“You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest.”
Since the Lord designed the work week and has commanded us to work six days and rest on the seventh, it seems pretty clear that our daily work is at the center of God’s plan for us. Like I said yesterday, work is more than simply a necessary activity for paying the bills and keeping a roof over our head.
The job we do every day – whether at school, at home, or in an organization in the marketplace – is of primary importance to the purpose of God in and through our lives.
It is not by accident that the gospel of Matthew has twenty three illustrations for the kingdom of God, and seventeen of those illustrations take place in the workplace, six take place at home (of which four are work-related), and zero take place in the synagogue or temple.
There are four ways that our work serves God's purposes. God wants our work to be:
> Creative. Through our work we bring order and beauty to the world. We create. We build. We compete. We manage. We organize. We have dominion. Like the God who created us, we are creators.
> Productive. Through our work we produce things that are necessary and helpful for people and society. Through our work we feed, clothe, house, warm, protect, heal, support, entertain, communicate, transport, etc.. Work is how the world works. This is the cause-and-effect nature of the world that God created. Christians should be diligent students of the natural laws of cause-and-effect.
> Redemptive. Sin and death entered the world at the Fall, and through Christ we are redeemed … that is, we are moved from death to life. Through our jobs we display what the redeemed life looks like when it is "at work." This is vitally important, because too often people think of the redeemed life as an "at church" thing. But God's design, and the call of Christ, is about redemption in every area of life, including work. On Monday morning, the people of God (the church) "goes to work." This is God's design.
> Restorative. Through our work we are agents of renewal and restoration in a broken world. The Fall distorts. Christians work to reverse the effects of the Fall. We renew and restore. We apply principles, practices, and processes so that things (and people) work better and are more productive.
Let's be exceptionally clear. The work you do every day matters. God created you, redeemed you, and sends you into the world to be a worker who reflects his image. The Lord calls you into relationship with him that you might serve his kingdom purposes through the job you do Monday thru Friday. Your work is a high and holy calling. It is one of the primary reasons the Lord created you and redeemed you.
God calls you to excellence (moral, relational, functional) in the work you do.
God calls you to do your job with discipline so that you maximize your creative, productive, redemptive, and restorative impact.
God calls you to do your job distinctively, so that people see and experience a difference in what you do, how you do it, and why.
God calls you to do your job empowered by the Holy Spirit so that you produce the fruit of the Spirit.
God calls you to do your job with courage and strength of heart so that people see you embrace the hard and difficult things with a great attitude.
God calls you to do your job every day as an agent of his kingdom.