There once were three men. All of them were doing the same task of making a brick. A fourth man was walking along and asked each of them, "What are you doing?" He received a different reply from each of the men.
The first man said, "I am making a brick." The passerby then went along and stood next to the second man and asked the same question.
"I am building a house," responded the second man.
Lastly, the walking man asked the third man who was also making a brick and expected a similar answer from him. He asked, "What are you doing?"
The third man said to him, "I am building a temple of God."
This story reminds us that although many people could be performing the same task, the qualitative value of their work may be different according to the motive set in their hearts.
Similarly, many Christians may be doing things that at face value would appear no different to things done by non-Christians. For example, Christians attend secular schools, study secular subjects, and work secular jobs.
However, what attributes value to the work they do is not the nature of the work itself but the motive placed in the work.
A missionary could be working a part-time job at a cafe. Based on an outsider's perspective, he would be no different than part-time workers exchanging labor for wage. But let's say the missionary was working in order to raise support for his mission to save souls for Christ. Not all churches fully fund their missionaries so it would seem right that a missionary would work a part-time job. The value of the work the missionary is doing is greater than that of his fellow cafe worker because he is doing it for the hope of expanding the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God.
Jesus did tell his disciples upon commissioning them, "Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward.
"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward," Jesus said.
Why are you getting an education? Is it simply to set a foundation for a respectable career or is it so the learned knowledge can be applied to ministry work?
Why do you go to work? Is it simply to earn the financial capability to pay expenses or is it so the sacrifice could give life to the work of saving souls?
Why do you follow Jesus? Is it simply to avoid condemnation and be guaranteed heaven in the afterlife or is it to share the love you have received from the death of God's only Son?
The lives of Christians should not be at the level of water but at the level of wine. Our love-rooted motives in the lives we live determine that qualitative value.
Live lives of following Jesus as Christ and wanting to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth to reveal His glory.