Summary: Single message for Labor Day Weekend, 2005. We can learn to love our jobs if we will just see them from God’s perspective.
TAKE THIS JOB AND LOVE IT!
INTRODUCTION: [Video Clip: “Joe Vs the Volcano” Chap. 2:7:30 - 10:56 = 3:26)
Talk about a bad working environment! In fact, that movie, “Joe vs the Volcano” begins with this written line: “Once upon a time there was a guy named Joe... who had a very lousy job.” And you know what? Joe is not alone. I suspect there are a lot of us who at least at times could identify with some of what Joe was feeling when it comes to our jobs. You see, most people see work as a necessary evil. It is something that they simply endure until the weekend. An ends to a means... just a way to get a paycheck. In fact, according to a Princeton management survey of the American public, 62% of Americans say they hate their jobs! We kind of figure that work is some kind of punishment. We envision God, in His anger, saying to the first couple, Adam and Eve, after they ate of the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat, saying: "Okay, you’ve sinned! There’s only one fit punishment for you.. You’re going to have to work the rest of your life... at a lousy job!"
Well, since this is Labor Day Weekend I thought it might be appropriate to take a fresh look at our work. Now, I fully understand that not every one here is currently working in a full time vocation. Some of you may be so economically well off that you don’t have to work.. If that is where you are we’d like to honor you by having you stand so we can see who to hit up.. But seriously, if you are in a time of your life where you don’t have to work please don’t just tune this out. I’d ask that you listen carefully because you might be able to help someone else see their work in a different light. And, there are many here that must work and we really need to see our jobs as something more than just a means to a paycheck or a way to get us to the weekend.
More than anything else I want us to realize today that God is interested and cares about you, and because He cares personally for you, He wants to be involved in your life. And since you spend about 40% of your waking hours at your job, God is very interested about that segment of your time. So, this morning let’s see if we can look at our work a little differently. I’m hoping that at the end of this message we’ll not only say “Thank God It’s Friday!” but also “Thank God It’s Monday!” because we’ll see that work matters to God.
I. AN EXAMPLE THAT IMITATES GOD:
Let’s see first that our work is an example that imitates God. The first thing that you must understand is that … God is a worker. Even before we learn that God is love, the first chapters of Genesis introduce us to a God who works. "In the beginning God created.."(NIV) By reading the first chapter in the first book of the Bible, we find that God is an astronomer, God is a scientist, God is a farmer, God is a geneticist, God is a supervisor, God is a construction worker, God is an architect, God is an artist, God is a watchmaker, God is an astronaut, God is a physicist, God is a teacher, God is an organizer, God is a map drawer, God is an electric worker and a whole lot more. All of this stuff involves work.
And God does all this in six days and then after everything in the world is created God does something interesting. Genesis 2:2- "By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work." (NCV) Now why did God have to rest upon finishing creation? Was He tired? Needed to catch some “Z’zzs”? No, God is all-powerful, He doesn’t need to replenish His physical being like we do. The reason God took this change of pace, from working to resting, was in order to set an example for us to imitate. He knew we needed to work and He knew that without rest, without a change of pace that we would burn out. But even though God set this example during the first seven days of Creation, He didn’t stop working all-together, and He is still at work today. John 5:17, Jesus said, "My Father never stops working, and so I keep working, too."(NCV) How does God continue to work? Well, He keeps on sustaining nature, restraining evil, saving souls of mankind, carrying out His plans.