Listen to today’s devo!

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance. . . . Nevertheless . . . (Rev. 2:19–20)

I once pastored a church in the coal fields of Pennsylvania. The character of the people of that area was forged in a life of dangerous hard work. Many of these miners died in collapses, accidents, or—eventually—of various lung diseases. The town funeral director often called on me to do services for people who had no church attachment, so I would make visits to bereaved families and try to put together a eulogy for someone I didn’t know. Sometimes I would discover that the deceased was unliked, mean, and a cad of sorts. But seeking to find something good to say, I would mention that they were a “hard worker.” This would always get an “amen” and group affirmation from the family and friends. The greatest virtue anyone in that town could obtain was to be a hard worker.

Christ knows the hard work of his people. He sees the many church ministries that we do; and he even encourages us to do more as we grow to be mature, gifted participants of the body of Christ. Our deeds are an extension of our love and faith. “Nevertheless Christians” can be busy doing good without basing it on sound teaching or motives.

At the end of our lives, it will not be enough to say we were hard workers. Rather, we are called to be good and faithful servants of Jesus Christ.

Limit yourself today to a few deeds rooted in true faith.

Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister and enjoys—with his wife, Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.