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¡ñ One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.
About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.
"You aren’t going to catch many fish that way," said the businessman to the fisherman, "you should be working rather than lying on the beach!"
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, "And what will my reward be?"
"Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!" was the businessman’s answer.
"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, "You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!"
"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. "You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!" he said.
"And then what will my reward be?" repeated the fisherman.
The businessman was getting angry. "Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!"
Once again the fisherman asked, "And then what will my reward be?"
The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, "Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!"
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "And what do you think I’m doing right now?"
This story illustrates an attitude that the world teaches us that we have to get all we can and can all we get. And yet, Jesus asks a hard question¡.
¡°What profit good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?¡± (Mt 16:26)
We labor for things that perish, and God urges us to labor for things that last forever.
What is Labor
a. Labor is a vital element of human life.
i. Labor is what we put our creative energies into to achieve some sort of result
1. In the industrialized or the capitalistic world, we exchange our time, talents and energy for income.
2. In fact, employers pay us ¡°wages¡± which we EARN in exchange for our labor.
ii. The Book of Genesis says that in the beginning "there was not a man to till the ground" (Gen. 2:5). Having created the Garden of Eden, God put man in it "to work it and to take care of it" (Gen. 2:15).
iii. We don¡¯t do it only to eat and pay our bills
iv. We don¡¯t do it because we are not rich enough to pay someone else to do it.
v. We do it because it is a necessary and natural part of our life.
1. We were created to labor.
2. If we only had recreation, our recreation would become eventually become work.
3. Some of you might be saying¡nah, if I could only retire¡.
4. But I have talked with retirees who say they have never been busier¡.
5. The problem that many people
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