28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

We are often compelled by dramatic stories of lives that are turned around for the better. One such example is Tim Allen. Most people don’t immediately think of a tumultuous past when thinking of the Toy Story, Home Improvement, and Last Man Standing star, but in 1978, Allen was arrested and imprisoned for drug trafficking. According to Allen, “It put me in a position of great humility, and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals.”[1] Many of us have witnessed the fruit of this refocus in Allen’s life, as he went on to become a household name for his roles in TV and film.

In Ephesians 4:28, Paul called his readers to a dramatic change as well. However, Paul’s motivation for change was much greater than personal achievement or setting one’s life in order. Paul called those in Ephesus to change the way they were living based on the reality that God Himself had come in the flesh. God came to live perfectly where they had not, died to pay the penalty of their sin, and rose again to give them new life. Paul had experienced this dramatic change personally, as someone who previously persecuted the church of Christ.

Following Jesus means that we allow Him to reorder all of life. This includes our work. Are you someone who has historically had low ambition or poor work ethic? Christ calls you to reorder your life in a way that honors Him with your work. This doesn’t mean we have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Instead, God gives us the power for change by His Spirit and the promise that He will go with us for the work He has called us to. We must simply begin by submitting to Him and being willing to change, no matter how dramatic.

• How have you experienced dramatic life change through believing the gospel?

• What has changed or needs to change in your approach to work in light of following Jesus?

• Pray and thank God that He is the One who provides power for change by His Spirit. Confess the areas you need to change, and ask that He would lead you to true change, for His glory.

[1] Chasmar, Jessica. "Tim Allen Opens up about Time in Prison: 'It Put Me in a Position of Great Humility'." The Washington Times. March 31, 2017. Accessed February 05, 2019. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/31/tim-allen-opens-up-about-time-in-prison-it-put-me-/.