September 3, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 3 September 2019
Some people hate it and others love it. There are individuals who strive to avoid it while others do it too much. While there are many differing perspectives regarding work, one thing remains true: personal labor must be done. Since the Garden of Eden, everyone is responsible to work for his or her survival. Work determines your lifestyle – where you live, when you eat and wake, time spent with family, even how you dress. Learning the theology of work and rest is one of the great challenges of the present time. Many people have a faulty perspective towards work, and likewise have flawed notions of rest.
The creation week establishes a standard for work that results in accomplishing all that needs to be done in six days, and then climaxing in the day of rest. God commanded his people to rest one day among seven because He rested from the work of creation (Gen 2:1-3). God’s rest does not indicate exhaustion, indifference, or lack of activity on his part (cf. Col 1:17); rather, the blessing of the seventh day is that God distinguished it from all other days as a memorial to his creative work. While observance of the Sabbath Day was a command of the Mosaic Covenant (as a memorial of God’s redemption of the nation of Israel from their enemies), the Bible does teach the importance of periodic rest.
Work is one of the most important creation ordinances. Work was thoroughly enjoyable prior to the Fall. God commissioned Adam to exercise dominion over the earth and to extend the Garden throughout the world (Gen 1:26-30). Adam obeyed God’s command with a sense of delight and satisfaction. As a consequence of sin entering the world, God cursed the ground and promised the toilsome nature of work (2:17-19).
In addition to the burden upon humanity’s labors, the Fall also resulted in distorted and vacillating perspectives toward work. Cain, for example, worked for his own glory; he built a city and then named it “after the name of his son” (4:17). Sin is not just disobeying certain precepts (like the Ten Commandments for instance); it is not considering God in the ordinary affairs of life; it is anything not accomplished for the glory of the Lord.
As opposed to working by God’s grace and for his glory (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17, 22), mankind has made work focused upon self and thus labors for the wrong reasons. The truth of this assertion is evident in that most people do not consider their work as a vocation, that is, a calling. Many people regard work primarily as a job that is a means to an end, such as obtaining possessions, pleasures, and provisions. The fact that people regard work as a job rather than a vocation is reason why many change employers so regularly.
God is pleased with a day of rest (or even honoring the original spirit of Labor Day, which was to address the problem of long working hours with no time for leisure). If more people regarded work in relation to God’s calling, they would be more likely to find satisfaction in whatever lawful work God has given, and are able to work as unto the Lord. Fulfilling our God-given mandate to be productive for the Lord’s glory is the ultimate goal of all labor. No task is more pleasing to God than when a person is diligently applied to his or her divine calling, and thus strives to live in such as a manner as to contribute to a meaningful advantage for all humanity.
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.