A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Friday, May 17, 2019
Yesterday morning we came up behind this farmer, along with his wife and young daughter, hauling some type of plant in a wagon.
Working And Providing For Your Own Family
Message summary: Fundamental in God's pattern is the mandate to work and provide for our own. The Scripture teaches us that failure to do so amounts to denying the faith and leads to a condition "worse than an unbeliever".
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"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8).
Yesterday we made five company visits to provide chaplain care. Early in the morning we visited for a few minutes with Dave, a carpenter for SS Smucker & Sons Exterior Improvement, who was preparing to head out from the shop for a long day at work. Dave wears the same bib overall style I recall carpenters and farmers wearing when I grew up in the 60's in Missouri and has the appearance of the quintessential working man. I can imagine that after a hard day at work Dave returns home weary and experiences the truth of Ecclesiastes 5:12, "the sleep of a laboring man is sweet".
About 35 years ago we lived in a community in northern Pennsylvania where I served as a pastor. I was also active in the community and served in a rotation, along with other clergy, as a chaplain for our local interdenominational food bank. We were instructed that we could provide encouragement or spiritual support to those using the food bank if they showed interest, although rarely did anyone have any such interest. It seems they were mostly there for the free food.
I regularly noticed a man about my age (I was around 30 years old at the time) who came to the food bank. He didn't appear to have any disability that would keep him from working so after several times of seeing him I asked if he had a job or if he wanted one. He told me he didn't have a job and he didn't want one. He had been raised in a home with a single mother living on welfare and that was the pattern he grew up with and it was all he knew. He indicated that he had no desire to change.
When you work do you realize that you are expressing obedience to God as you provide for your family? We generally consider the fourth commandment in regard to resting on the Sabbath Day but it begins with this command, "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). In a commandment primarily known for its teaching on the Sabbath, how vital to also hear the positive command to work.
Today's text states "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family …". Paul is not giving a new teaching here but rather a reminder and reinforcement of a pattern from Creation. In God's pattern the basic source of provision comes from working to provide for our own family. Immediate family would have the sense of parents and children, while relatives would be our extended family as we know it today. This is a pattern we are moving farther and farther away from surely to society's peril.
I recall when I lived in New England a lady gleefully told me that her young son had a baby and that she was a grandmother. I curiously asked, "Is he married? Is he working to provide for his family?" I was surprised at her candor when she said, "Oh, they just don't do that anymore." Well many don't, but I'm thankful many still do. And when enough stop working and providing for their own we are in for real mess, which we are already starting to see the consequences which affect the next generation as well!
"He has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever". In the latter part of the daily verse the apostle Paul uses these very strong words of condemnation for those who forsake their responsibility in providing for their own. I believe these words stand today.
Many years ago I knew a man who left his wife and four children for another woman. I recall strongly warning and rebuking him based on this verse. He did not heed the warning and has since walked a degenerate path, cutting off so many who'd helped him early on. Several years ago he was killed in a traffic accident.
Fundamental in God's pattern is the mandate to work and provide for our own. The Scripture teaches us that failure to do so amounts to denying the faith and leads to a condition "worse than an unbeliever".
Today I plan to work hard. I want to fulfill God's command to provide for my family. This is one way I express my faith and live like a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
The sun finally broke through late yesterday morning and these children had a beautiful day to enjoy their lunch outside their one room schoolhouse.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Save My Family" Video Tribute Quartet
There are many "firsts" in life and it's a joy to continue to have them even as we get older. Yesterday Tim offered us each a piece of sushi which we both had for the first time. It was good!
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