A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, September 6, 2021
We enjoy driving by the horse pasture around the corner from our house on Trout Run Road, especially when the horses are near the fence. Brooksyne jumped out for this photo and the horse with the long mane came running. With her hairdressing background she told me if it were her horse those bangs would be immediately trimmed.
"Golden Rule Working"
Message summary: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23).
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God" (Exodus 20:8-10). “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12). "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).
The Golden Rule is one of the most familiar sayings from our Lord. I suppose I first learned it at VBS or Sunday School as a child in the church my family attended in Belton, Missouri. Brooksyne remembers it being posted on her classroom bulletin boards in her public elementary school in Tulsa which would probably be illegal now unless you could sneak it in without reference to it being a statement of Jesus or in the Bible! The truth is, many who have memorized or heard about the Golden Rule would be surprised to learn that quote came from Jesus.
The practice of the golden rule is consideration in the big and small details of life; beginning in the home and extending to all relationships, including public places such as the grocery store, school, the workplace and even public transportation. (Consider how road rage as we wrote about in Friday's message is a violation of the Golden Rule.)
Yesterday I preached at a church near Harrisburg, PA. One of the activities I do miss about pastoring is preaching, but thankfully I periodically have some open doors to preach as a guest speaker. Being Labor Day weekend I shared a message from the Bible that deals with labor.
Today let us consider an application of the Golden Rule I used as one of my sermon points yesterday. I considered the meaning and value God places on human labor and what our attitude should be toward work. (The main points are posted below.)
One point from the message is that God’s people work to practice the Golden Rule. Now of course this includes practicing the Golden Rule in how we treat others at work but God has ordained that life works because people work. As we work we cooperate and contribute to others in making life work by doing our part.
Those who fail to work are like freeloaders, expecting others to carry the load. This attitude is practically pandemic today with all sorts of excuses made for not taking a job and being responsible. I just read that over 50% of small businesses need workers. In our area you can hardly pass a business, large or small, without seeing a "help wanted" sign. Some posts appear to be begging for workers offering huge incentives.
Here are some excuses people make for not working:
I can't find a job I like. Guess what, a lot of people are working at something they probably don't fully like.
I'm worth more than they pay. Well aren't you special! That reminds me of a time I encountered several temp workers from a rescue mission who were in a break room. They were complaining about their new job, the pay and "greedy" owner. I informed them that it's a free country and they could start their own company.
I can't find a job in my field. All through history people have had to change fields. There are a lot of jobs that no longer exist or have been drastically reduced such as milkman, elevator operator, telephone operator, etc. And there are many current jobs that are predicted to be eliminated.
I have a degree in 18th century gender studies (or some other nonsensical field). There are so many worthless degrees now and amazingly a new crop of college freshmen (or whatever the "Woke" politically correct term for 1st year college students is now) just began studying for a degree that doesn't provide jobs. Don't expect others to carry life's load because of your poor choices.
I want to follow my dreams. I recall years ago a politician pandering using this phrase to justify another government giveaway program. Following our dreams should not be an excuse for freeloading.
So many expect endless government handouts and charity. That's not practicing the Golden Rule! Scripture very forthrightly addresses this:
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "Even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat'” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). I Timothy 5:8 is one of the strongest statements in the Bible: "If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”.
Considering the Golden Rule in this regard we recognize that we should do what we can do just as we expect others to do what they can do. Yesterday during my sermon I pointed out, with few exceptions, every job is important and contributes to life working. Brooksyne and I stood at the door as the congregants were departing and I asked them, "What do you do for a living?"
There was a wide assortment of answers, including one couple who said they work at the "sweetest place on earth". Since the church is near Hershey you can probably guess what company has that logo. Of course it's Hershey Chocolate; he makes Rolos candy and she operates the machine that places foil on Hershey Kisses. Who is not thankful for Hershey Kisses? It blessed my heart as I affirmed the variety of contributions people make in the workplace, from special education teacher to piano tuning and so many other types of honest, beneficial labor.
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23).
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to have the right attitude when we do our work, not grudgingly or with murmuring. We want to do our work with a grateful spirit, grateful for our ability to work and grateful for those who have created our jobs. May we have not only our own interest at heart, but those we work for and those we work alongside. Since we influence those around us, let our influence be for good and not for dissension or ingratitude so that we are making a valuable contribution to our workplace while also honoring You. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
The main points from the message I preached yesterday:
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Friday evening Rend Collective held a concert here in Lancaster County. It was only their second concert since the Covid shut down from last year and people clearly enjoyed being out again. Ester and Brooksyne served on the support team and really enjoyed the evening.
"My Lighthouse" Video Rend Collective I suppose this is their signature song and it looks like they were singing it when Brooksyne took the photo!
"Rescuer" Video Rend Collective
"Your Name Is Power" Video Rend Collective
Our new kitten, Gracie, is enjoying the fish videos Ester found on her phone! (If it looks like we fully trust her with not dropping the phone, we don't! Ester was actually holding her.)
Following the service we enjoyed our fellowship with Rod and Michelle over lunch. It was a blessing to hear their testimonies and faithfulness in serving the Lord now for many years.
Yesterday we visited with Josh and his family. For many years (since we have lived in this area) we had our piano tuned by Leavitt Keener who passed away in December of 2020. Turns out Josh is also a piano tuner who was mentored by Leavitt Keener and will now be our piano tuner. Josh shared a touching story regarding his last visit with Leavitt. Leavitt offered his piano tuning tools to Josh, but Josh told him he'd have to pay for them over time and Leavitt insisted that he just take them and pay nothing! In talking with Josh it was evident that Leavitt's tools are like treasures to him.
We also visited with a couple who own 44 acres of preserved farmland. They have a variety of animals and are full-time farmers. He brings a few dozen eggs to church so parishioners have opportunity to pick up fresh eggs by making a small donation to the church!
Today we commend the work of all who labor.
David and Juan are HVAC techs at JK Mechanical. I visited with them briefly early last Friday morning before they headed to their job-site.
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