Summary: One of our problems in life is that we divide everything into secular & sacred categories - but we ought to see our everyday work as a service for God.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. For most Americans tomorrow is a holiday, it’s Labor Day, & in the opinion of some, it is the most hypocritical of all of our holidays.
They say that if Labor Day is a celebration of the unique rights & freedoms that we, as workers, enjoy in our nation, that if we’re really thankful that we have jobs while some don’t, that if we’re really serious about labor being a blessing, then what we should do on Labor Day is go to work & tell the boss, "I’m going to work today, & I’m going to work for free, just for the joy of working."
But no, we’re not going to do that, are we? Most of us will say, "I don’t want to work on Labor Day, but I do expect to get paid for it anyway." Maybe we’re not quite as dedicated to the celebration of labor as we thought.
B. So let me ask you a few questions, "Do you really like your job? How many of you look forward to going to work on Monday mornings because you really miss seeing your boss? How many of you miss your fellow workers so much that you can hardly wait to get back & see how they’re doing?"
Now if you answered "Yes" to any of those questions, then you’re in the minority. Surveys reveal that 65% of American workers are unhappy with their jobs. Many of them go to work simply because they have no other choice. "I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go."
They would probably tell you that they are unhappy with what they do because it is the same old routine day after day, & their life seems to be a meaningless merry-go-round with no real purpose to it.
ILL. Tennessee Ernie Ford sang, "You load 16 tons, & what do you get, another day older & deeper in debt."
ILL. Someone else sang, "Up in the morning, out on the job, work like the devil for my pay. Fuss with my woman, toil for my kids, work till I’m wrinkled & gray. But that lucky old sun just rolls around heaven all day."
And just like that lucky old sun, many people dream of the day when they’ll have nothing to do but "roll around heaven all day."
PROP. Now this morning, I want to share with you what I believe will help you see our work as an exciting opportunity to serve God.
C. One of our problems in life is that we divide everything into secular & sacred categories. We say that over here is the secular, & over there is the sacred. And we spend the best hours of every day in the secular world. We say, "We’d really like to serve God, but we have to spend so much time on our secular job."
So we give God a few hours on Sunday morning. Maybe another hour on Sunday night, & that’s about all for a lot of people.
You can see that sacred & secular pattern in the O.T., but not in the N.T. The O.T. says, "Over here is the sacred with its temple & priests, & everything else is secular." But the N.T. teaches that we’re all priests, & our body is a temple, & that God’s Holy Spirit lives in us, & every day is holy.
The N.T. tells us that we can take God with us wherever we go, & that He can be a part of everything we do.
With this in mind, I want you to see three things this morning. First of all, I want you to see your everyday work as a service for God.
I. SEE YOUR EVERYDAY WORK AS A SERVICE FOR GOD
A. Do you realize that almost everything we do affects someone else? We have food because there are farmers who planted the crop or raised the cattle. We are the beneficiaries of their labor.
ILL. Jesus spent the first 30 years of his life in the little town of Nazareth helping his earthly father out in the carpenter shop. Why? Because work is important. Because people need houses. Because people need yokes for their oxen. Because people need chairs on which to sit, & tables on which to serve their food.
ILL. Every once in a while someone will say to me, "You know, I never thought of it quite the way you presented it this morning. Your sermon really changed my way of thinking." And it humbles me to hear that.
B. But at the same time it reminds me of the awesome responsibility we have. What we say & what we do are important, & it makes a difference because others are affected by what we do.