Summary: We are commanded in Scripture to work.

INTRO.- ILL.- When John F. Kennedy was campaigning for the presidency in the late 50’s, he visited a coal mine in West Virginia. One coal miner said, “Mr. Kennedy, is it true that you’re the son of one of the wealthiest men in America?” Kennedy said, “yes, it is.”

The man said, “Mr. Kennedy, is it true that you’ve never really wanted for anything in your life?” Kennedy said, “Well, I guess so.”

The man said, “Mr. Kennedy, is it true that you’ve never done a hard day’s work in all of your life?” Kennedy nodded in agreement.

The coal miner then said, “Mr. Kennedy, I want to tell you something, Sir - YOU HAVEN’T MISSED A THING!”

ILL.- A man by the name of Bill Gold said it like this: “I’ve met a few people in my time who were enthusiastic about hard work. And it was just my luck that all of them happened to be men I was working for at the time.”

ILL.- Abraham Lincoln said, “My father taught me to work. He did not teach me to love it.” Sounds like Lincoln wasn’t thrilled about working.

Even though a great many people have that attitude about work there are also a great many who thrive on work.

ILL.- Dr. Charles Mayo of the famous Mayo Clinic once said, “There is no fun like work.”

ILL.- Inventor Thomas Edison said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. IT WAS ALL FUN.”

ILL.- Sir Theodore Martin said, “Work is the true elixir of life. The busiest man is the happiest man.”

How many of you would like to be a nurse? HOW MANY OF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE BEEN A NURSE IN 1887?

ILL.- Here are the duties of a nurse in 1887. In addition to caring for 50 patients, each nurse had to follow these regulations.

- Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.

- Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.

- Light is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week.

- The nurses’ notes are important in aiding the physician’s work. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.

- Each nurse on duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m., except for the Sabbath, on which day you will be off from 12 noon to 2 p.m. WOW! WHAT HOURS! (and I’ve heard lots of people complain about 8 to 5 jobs!)

- Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each for courting purposes or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church.

- Each nurse should lay aside from each payday a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years so that she will not become a burden. For example, if you earn $30 a month, you should set aside $15.

- Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop, or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her work, intentions and integrity.

- The nurse who performs her labors and serves her patients and doctors faithfully and without fault for a period of five years will be given an increase in pay by the hospital administration of five cents a day, providing there are not hospital debts that are outstanding.

WOW! Aren’t you glad you weren’t a nurse in 1887? Talk about work. They worked very hard.

PROP.- Since this is Labor Day weekend I want to consider a number of Biblical thoughts on the subject of work.


Exodus 20:9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.”

ILL.- One time a preacher was preaching about the importance of work. He told the congregation that they should praise God for the opportunity of working for their daily bread.

“But the Lord has seen to it,” he said, “that you don’t have to work every day. Because of Moses you have Saturday off, and thanks to Jesus you have Sunday off. ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL?”

“Sure is,” said a voice from a rear pew. He said, “FIVE MORE JEWISH BOYS LIKE THAT AND WE’D NEVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN.”

Again God said “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.”

Ugh! Six days we have to work! Most people don’t work six days a week. Most people work five days a week and would like to make it even less. Many people are thrilled to have this three-day weekend off.

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