The Appointed Work

February 16, 2018
by Lynne Phipps

The much-awaited snow had come. Along with it, however, came work. Paths had to be plowed in order to get in and out of the driveway. Other paths had to be prepared by hand to access the corral, the barn, and the house. In our household, we knew our appointed jobs, and we got to work.

Later, I read this passage from John's gospel:

John 3:27-28 – John replied, "God in heaven appoints each man's work. My work is to prepare the way for that man so that everyone will go to him. You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him — that is all." (TLB)

It reminded me of the snow clearing paths that I had just finished, as well as the appointed job that God has given, not only to John the Baptist, but also to all of us who have come to know Christ Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour.

Within our world, there are still so many who have not come to know Jesus. They have not experienced God's abundant forgiveness, reconciliation, and goodness in Him. In light of this, I must ask myself, Am I like John the Baptist, preparing the way for Him, so that as many as possible will find Him? By my behaviour, by the way that I live and act in everyday circumstances — whether they be good or bad — am I clearing the way for people to see and come to know Christ, or am I blocking their pathway? Are my words and my beliefs congruent with the Scriptures? Do I believe, as John stated, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less"? (John 3:30 TLB) In other words, is my will becoming more and more submissive to the Holy Spirit of Christ within me or not? These are heavy questions, but very important ones if I want to be one who consistently clears paths to Christ.

The good news is that through the apostle Paul, God has given us this hope:

Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. (TLB)

God has begun a good work in me and in all other people who have committed their way to Him. We can count on Him to keep helping us to grow as path-clearers to Jesus when we faithfully continue to commit our way — our heart, the very essence of our being — to Him day by day. We may not and often do not see ourselves growing, just as children do not see themselves getting taller. Yet not seeing does not mean not happening.

So today, as each of us considers these heavy questions, we must also ask ourselves the most important question of all: Who is Lord of my life, my thoughts, words, and actions this day? If the answer is Jesus, then we can know, whether we see it or not, that we are growing as a productive path-clearer for Him. For indeed, we are becoming less and less, and He is becoming, for all to see and find, greater and greater within us.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are always helping the willing heart in Christ to keep growing in His grace until His task is finally finished within us on that day when Jesus Christ returns. In His name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great challenge, Lynne.


    Beautiful and true. Thank you.


    Thank you for your words this morning. God bless you.


    Yes, these are such important questions. Thank you for this devotional.


    Please keep writing. I am always highly delighted when the writer for the day is you!


    Thank you for your challenges and insights. It is so good to get your special devotional from Canada.


    By sharing devotionals like this, Lynne, you are indeed preparing the way!
    Thank you.


    Greetings Lynne,
    I always enjoy and appreciate your devotional contributions and I liked the comparison you made today of snow shovelling pathways and making a clear path to Jesus. Yes, we must look to Him and keep on the straight and narrow path of faithfulness to our Lord and Saviour.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Beautiful analogy Lynne. Just what I needed this morning. What a blessing you are. It really is God at work through you in my life. I have been quite under the weather, and down in spirit as well, and have not been reading all my emails! This morning I did … and there you were. It’s hard to believe sometimes that He actually DOES know us so intimately. He knows when we need prompting and His timing is always perfect. Thank you, Lord! And bless you Lynne.


    Dear Lynne,
    Again, an ever-so-true devotional.
    I pray that God will keep using your talents and spiritual gifts for his glory and for the growth in grace of many persons.


    Thank you for that. I appreciate it so much for my life.

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