Take 5 (January 25-29, 2016)

take5

Chad Cowan • Pastor of Care Ministries

YOUR WORK MATTERS TO GOD!
Do you sometimes struggle with your occupation? Do you feel as though you’re doing something that has no impact for the kingdom? This week, we’re going to look at why our work is good.

Monday: Through work we serve people

Galatians 5:13

Are you handy? I’m always amazed at people who can turn a piece of a tree into furniture. While I’m not much of a carpenter, I do enjoy taking a lesson from the Scriptures and teaching it to others. This is one way I can serve others. Is this the only means one can serve God? By no means! Regardless of what you do for a living, you are working together with a list of others in order to help people with their needs. Cleaning, building, designing, teaching, leading, selling–there are many different ways that we use the gifts that God has given us in order to help those around us. In Galatians 5, Scripture teaches us that we’ve been set free, not for ourselves, but to serve others. No matter your vocation, think of it as your service to God and others.

For Today: Do your best at what you do, so you can better serve those around you.

Tuesday: Through work we meet our own needs

2 Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 6:10, 11

Nobody likes a moocher. I once read a cartoon which read, “’I want my kids to be freeloading moochers,’ said no mother ever.” One of the sternest messages from Paul is from 2 Thessalonians 3:10, where he tells the Christians there that if they don’t work, they shouldn’t eat! These Christians who were unwilling to work were not to be supported by Christian charity. Rather, they were to go hungry. Now, granted there is a big difference between those who could not and those who would not, but clearly, there was an expectation that if someone could work, then they should. The loving thing to do was to let those who were able but unwilling to work to go hungry. Are you dealing with a moocher? Maybe some hunger pangs would drive them to productivity.

For Today: Use wisdom in how you exercise your benevolence. Are you helping? Or enabling?

Wednesday: Through work we meet our family needs

1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 1:16

In addition to the command to work for others and to work for yourself, there’s a particularly strong command in 1 Timothy that the head of a household is to provide for their family. This verse goes on to say that to fail in this area is to be “worse than an unbeliever.” So why the strong language? Paul recognizes that even those who do not profess faith in Christ understand that this is what one is supposed to do. How much more then should believers be providing for their families! Now, remember yesterday, this doesn’t mean you must support adult children unwilling to work. This clearly is speaking about those who can’t support themselves and, in the immediate context, is referring to those who are like widows.

For Today: Thank God you have the means to support your family, or pray that God would bring that opportunity to you.

Thursday: Through work we earn money to give to others

Leviticus 19:10; Ephesians 4:28; Galatians 6:6

It was John Wesley who wrote, “Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?” Giving money away to the church and to help meet the needs of others was a priority in both the Old and the New Testaments. Let’s not defraud our Lord by denying Him what was His to begin with.

For Today: Don’t forget to joyfully return to the Lord a portion of what He has graciously given to you.

Friday: Through work we love God

Matthew 22:37-39

When asked by the Pharisees about the greatest commandment, Jesus responded, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Probably the most important reason why our work matters to God is because we love Him through it. It is through obedience that we show the Lord our love for Him, and we can love our neighbor as we serve other people through our work. Even when we are performing the most menial of tasks, to do it to the best of our ability is to show obedience to God.

For Today: Love the Lord with all your heart by working today with all your strength!