Learning Excellence From Jesus

Copyright (c) Gregory Scott

Copyright (c) Gregory Scott

John, the disciple of Jesus, recounts Jesus’ first miracle.

It happened at a wedding reception. They wedding party had run out of wine.

Jesus finds out and asks the servants to fill six thirty gallons jars with water.

Then Jesus tells them to draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.

The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, and not knowing from where it had come, takes the bridegroom aside and says, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much wine to drink; but you have kept the best until now.” See John 2:1-10.

Interestingly, John goes out of his way to comment on the quality of the wine Jesus produced. The miracle should have been news enough, but John emphasizes how good the wine was that Jesus made. Continue reading…

Work and the Fruit of Repentance

Roman HelmetBefore Jesus began His earthly ministry John the Baptist prepared the way.

John prepared the way by preaching that people should repent.

John’s message was anointed and people and began repenting and coming to him to be baptized.

When the people repented they asked John what many people ask when they turn to God: “What should I do now?”

It’s the same question a cobbler asked Martin Luther, as I mentioned in a  previous job post. John’s response was interesting. Continue reading…

Why Excellence Matters

excellentI’ve always been drawn to excellence.

I’ve always admired the best writers, filmmakers, athletes, and lawyers because of the quality of their work.

Before Tiger Woods was publicly exposed as a pursuer of pancake waitresses and porn stars I was one of his biggest fans.

I don’t think I’m alone. There is something in our nature that is drawn to excellence.

Marketing firms recognize this. That is why, for example, the best athletes get the best  endorsement deals.

Have you ever considered why we value excellence over mediocrity? It is so intuitive it seems silly to ask the question.

I believe it is intuitive because, as image-bearers of the Creator, the desire for excellence is imprinted on our souls. Notwithstanding the corrupting influence of the Fall of Man, the echoes of the image of God can still be heard in our hearts. Continue reading…

Labor Day Quotes

Work

It’s Labor Day.

Enjoy your rest today while rememberng in God’s design rest is the exception, not the rule, and our work is a means by which Jesus exercises His dominion over the earth.

Here are some quotes on the subject:

“Work has dignity because it is something that God does and because we do it in God’s place, as his representatives.”

Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

“God does not need our good works, but our neighbor does.”

Gustaf Wingren, Luther on Vocation

“Work is the form in which we make ourselves useful to others.”

Lester DeKoster, Work: The Meaning of Your Life

“Having fashioned a world filled with resources and potentials, God chose to continue his creative activity in this world through the work of human hands.”

Lee Hardy, The Fabric of This World

How a Good Shoe Advances the Kingdom

shoeIt is said Martin Luther was approached by a man who had just become a Christian.

Wanting desperately to please the Lord, the new convert asked Luther, “What should I do now,” impliedly inquiring whether he should become a minister.

Luther asked, ‘What is your work now?”

“I’m a shoemaker,” he replied.

Luther said, “Then make a good shoe, and sell it at a fair price.”

The story is a good example of Luther’s Doctrine of Vocation, the idea the Lord uses us in our jobs to meet the needs of others. The Lord meets the needs of the person who needs shoes through the shoemaker, and He feeds us through the work of the farmer.

Luther’s Doctrine of Vocation is important; it has been a tremendous blessing for many over the centuries to understand how their so-called “secular” jobs serve a Godly purpose, but the doctrine doesn’t explain how making a good shoe advances the kingdom of God. Jesus answered that question in the Parable of the Talents. Continue reading…