William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

Faith and Serving God at Work

Excerpted from Everyday Religion by C. H. Spurgeon

Thirdly, faith exercises a power over a man's life of a remarkable kind because
it leads him to serve God in his daily calling. Never is life more ennobled than
when we do all things as unto God. This makes drudgery sublime, and links the
poorest menial with the brightest angel. Seraphs serve God in heaven, and you
and I may serve him in the pulpit or in the kitchen, and be as accepted as they
are. Brethren, Christian men are helped by faith to serve God in their calling
by obedience to God's commands, by endeavouring to order everything according to
the rules of love to God and love to men. In such a case integrity and
uprightness preserve the man, and his business becomes true worship. Though
there be no straining after eccentric unworldliness and superstitious
singularity, yet in doing that which is right and just, the common tradesman is
separated unto the service of the Lord. Jesus says, "If any man serve me let him
follow me," as much as to say that obedience to the divine command is the true
mode of showing love to Jesus. If thou wishest to do something great for God, be
greatly careful to obey his commands: for "to obey is better than sacrifice and
to hearken than the fat of rams."

Godly men exercise faith in God in their callings by trying to manifest a
Christian spirit in all that they do. The spirit which actuates us may seem to
be a small matter so long as we are outwardly right; but it is in reality the
essence of the whole thing. Take away the flavour from the fruit, or the
fragrance from the flower, and what is left? Such is correct living without the
savour of grace. The same thing can be done in several ways: you can do a right
thing in so wrong a way as to make it wrong. Even in giving to the poor, a churl
will trample upon their feelings in the very act of his charity; while I have
known others who have been unable to give who, nevertheless, have expressed
their inability in so kindly a form that they have comforted the disappointed
applicant. Oh, to act in your trade and your calling as Christ would have acted
had he been in your place. Hang that question up in your houses, "What would
Jesus do?" and then think of another, "How would Jesus do it?" for what he would
do, and how he would do it, may always stand as the best guide to us. Thus faith
puts a man upon serving God by leading him to exhibit the spirit of Christ in
what he ordinarily does, showing all courtesy, gentleness, forbearance, charity,
and grace.

Furthermore, in all that we do, we should be aiming at God's glory. We should do
everything as unto God, and not unto men. There would be no eye-service if we
left off being men-pleasers and began to please God. Neither would there be
impatience under injustice; for if men do not accept our service when we have
done it with all our hearts, we shall comfort ourselves with the reflection that
our Master in heaven knows how little we deserve the unrighteous censure. To
live as kings and priests unto God is the cream of living. Then will you be the
Lord's free men. Serve God in serving men, and serve men by serving God: there
is a way of working out those two sentences even to the full, and thus rendering
life sublime. May God the Holy Spirit teach us to do this. If we really live to
serve God we shall live intensely day by day, allowing no time to waste. Sophie
Cook sought Mr. Wesley's counsel as to what she should do in life, and he
answered, "Live to-day": a very short direction, but one that is full of wisdom.
"Live to-day," and tomorrow you may do the same. Plans for the whole term of
life many of you may not be able to construct, but mind that you work while it
is called to-day. "Son, go work to-day in my vineyard" is the great Father's
word. How would a man live if he felt that he was specially to live for God this
day? Suppose that to-day there was a vow upon you, or some other bond, by which
you felt that this whole day was solemnly consecrated to the Lord; how would you
behave yourself? So ought you to behave this day, and every day; for you belong
wholly to him who loved you, and gave himself for you. Let the love of Christ
constrain us in this matter: let us put on the yoke of Christ, and feel at once
that we are his blood-bought possession, and his servants for ever, because by
faith he has become ours and we are his. We ought to live as Christ's men in
every little as well as in every great matter; whether we eat or drink, or
whatsoever we do, we should do all to the glory of God, giving thanks unto God
and the Father by Christ Jesus. Thus, you see, faith in him who gave himself for
us leads us to spend our energies in his service, and to do our ordinary work
with an eye to his glory, and so our life is coloured and savoured by our faith
in the Son of God.


Promoting a Greater Understanding of the Discovery of the Americas