Summary: Some general thoughts on why we labor because of sin and the partnership God wants with us now as we labor.
THE CONCEPT OF LABOR
INTRODUCTION: Here we are at the Labor Day Holiday, the theoretical end of summer and the vacation season. The last opportunity to take a vacation and get away before the school year starts. Well, in honor of Labor Day, and the fact that most of us will spend the holiday resting and relaxing, not laboring and working, I thought I would speak to you today regarding a few of the things the Bible says about Labor and work. With the hope that you might be encouraged.
I THE REASON ALL MEN LABOR
Genesis 3:17-19 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat of it,’ "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
A Man labors because he did not listen to God
1 Men are still not listening to God
2 Men will continue to disobey God
3 Men have lost their God-conciousness
B Man disobeyed what God had said
C God defined labor as
1 A curse – instead of God providing for our needs, we must now provide for our own, and die in the process
2 A problem – there will always be thing in our way making labor difficult
3 A futility – you will work harder and produce less
II GOD OFFERS MAN A PARTNERSHIP IN HIS LABOR
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
A Jesus offers man the opportunity to work for Him
B Jesus offers man an alternative to the labor his sin has put him under
C Jesus offers us the relief that our labor will not overwhelm us
III GOD ENCOURAGES US TO PRODUCE SOMETHING OF VALUE IN OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HIM
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
A God has already done part of the work for us
1 He has laid out our foundation in Christ
2 Jesus said it himself, “It is finished”
3 Our redemptive experience with Jesus is what gives us the foundation to labor for something worthwhile.
B God already assumes we will build
C We choose what we will build
1 We will build things REFINED by God
2 We will build things Consumed by the world
a Quality produces reward
b Consumption produces mediocrity