate mountain climber might grasp a series of dangling ropes. We need, rather, to come to see God’s Word as a mighty mountain under our feet—strong, stable and eternal. Our daily time spent with him will build up that mountain, giving us a strong, secure footing in the face of any difficulty.

God’s Promise to Me
• My Word is eternal and firm.
• My faithfulness to you is forever.

My Prayer to God
Your Word stands firm forever, O Lord. As I have spent time in your Word over the last several days, I’ve see my relationship with you grow. You are a God of promises, and as I spend time with you, I see your promises evident in my life. I promise, you, Lord, that I will make this the year that I will spend time with you each day!

  

Meaningful Work Part V

On day one of this reading plan I referenced a new report called “Meaning and Purpose at Work” that was highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article. The authors of this report had three recommendations for employers to make work more meaningful for employees. 

The final recommendation was to “leverage employees who find higher levels of meaning.” These researchers discovered that older workers typically found more meaning at work than younger workers. 

Establishing mentoring programs for younger workers to learn from older workers can increase higher levels of meaning for the younger.

In 1 Timothy 1 Paul wrote, “To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Just as Paul mentored Timothy, encourage those who understand the meaning of their work to mentor others who do not.

What Lewis Created
“But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it…once He was there He pulled the whole story together.” – C. S. Lewis

Today, C. S. Lewis is regarded as one of the 20th Century’s most influential Christian theologians. But this is only because, after his conversion to Christianity, Lewis allowed his faith in Jesus Christ to impact everything he did, including the products he chose to create. 

Through works such as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Four Loves, Lewis used words to paint pictures of who God is and who He is not. The best example of this is found in The Chronicles of Narnia, the children’s fiction series which centers on the character of Aslan, the Christ-like lion who creates Narnia and redeems it through His sacrificial death. 

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, Lewis, like most culture-creators, did not lock himself in a room until he came up with an idea for a series of books that would reveal the redemptive character of God. As Lewis once explained, “Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them.

This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way. All my seven Narnian books began with seeing pictures in my head. [The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe] began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’ At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it…once He was there He pulled the whole story together.”

Like Lewis, our product ideas will likely not come from brainstorming sessions where we focus intensely on how we can create a product that reveals God’s character. But as we begin to create, and we “let the Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly,” (Colossians 3:16) we will undoubtedly see how we can use our creations to reveal the character of our Creator. If our work is to feel like a calling, we, like Lewis, must be willing to allow the True Aslan to come “bounding into” every aspect of our lives, including our work.

Why Lewis Created
“One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.” – C. S. Lewis

Do our motivations for creating matter to God? Proverbs 16:2 tells us that, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” 

The world tells us that the purpose of work is to accumulate fame and fortune for ourselves. The meta-narrative of work today is that it is the primary means by which we make a name for ourselves in this life and prove to the world that we are important, valuable, and worthy. 

For the Christian, the work of Jesus Christ should be the ultimate measure of value of our life, not the relative fame and fortune we accumulate through our work. C. S. Lewis appears to have understood this truth deeply. Even at the height of his success as an author, Lewis never appeared to clamor for the spotlight, and he lived a relatively modest lifestyle. After Lewis’s death in 1963, people came out of the woodwork to share how incredibly generous Lewis was with his wealth. As Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, put it in his excellent book, Lenten Lands, “No tramp or beggar would be turned away empty-handed by [Lewis]. Although convinced of his own poverty, he would gladly give to anyone who asked.”

Ever since Adam and Eve bit into the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden, we have been trying to cover up our sin nature, not with fig leafs, but with our accomplishments. We think that if we become a millionaire, sign a record deal, get 100,000 Instagram followers, or write a classic novel like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, then we’ll be able to mask our human condition. Essentially, we use our work as a means of saving ourselves.

But as Christians, we know that the work of salvation is complete and that brings an entirely different motivation to our work! Because Jesus said, “It is finished,” we no longer have to use our work as a means of saving ourselves. Like Lewis, the gospel frees us to create for the pure joy of creating, not seeking fortune or fame, but the fame of the One who has called us to create.