Summary: Let's talk about why our work matters.
“Faith On Sunday – Work On Monday”
OPEN: Every week as I’m preparing for Sunday, I get excited about what I’m studying, and I think to myself, “If only people could get a hold of the principles here - what a difference it would make in their lives and our world.” Now that’s a weekly kind of thing with me – God’s word constantly gets me excited. And that’s especially true about today. – If only people could get a hold of what’s really here – what a difference it would make in their lives. We come to the section in Ephesians 6:5, that speaks about how we ought to relate to God and others through our job. Some of you may think the Bible is just an old book of religious stories, but the Bible is more up-to-date than tomorrow’s newspaper. It is extremely practical. It speaks to us where we are right now. This book not only tells you how to have a good family life, it tells you how you ought to perform in your job 9 to 5, five or six days during the week.
If you work just 40 hours a week from age 18 to age 65 you will log in 97,760 hours of your life – that’s literally 1/3 of your life spent at work. How do you feel about the 98,000 hours you are putting in? A survey conducted by USA Today reports that 65% of Americans really don’t enjoy their work. Only 10% reported that they did. It’s not a joy; it’s a job. It’s not a delight; it’s a drudgery. Sixty five percent said they don’t really like their work. That’s why the whole attitude of America is, “T.G.I.F” “Thank God It’s Friday.” Most people aren’t happy with their jobs. Most people go to work simply because they have no other choice. “I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go.” For the overwhelming majority work is dull and meaningless. There was a book that came out several years ago called, “The Day America Told the Truth” it said only one in four employees gives his or her best effort on the job. And that about 20% of the average worker’s time is wasted, this producing in effect, a four-day-week. Ill. – I’ve worked with people whose primary goal each day was to see how much time they could waste every day. They would take pride in the fact that they could find a place to hide and jip the company out of work. It was their daily entertainment.
Like it or not, the Bible is a book that opens with the topic of work.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Verse two of Gen. 1 says the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. To paraphrase this in modern language, “things were an absolute mess and the Spirit of God recognized there was a lot of work to be done” And that’s exactly what happens – In Gen. 1:3 through Gen 2:2 God is at work. That entire section is a log of God’s work ending with the statement that upon completion:
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (Gen 2:2)
Note this: Our Creator is very concerned about the quality of His work. Finishing a job was not enough – The Lord was concerned that it was a job well done. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen 1:31) God apparently took pride in his work. Excellence - God is committed to excellence – “God saw all that he had made and it was very good.” Christians should always do good work. Christians ought to be the best workers wherever they are. They ought to have the best attitudes – the best integrity, and be the best when it comes to dependability.
Part of the work of God was to create man – being made in the image of man,
what is the very first thing God wants man to do?
Be a worker.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Gen 2:15)
Most people think that the first thing God says to Adam is the warning that he can eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They are wrong. Literally the very first thing that God says to Adam is “Son it’s time you got a job. It’s been three days since I created you and you’re still lolly-gagging around the garden not doing much of anything. It’s time to get to work. I want you to go out and tend to the garden. And when you’re done with that, I want you to name all the animals. Now that’s a paraphrase, but the conversation went pretty much just like that. Now after those two tasks were finished God doesn’t assign any other jobs to Adam. God didn’t have to tell Adam what to do from that point on. Why is that? Because at that point, God created woman. And woman was designed by God to take over the task of telling man what to do from that point on. – But the point of all this is that work is good because it was given to man before the fall.