Our Bible verse for today: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands – establish the work of our hands!” Psalm 90:17 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Work is good and it is a gift from God.”
In his wonderful little book, “The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath” author Mark Buchanan discusses the value of work. It might seem strange that in a book about Sabbath (resting) Mark writes extensively and persuasively about work. He does, and for a good reason. You can’t really appreciate the value and beauty of a good rest if you haven’t first worked hard. We’ll consider the relationship between overcoming and resting tomorrow but for today, let’s think about work.
Working hard and doing a good job so you can pay your own way in life is God’s idea. He wants us to provide for ourselves and to make a meaningful contribution to the overall good of society. God Himself is a hard worker (Creator, Sustainer), and right at the beginning of human history he established the importance of work by assigning Adam to care for the Garden of Eden.
In the Bible work is portrayed as a good and honorable thing that God’s people are to engage in and do well. Working hard and well is a subject King Solomon addresses multiple times in the Proverbs. The Apostle Paul wrote that we are to live simple lives working with our hands and, if a capable person who can work chooses not to, that person should be allowed to go hungry (the point being that when they get hungry enough they’ll go get a job so they can earn some money and provide for themselves).
Any honest labor done well is a thing of dignity deserving of honor and respect. In his chapter on work, Buchanan quotes the great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther: “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
Overcomers aren’t lazy and they don’t expect something for nothing. Instead they thank God for the gift of work, and then they do the very best job they can. Christians should always be the best workers a company or organization has. In Colossians 3:23 Paul instructs us, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.”
I encourage you today to thank God for your job, and then do it very, very well.