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Several times I have heard athletic coaches encourage their players by saying: “Play hard, play smart, play together.” Consider how this concept, with modification, applies to the local church.
Ephesians 4:12,16 – The church was organized (verse 11) for the purpose of equipping members to accomplish works of service so the body can be edified (built up – verse 16). Like a good team, we must learn to work hard, work smart, and work together.
Titus 2:14; 3:1 – God’s people should be zealous of good works and ready to every good work. When you see an opportunity to do some good work, are you zealous and ready to do it?
Hebrews 10:24 – Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.
Colossians 1:10 – Paul prayed that the Colossians might walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
The local church exists to arrange opportunities for members to study, worship, and work for the Lord. Like a good team, in order to succeed, we need every member working hard to achieve our goals.
Success requires team members, not just to work hard, but to use good judgment in the work.
Joshua 1:8 – God instructed Joshua to meditate on the Book of the Law and observe to do all that was written in it. “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Success in God’s work requires understanding how to work wisely. That wisdom comes from following God’s word.
Colossians 1:9,10 – Paul prayed for the Colossians “to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” To be fruitful in good works, we must be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding.
2 Timothy 3:15 – The Scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Verse 17 says the Scriptures equip us thoroughly for every good work.
As with any good team, success requires working wisely. In spiritual work, wisdom comes from learning and obeying the word of God.
To work effectively, all members of a team must work together with unity and harmony.
Acts 1:14; 4:32 – The gospel describes the unity of the very first local church in Jerusalem saying the disciples were “all” with “one accord” and the multitude of believers had “one heart and one soul.”
Philippians 1:27 – We should stand fast in “one spirit with one mind” striving for the gospel.
Philippians 2:1-4 – Be like-minded, having the same love, of one accord of one mind.
Ephesians 4:2,3 – Bear with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
As with any good team, in order for the church to achieve the work God has assigned to it, every member must work hard. But not just any work will do. We must work wisely according to God’s word. And we must work together in unity, with one heart and one soul.
How hard do you work do help the local church achieve its goals? How well do you understand and follow God’s plan for working effectively? How well do you work with the other members of the team?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.