Take 5 (April 17-21, 2017)

Chad Cowan • Pastor of Care Ministries & Discipleship

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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

Gal. 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 God. 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 gave 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.

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

TUESDAY: Through work, we meet our own needs

2 Thess. 3:10; Prov. 6:10, 11

Nobody likes a moocher. I once saw a cartoon which read, “‘I want my kids to be freeloading moochers,’ said no mother ever.”

One of the sternest messages from Paul is when 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. 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 can work, they should. The loving thing to do was to let those drones that were able but unwilling to go hungry. Are you dealing with a moocher? Maybe some hunger pangs would drive them to productivity.

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

WEDNESDAY: Through work, we meet our family’s needs

1 Tim. 5:8; Titus 1:16

In addition to the command to work for others and for yourself, there’s a particularly strong command in 1 Timothy that the head of a household is to provide for his or her 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 from 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.

Be thankful to God you have the means support your family, or pray that God would bring that opportunity to you.

THURSDAY: Through work, we give to others

Lev. 19:10; Eph. 4:28; Gal. 6:64

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.

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

Matt. 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.

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