Working is a big part of all of our lives, be it paid, voluntary, home makers, carers etc. God invited Adam in Gen 2:15 to join Him and work together in tending the garden, even in paradise there was work to be done.
GOD – God is our great example of work. All of Creation, including humans, are a result of God’s work. Jesus said in Jn 5:17 ‘my Father is still working’ God was at work in creation and He is still at work now. God is described in metaphors through the OT as a builder, architect, teacher, composer, metal worker, garment maker, potter and farmer. In Genesis – God actually invites Adam and in turn all of us to help Him look after the earth.
One writer said that through our work we help keep stable the fabric of the world.
Wherever you are – He is – His Kingdom gets established through your conduct, speech, integrity – God at work in you – He invites us to participate.
God places immense value on the work that we do: Col 3:23 say ‘whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart as working for the Lord not for people’How does God want us to view our Work?
- Right Attitude towards problems, people, pressure etc.
- Right Attributes
Phil 1:27 ‘be sure that you live in a way that brings honour to the Good News of Christ’
- keep promises
- meet deadlines and don’t be lazy
- be honest
- Work with iniative and be able to work without supervision
Eph 6:6 says ‘don’t work hard only when your master is watching…work hard all the time as though working for Christ’
- Right Approach
Gen2:15 ‘the Lord God took the man and put him on the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it’ The original word here for work is avodah – it means work, worship or service’
Some scriptures to consider relating to this topic: Ex 8:1, Col 3:23, Eph 6:7
The Greek equivalent in the New Testament is latreia and has the same meanings. Both words are used in the sense of rendering a ‘service’ of costly worship.
Dualism – the Greco-Roman assumption that the world is divided into two competing realms: the sacred (spiritual) and the profane (material). Such a worldview tends to assume that the spiritual is the higher plane and the material world is devoid of meaning and is simply to be escaped by those seeking spiritual maturity. Dualism leads to other such divisions in thinking: the division between the clergy (spiritual) and the laity (profane); the church (spiritual) and the world (profane); between so-called religious practices (prayer, worship) and so-called profane ones (work, art, eating). (Frost and Hirsch)
Greek thinking would compartmentalise life – church/family/work etc, we should approach our lives closer to the Hebrew thinking which had God at centre and everything else revolves around God - we need to have the right approach to our work and be reminded that we should have God at the centre of all that we do.
A significant and often overlooked way that we serve God is in our everyday tasks. Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, "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."
Ps 127 ‘unless the Lord builds your house you labour in vain’ it’s a call to partnership. 1 Cor 3:9 For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.
We are Co-workers with Christ.
When you enter partnership you
- draw on His strength
- don’t try to work alone
- get wisdom – support – guidance
God wants to partner with you in that which you spend most of your waking hours doing…Sample Discussion Questions
- What part of your current role ‘helps keep stable the fabric of the world’?
- What are some important attributes we should have as we work?
- What are some practical steps we can take to make sure our work is worship?