In Annie Coghill’s revival hymn “Work, for the Night Is Coming” we are constantly reminded to work. How are we to work? We are to work zealously. Paul told Titus to tell his congregation to be zealous for good works. Why are we to be zealous for good works? We are to do this in response to God’s grace to us. We were saved by grace to be zealous for good works so that men might see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. We conclude our alphabet today with “Z” for zealous grace.
In many of the ways that we have seen grace going through the grace alphabet, it has been the work of God’s grace toward us. But grace toward us is also to be grace in us and grace through us. We are now to manifest the greatness of God’s grace as we live in this world. He did not extend His wonderful grace to us that we might just soak it up like a sponge. A saturated sponge is a soggy thing. We are to keep the sponge busy spreading around the grace of God and then get our sponges refilled to spread it around some more. That spreading around of God’s grace is called good works and we are to be zealous to do them.
We see that Jesus was Himself zealous for the work of God. John records in his gospel that when Jesus cleansed the temple it fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy that He would be zealous for His Father’s house. Today we are His Father’s house. We have become the temple of God. We need to be zealous in doing good works for those in the church first. But we are also servants in the Father’s field which is the world. We need to be as zealous to reap in His field as we are to do good works for those who are His temple.
Annie Coghill’s song reminds us that we only have so much time to work. We should not put off getting it done until some more convenient time. Satan will lure us with many things that will mean we will never find a convenient time. Paul wrote, “Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” Not only do we have a limited time to do God’s work, others have a limited time to hear it. Let us sing joyfully and zealously as we get about the work of God. “Work, for the night is coming. Work through the morning hours. Work when the dew is sparkling. Work mid springing flowers . . . Work for the night is coming, when man works no more.” Go forth with zeal and work with zealous grace.
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