"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23); "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty'" (Luke 17:10).
"The true calling of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things but to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way" (Dean Stanley). We feel we need to do great things for God, when all God asks of us is that we do our duty. What a tiresome word, duty! Brother Lawrence wrote a remarkable book titled The Practice of the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence tells us that he is content with the pots and pans; that he is delighted to pick up a straw where no straw should be. His daily duty was in the kitchen, work that he didn't like but, by practicing the presence of his precious Christ, he made it into joyful service for others.
"Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?" (Matthew 20:6c). We have all kinds of excuses for not working: we lack experience, opportunity, money, or time; we couldn't find work; we didn't hear the alarm clock, etc. But we are told that whatever we do (which implies we are to do something), we are to do it with all our might, for we are to do it for God and not for another’s approval.
"As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me" (John 9:4). There are two interesting words here, "day" and "we." Jesus is honoring us by including us in His work. Jesus went about doing good and doing His Father's work (Acts 10:38) while there was still time. He didn't go about seeking honors or approval; He simply went about doing good and working the works of love and duty, and this is what He asks of us. "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
“Christ spent His life in doing good within the sphere in which He lived, and to the objects within His reach. Thus He has taught us irresistibly that, instead of consuming our time in wishes to do good where we cannot, the true dictate of universal goodwill is to do it where we can” (T. Dwight) .