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Is Work Good?

PASSAGE ONE

Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.''
27 God created manin His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.''
29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food''; and it was so.
31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Dumb Idea about Work No.1
Work is a necessary Evil

Do you live to work?
Or do you work to live?
Is work something you only grudgingly do because you have to?

Genesis 1:26-31 - Excersising Dominion
Work and Creation

We are made in the Image of God =
1. Relationships should express our being made in God's image (v27).
2. We have a job of ruling God's world (v28) - Our work of managing God's world is part of being made in His image

God said "it is good" on the 6th day AFTER man was made to rule over creation.
This work is full of dignity and purpose.

Dumb idea about Work No.2
The work you get paid for is what counts

We get prestige only from getting paid - we shouldn't.
Genesis gives a wider view of work - Includes all work God gives us:
Caring for the world and the work we do managing God's world includes every part of our lives and others' lives.
Our work is dignified as God set us to do it - Positive.
Do we view our work like this?

PASSAGE TWO

Genesis 3:16-19

16 To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.''
17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
18 "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.''

Genesis 3:16-19 - Doing hard labour
Work and The Fall
- What went wrong?

Rejection has its consequences. Our rejection of God effects all of creation.
Ever since the first sin work has become hard labour, and so has giving birth (labour - a word refering to both work and giving birth). Our work is now full of frustration and futility because of sin's effect on the world. Our relationships are marred ofter the Fall.

Dumb idea about Work No.3
Looking for the perfect job

There will never be a perfect job in an imperfect world.
In the midst of frustration we can still enjoy work - by God.


PASSAGE THREE

Colossians 3:18-4:1

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
4:1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Colossians 3:18-4:1 - Serving the Lord
Work and the Gospel

The Gospel transforms all relationships. It transforms our work as we have Jesus Christ as our Lord, and so fundamentally it is He whom we are serving when we work.

Dumb idea about Work No.4
The Lord's work is the best work

This statement splits our life into sacred stuff and secular stuff - and our work is divided into these categories.
God has put you into the job you're in. Serve people as you would serve God.
All jobs are important. There is no division in work-categories.
1 Corinthians 7
It is how you work not what you work that is important. The crucial thing is to serve God in your work.


PASSGAE FOUR

Isaiah 65:17-23

17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.
18 "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.
19 "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
20 "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.
21 "They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 "They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.
23 "They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their descendants with them.

Isaiah 65:17-23 - Enjoying the work of your hands
Work and the New Creation

The context of Isaiah. The return from exhile fulfills some but the sin of Israel is not fully dealt with yet.

Work has a place in God's new creation.
It will be work free from frustration and pain. It will be work characterised by fruitfullness and enjoyment - How God intended it to be.

Dumb idea about Work No.5
Freedom from work is true humanity

Do you feel more alive on weekdays or weekends? (Me: Definitely weekends!)
We want to be free from work's frustrations etc..
But: There will be work in heaven! This work will be as God intended it. (Heaven will also include beauty, aesthetics...)

 

All passages are from the NASB

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