Our Work Done to God’s Glory Matters to Him, for all Eternity

Note from Randy: I was on Jordan Raynor’s podcast to talk about why our work matters for all eternity. (Listen to the episode here.) Now, Jordan has a new book out called The Sacredness of Secular Work, which does an extraordinary job being both personally relevant and, more importantly, biblically faithful. It’s clear and well written, with excellent illustrations. It’s not that often I read a book that deals with Heaven, the New Earth, or Eternal Reward when I feel like the author really “gets it.” Jordan Raynor has done his homework and really gets it. I think the smile of God is on this book, and I’m happy to recommend it.

Hope you enjoy this excerpt.

Wonder at God’s Work While You Work

On Christmas Eve 1968, a billion people sat in front of their TVs and radios—“more people…than had ever tuned in to a human voice at once.” The voices they were waiting for were those of the crew of Apollo 8—the first human beings to ever orbit the moon.

Until an hour before the broadcast, the astronauts weren’t sure what they would say to the earthlings back home. Given the date, they had considered “invoking Santa Claus” or “changing the words to ‘Jingle Bells,’” but these messages clearly lacked the gravitas this monumental moment called for.

Finally, with the world sitting on the edge of their seats, the astronauts went live and said this: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And for a moment, the world stared in wonder at the glory of God’s creation.

The crew of Apollo 8 could have easily used the broadcast to boast in humankind’s extraordinary achievement, but instead, they took time to wonder at God’s. And that moment was nothing less than praise that undoubtedly brought the Creator cosmic joy.

You and I can do the same today as we take time to wonder at God’s work while we work. When we marvel at the natural materials God has given us to create with, praise him for the “coincidence” that helped us land that new hire, or simply stare at the sunset the Creator painted outside our office window, we can know that all of this brings God’s pleasure. Because we’re taking time to assign credit where credit is due—“ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name” (Psalm 29:2).

Let me give you an example of what this looks like for those of us who aren’t astronauts flying through the heavens. When I was writing my book The Sacredness of Secular Work, I was reminded of the scene in Moana where Maui steals the heart of Te Fiti. I couldn’t remember all the details of the scene, so I pulled open Disney+, found the movie, and clicked play. And the movie started playing at the exact scene I was looking for.

Of course, this wasn’t a coincidence. This was clearly God working while I was working. And by taking thirty seconds to stop, marvel at his power, and thank him for the reminder of his presence, I believe I brought him pleasure.

Now, you may be thinking, Jordan, that’s a wild (albeit ridiculous) story. But how in the world does that fleeting moment matter for eternity? How is it “not in vain”? Because God will remember.

Hebrews 6:10 says that “[God] will not forget your work and the love you have shown him.” He won’t forget a single thing we do in this life that brings him pleasure. And my guess is that those memories will fuel many of our interactions with Christ in the Eternal Heaven on Earth.

I want you to imagine with me for a moment that you are on the New Earth, working at your perfect, eternal vocation, when, all of a sudden, Jesus pulls up a chair and says, “Hey Jack, do you remember that time, back in the former age, when you hated your job as a server but you obeyed my command to work with excellence for my sake? I remember that. I’m so proud of you.”

Or maybe he’ll say, “You know, Olivia, I’ll never forget the look on my Father’s face when we saw you take the natural talents we gave you as an entrepreneur and develop them. You pursued excellence for my glory instead of yours, and we had a blast watching you do it!”

Maybe Jesus will visit the crew of Apollo 8 as they’re gearing up to explore the New Heavens and say, “You guys had every opportunity to orbit the moon and boast in yourselves. But instead, you boasted in me. Well done, good and faithful servants. Come and share your Master’s happiness.”

Obeying the Lord’s commands, pursuing excellence in our work, doing work that brings us pleasure, working with God and not just for him, taking time to wonder at the Lord’s work while we work—all of these things bring pleasure to God. And so they are not in vain, because God remembers them for eternity.

Photo: Unsplash

Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur and national bestselling author of Called to Create, Master of One, and Redeeming Your Time. He serves as the executive chairman of Threshold 360, a venture-backed tech startup that has built the world’s largest library of 360° experiences of hotels, restaurants, and attractions.