Summary: This message is meant to encourage us to take our faith to work and to make work our place of ministry in glorifying God, witnessing for God, and giving from God.
LABORING FOR MEAT OR THE MASTER?
A. For most Americans tomorrow is a holiday. Labor Day.
1. The idea was first posed by Matthew Maguire in 1882 while serving as the secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, to celebrate the contribut- ions worker’s had made to the strength, prosperity & well-being of the country
2. The first Labor day was Tuesday, Sept 5, 1882 in New York City.
3. Soon Labor Unions around the nation began to celebrate it as the “workman’s holiday” and pushed for a national holiday.
4. States first began by creating ‘state holidays” – Oregon being first
5. And then on June 28, 1898, the Congress set the Labor Day Holiday as the first Sunday in September.
- Parades, speakers and picnics were a part of the holiday from the beginning.
B. With that in mind let me ask you a couple of questions, "Do you look forward to going to work on Monday mornings?” “Do you really like your job?"
1. Now if you answered "Yes" to either of those questions, then you’re in the minority.
2. Surveys reveal that 65% of American workers are unhappy with their jobs or with working, period.
3. Most go to work because they have no choice about it. "They owe so they work” or they are looking forward to retirement so they don’t have too.
4. And many would tell you that they’re unhappy because it is the same old routine day after day after day.
5. As a result, they often view their life as being an endless merry-go-round, or a rat race
6. A generation ago Tennessee Ernie Ford sang, "You load 16 tons, & what do you get, another day older & deeper in debt."
- How true a feeling today for many.
C. This morning, instead of considering our jobs to be drudgery, I want us to look at them as challenging opportunities.
1. Our Scripture passage is found in John 6:27 and it states, Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
2. What wonderful words – what liberating words if we will understand and follow their meaning. We will look at just two things this morning having to deal with work
a. The Proper Understanding of Work, and
b. The Possibilities of Work
May God bless us with a godly out look concerning our jobs and may we thus bring Him glory in all that we do.
We begin this morning by looking at
I. THE PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF WORK
A. The First Work Assignment came as God brought life into the world: Genesis 2:8 & 15 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed…And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
1. Having created all that is, God put man in the garden – His place of paradise and there man sat around munching on fruit cake and drinking coconut juice all day long. NOT!
a. God immediately put man to WORK!
b. Man was to dress the garden – other translation use “cultivate”
c. And he was to keep it – watch over it
2. From the very beginning of creation God intended man to work
3. Before the fall, work was a joyous thing – ensuring things did not get out of control – over grown, or to thick
4. Man had purpose – his body received exercise and he slept good at night.
5. If God, who worked in bring creation into existence, gave Adam work to do, then I think we can say that work is not a necessary evil as many would relate but a God given task to be accomplished with joy.
B. But then something happened, man sinned -Work After the Fall
1. When Adam and Eve violated God’s law, His word, a number of things happened.
2. The one that relates to our discussion this morning is found in Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.