Dr. Peter Lillback is president and professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He finds his inspiration in Scriptures and engages the hard things by sincerely embracing Jezus’ teaching.
What inspires you to get going?
Some Mondays I hear in my mind, “But whenever monday comes, but whenever monday comes, You can find me cryin’ all of the time.” But inspiration for a new week is available when faith rekindles a desire to make a difference for better in the world. The spark for this yearning, I believe, comes from the Scriptures—“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16). Scripture blesses my focus and renews energy to begin a new week: “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). “When I am weak then I am strong for His grace is sufficient for me” (2 Cor. 12:10). “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
How do you cope with the challenges of this new week?
Relying in humble trust on God’s promises to care for us by His all-good, all-wise and overruling providence sustains hearts when unexpected difficulties and daunting challenges arise. I have been encouraged to engage the hard things that come by sincerely embracing Jesus’ teaching, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). How wonderful that “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:8).
What advice you have for those who find Monday mornings tough?
In 1522, Luther declared that by faith in the Lord, all work is truly valuable. He wrote in his Estate of Marriage:
“Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool—though that father is acting … in Christian faith—my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all his angels and creatures, is smiling—not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith. Those who sneer at him and see only the task but not the faith are ridiculing God with all his creatures, as the biggest fool on earth. Indeed, they are only ridiculing themselves; with all their cleverness they are nothing but devil’s fools.”
In Babylonian Captivity of the Church the reformer wrote, “The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but all works are measured before God by faith alone.” Indeed, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23).
– Peter Lillback, president and professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia