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Friday, January 8, 2016
"Work: A Blessing Or A Curse?"
Message summary: Daily work done for God takes on eternal value while it also builds character and provides a good role model for others to follow.
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"Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). "Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people" (Colossians 3:23).
After Christmas and New Year's celebrations getting back to a full week of work was a bit of an adjustment for many. We made our chaplain visits and heard a few moans and groans, but there were many others who were pleased to get back to a normal routine.
Today I expect to visit for a few minutes with Mihad, an immigrant from Bosnia. When I inquire how he is doing he usually says in his heavily accented ESL (English Second Language), "Good Enough". In fact among his fellow workers he's earned the nickname, "Good Enough". But on Friday he says "Good" as he completes a work week and looks forward to the weekend.
Many identify with Mihad but it seems today is a good time to remind our readers of the blessing of labor, something so many forget. A lot of you receive these Daily Encouragement messages at work and as mentioned before, today you are concluding the first full work week of 2016.
Careful students will recognize today's first verse either by the reference or the mention of "work" as one of the Ten Commandments. However we normally associate this commandment (the fourth) as a prohibition regarding work on the Sabbath.
Today let us consider the positive element in this commandment which is found in the phrase, "do all your work". From the very beginning God has ordained work in some form as Adam and Eve were called to subdue and rule. Do you see your work as a blessing or a curse?
A common attitude among many in the work force is to view labor as a curse. Mondays are dreaded by many and a popular phrase for the end of the week is "TGIF" (Thank God It's Friday) which typically is not a reverent expression of gratitude to God, who made every day for us to rejoice.
What should our attitude be toward work? God wants us to view work as a blessing and respond accordingly. We are to live in His presence and glorify Him at all times, including our time at work.
The apostle Paul expresses this perspective in Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people."
David C. McCasland writes, "We may feel that work is secular, but view leading a Bible study as spiritual. The Bible draws no such distinction, however. When we honor God and help people, then our work and ministry blend together in pleasing service to the Lord."
Today we urge you to begin this year with an earnest thankfulness for your job and a recognition of this provision that comes indirectly from God. Daily work done for God takes on eternal value while it also builds character and provides a good role model for others to follow.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to labor wholeheartedly according to Your command. We want to bless You with a grateful attitude and bless our workplace in regard to our productivity and loyalty. We thank You for our daily provision and blessing that comes through the work of our hands. We also thank You for our employers who help to meet our monetary needs. We pray for those who are presently seeking employment that You will provide a place of gainful employment. But until that financial door opens we pray that You will provide through unexpected means and the generosity of others. As You bless us through the work of our hands we in turn bless You by faithfully giving back a generous portion to finance Your kingdom through the local church, Christian ministries, and other worthy endeavors and needy individuals. Grant us the desire to live with less so that others can have more. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Take My Life And Let It Be" Video Brian Doerksen
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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