Summary: Proverbs is God’s little book of wisdom. One area of life that’s covered in Proverbs is personal finance.
Today, I warn you that I will be using a four letter word that some of you might not like: WORK! Work gets mixed reviews, doesn’t it?
Some of us work too much. We are a nation of workaholics. People working 60, 70, 80 hours a week to “get ahead.” People who work early, stay late, and bring their work home with them. One father kept bringing his work home with him and his 6-year-old asked him why. Daddy explained that he couldn’t finish it all during the day. The child thought for a moment and asked, “Then why don’t they just put you in a slower group?” Yes, some of us work too much.
Some of us work too little. We are a nation that worships pleasure and entertainment. Some of us are working just to get a paycheck. We live for the weekend. Work for some of us is just a necessary evil that pays for our fun.
God’s word for today can help us with two topics that are close to our hearts. One, how to increase our level of joy at work. Two, how to make more money. Work takes up a huge portion of our lives. It may seem separate from our faith. But God wants us to know that we can be just as God-focused at work as we can be in church.
Earning your money
Text: Selected Proverbs
Proverbs is God’s little book of wisdom. One area of life that’s covered in Proverbs is personal finance. God’s blessings in the area of finance don’t always translate to a bigger bottom line, but His blessings bring joy to people who are passionate about pleasing Him with their money.
The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.
Proverbs 10:22 (ESV)
So, this January we will be seeking God’s wisdom about money:
how to earn it,
how to share it,
how to use it, and
how to save it.
Today, we are going to ask and answer three questions: Why should I work? That’s our motive. How should I work? That’s our method. Who does the work? That’s our means. Let’s get started.
Why should I work?
Maybe you’ve seen the bumper-sticker that says, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” That’s the reason lots of people go to work. But God has better ideas for us. Why should I work?
… to honor the Lord.
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
The “whatever” in this verse applies to your job. This is revolutionary. Do you see what this verse says? Your whole life, including your secular job, can honor God. We’ll see how that can happen in a few minutes.
Why should I work? … to honor the Lord.
… to meet my needs.
10Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: "Whoever does not work should not eat."
11Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business.
12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people--no, we command them: Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.
II Thessalonians 3:10-12 (NLT)
Able-bodied people who choose to live in idleness and eat because of another person’s sweat are in rebellion against God.
Why should I work? … to meet my needs.
… to help the poor.
Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need.
Ephesians 4:28 (NLT)
A tsunami may hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India. A drought may strike a village in Africa. A robber may steal what you’ve earned. A disability may cut your earning power. All this is part of the curse that sin brought onto the world. But God in His mercy has said that the work of the able-bodied in prosperous times should supply the needs of the helpless, especially in hard times.
By this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35 (NIV)
Some of you remember Flip Wilson, he comedian. He played a character called “The Rev.” One of his routines went something like this: “Brothers and sisters, with the help of God we can see this church move from crawling on its knees to walking on its feet.” And the people said, “Let it walk, Rev, let it walk.” And the Rev said, “Brothers and sisters, with God’s help we can see this church move from walking to running!” And the people said, “Let it run, Rev, let it run.” And the Rev said, “Brothers and sisters, with God’s help we can see this church move from running to flying! And the people said, “Let it fly, Rev, let it fly.” And the Rev said, “If this church is going to fly, it will take tithers. It will take people to give.” And the people said, “Let it crawl, then, let it crawl.”