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Summary: Carlyle wrote, "Labor is Life." Jesus wants us to be sure that we are laboring for the right life.

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Pastor John Piper writes, “In 1956 a commemorative Labor Day stamp was issued with a picture of a strong man holding a sledge hammer, a pick, a hoe, and an ax over his shoulder. His wife was seated by his side with a book in her lap showing a small child how to read. In the lower left hand corner was a large block with words of Carlyle carved into it: “Labor is Life.” The meaning was clear and I think it is true: without industrious labor there will be no life—no means to feed, clothe, house, and educate a family or oneself.”

“But it is an amazing and discomforting thing how a true statement (like “Labor is Life”) can mislead us and devastate generations when it is isolated from other truths. If you look at your life solely in terms of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, machines, books, and toys, then the statement, “Labor is Life,” will mean that you should work mainly with a view to providing those things. But in spite of the fact that it seems so natural to work for such things Jesus said to the Jews in John 6:27, ‘Labour not for the meat which perisheth.’ And of course Jesus didn’t mean it is just food that’s ruled out, but clothes and homes and cars are okay. Anything that perishes, anything that wears out, anything of no eternal worth—all that is implied in “food that perishes.” And we are not to labor for food. Do not labor for house. Do not labor for clothes, car, appliances, books, sporting gear, etc.” —John Piper

John 6:22 ¶ The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;

23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)

24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

1. Loafers, 3 kinds of “loafers”

A. lazy loafers (they were looking for a free lunch)

B. living for loaves “loafers”

C. lotto loafers

A. lazy loafers (they were looking for a free lunch)

Jesus sees through them and exposes their motives and rebukes them for their sins. All they want is a “meal ticket.”

I love the story of the old man in the Smoky mountains. A number of years ago, some hogs escaped in a romote area of the mountains. Over a period of several generations, these hogs became wilder and wilder, until they were a menace to anyone who crossed their paths. A number of skilled hunters tried to locate and kill them, but the hogs were able to elude the efforts of the best hunters in the area.

One day an old man, leading a small donkey pulling a cart, came into the village closest to the habitat of these wild hogs. The cart was loaded with lumber and grain. The local citizens were curious about where the man was going and what he was going to do. He told them he had “come to catch them wild hogs.” They scoffed, because no one believed the old man could accomplish what the local hunters were unable to do. But, two months later, the old man returned to the village and told the citizens the hogs were trapped in a pen near the top of the mountain.


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