UNDERSTANDING WORK

Author: Pr. kalungi Denis February 20, 2021 1353 views 2 comments
Fig: A picture representing UNDERSTANDING WORK.

UNDERSTANDING WORK BY PR. DENIS KALUNGI

KIREKA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

Work is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

We see God at work as He separated the light from the darkness; separated the water to create ground and sky; gathered the waters into seas; created vegetation for the land; made the stars; made living creatures for the water, air and land; and, finally, made the first humans, Adam and Eve. At the end of Genesis 1:3-27, God observed the result of His work and we’re told that it was very good.

God promises rewards to people in everyday jobs, based on their attitude and conduct Ephesian 6:8; Col. 3:23-31, Col. 4:1 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

Work is an obligation from God. 

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” In so telling them God was not meaning producing children only but also to have estates, companies and so on

Deuteronomy 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, meaning work is recommended by God.

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

It’s a command God uses work to provide for necessities.

Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get what to eat.”

Proverbs 28:19 a hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

Ephesians 4:28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

Work so that you can give to the church

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

We work to get what to share and give others

Hebrews 13:16 and do not forget to do well and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Proverbs 19:17 whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

To imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus who worked.

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

Mark 6:3 isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

Work develops us and helps us mature. Bad co-workers and mean bosses and other work situations help you grow.

Romans 8:28-29 and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

James 1:2-4 considers it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:12 blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Colossians 1:10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

To glorify God. God wants you to serve Him with your work by working hard.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol/grave to where you’re going.

1 Corinthians 10:31 so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Your workplace is a place to witness to others the goodness of God

Matthew 5:13-14 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth

Why Christians Should Have the Right Attitude about Work?

God cares about our attitudes for they shape what we say and do. If you cultivate an attitude that work is a punishment from God, then you are unlikely to have the enthusiasm and energy to do your best work. Paul was getting at this when he stated: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.

What makes work difficult? Or a curse?

God was not distressed by His work; He enjoyed it! He worked for six days and then rested to enjoy His labor on the seventh day, thus instituting the weekly Sabbath Genesis 2:1–3. Meaning work was to be joyfully enjoyed 

But God did not want to enjoy the creation process alone; He wanted to share His world and its development with others. One key reason He created human beings was to share in the joy of His work. We read: "The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it" Genesis 2:8, 15.

God wanted Adam and Eve and their descendants to have the pleasing and exciting challenge of tending the Garden of Eden, and ultimately of beautifying the entire earth! But they sinned. They rejected God's truth, His sovereignty over them, and His way of life. What was the result?

Then to Adam God said, 'Because you have heeded/followed the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'you shall not eat of it': 'Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil, you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread" Genesis 3:17–19.

When Noah was born, his very name was a reminder that mankind toiled in unpleasant work because of Adam and Eve's sin. Upon his birth, his parents remarked, "This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed" Genesis 5:29. In Hebrew, the name "Noah" means "rest"—indicating the respite from toil his parents were expecting.

In Genesis 3:17-19, we see that because of Adam and Eve’s sin, work is going to be hard. Even good work that we know is worthwhile will require exertion that tires us physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. That’s one reason we need a Sabbath day to rest and recover from work.

Is retirement biblical?

The only place the Bible mentions retirement is in the Lord's instructions to Moses about rules for Levite men who served in the tent of meeting. It specifies at the age of 50, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of the meeting, but they themselves must not do the work." Numbers 8:25-26. The passage doesn't address individuals more broadly and, interestingly, it says there is still a role for them to play. Many of the faithful whose lives are described in the Bible worked until their final days on earth. Retirement is a relatively new practice that’s become widespread in recent history

Does our work matter to God?

Work is part of God’s big picture. God created all things and He has revealed that, in His sovereignty, He created order through a process of Creation, Fall, and Redemption. God’s created order started with the perfect garden Garden of Eden and will be consummated/completed in the perfect city of New Jerusalem Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Isaiah 65, and Revelation 21:1-22:5 explain it.

Our actual work matters to God, now and eternally. God has chosen to create men and women in His image, among other things work created order for His glory and for the betterment of humankind.  In this way we can’t fully understand, the good work we do now is done with his help and for Him and this will help us survive into the New Jerusalem. Work itself has intrinsic value Genesis 1:27

God provides us with unique skills, gifts, and talents and calls us to particular roles and activities. Although the role might have apparent differences it’s important. Our callings are equal “example” Exodus 31:1-5 and Romans 12:6-8

Quality, character, and ethics are foundational for our work. We are responsible not only for the quality of our work, but also for our faithfulness to God in the way we pursue that work, and for our own good character while working. We will be judged and rewarded accordingly. However, God is ultimately responsible for the outcome and impact of our work Matthew 25:21, Colossian 3:23-24

Our work is yoked with Christ. We should work as if yoked to Jesus Christ. The “foundation of His throne is Righteousness and Justice, with Love and Faithfulness going before Him.” Our work, and the decisions we make, should be based on these principles: aligned with God’s moral standards, always concerned with the fair treatment of others, and with a clear expression of Christ’s love for all people. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Matthew 11:29-30, Psalm 89:14, Exodus 20:2-17, Mark 12:31 and Matthew 25:35-36

Our work should be centered on service to others. From the products and services, we provide to providing fair financial rewards and providing opportunities for others to exercise their gifts and talents. Our work is an opportunity to seek the peace and well-being of our organizations, cities, and nations. Humility and gratitude should be the hallmark of our character. We should always acknowledge God in our work and consider that being an ambassador for Him is a weighty, but honored, responsibility. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Mark 12:31 and Matthew 7:12

A rhythm/time off work and rest is essential to life. God invites us into a deliberate pattern of regular rest. These periods of rest are intended to be restorative and are also opportunities to intentionally take time to consider Christ and our relationship with Him. Exodus 20:8-11, John 15:4, Hebrews 4:10 and 1 John 3:19

The use of wealth and our investments should be directed by God.  We should allow God to direct the use of all that He has provided through our work for the betterment of others and the furthering of His kingdom. These provisions include our gifts, time, financial capability, and influence. 1 Corinthians 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Isaiah 58:10, Acts 2:45, Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:16 and Philippians 4:15-19

God's work multiplies through relationships and through the local church:  We need to be in a relationship with other followers of Christ to provide support and accountability. We should look for mentors and look to mentor others. We should commit to our local church body and help to bring the world of work into the church and the church into the world of work. 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 4:12-13, Acts 2:42-47 & 11:26 , Titus 2:3-8, Proverbs 27:17 , 1 Thessalonians 2:8  and Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Work is a gift from God.  We should always acknowledge that work is a gift from God, as is our ability to be happy in it. Alternatively, labor and achievement that spring from our envy of others is meaningless and will never bring contentment and joy.  We look forward to the day when we will work together in perfect harmony in the presence of God in the New Jerusalem. Ecclesiastes 5:19, Ecclesiastes 4:4, Ecclesiastes 2:4-11, Isaiah 65:21-23

Why do some people work and see not?

Some people’s work is covenanted with Satan through some dubious things 

Leviticus 19:35-36            

Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 25:13-16  

You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Read more

Micah 6:10-14

Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? The rich men of the city are full of violence, her residents speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

Proverbs 20:10 

Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the Lord

Cheating of the poor

Deuteronomy 24:14

Do not cheat poor and needy hired servants, whether they are Israelite's or foreigners living in one of your towns.

Deuteronomy 19:14 

You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God gives you to possess.

Deuteronomy 27:17 

Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen

Jeremiah 22:13-17 

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages, who says, ‘I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,’ who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion. Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? Declares the Lord. But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.

Isaiah 33:1-2 

Woe to you, destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, betrayer, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed 

Poor giving culture

Proverbs 19:17 

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life

Doubting the work of the Lord.

Luke 7:22 

And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them

Deuteronomy 15:11 

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.” 

Proverbs 14:21 

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor

Proverbs 14:31 

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 22:9 

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

Making vows for your work and not fulfilling them

Ecclesiastes 5:4-6

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger or angel, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? For each vow, there is always an angel to fulfill that vow

Judges 11:30-34

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon. When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her, he had neither son nor daughter. When making vows be careful because God is not deaf, make a vow which you can manage

Numbers 30:2-3

If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father's house in her youth she should fulfill it.

Genesis 28:20-21

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God,

Adding stolen things or stock into your business 

Joshua 7:10-12

The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed the covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies because they have become devoted to destruction. I will be with you no more unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. These guys lost the battle because of the stolen things they had put among their belongings

Lack of trust in God 

Luke 16:10

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much “so be honest with that small job you have such that you can get the bigger job you desire.

Failure to ask God’s direction

Proverbs 3:6-7

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 

Zephaniah 1:6

Those who have turned back from following the Lord, who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him. “Meaning we do have to seek God’s way forward in our work Mistreating masters 

Colossian 4:1

Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Deuteronomy 5:32-33

So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk-in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

What should be your prayer in your work?

Father, help us to view work as a blessing from You that gives us the opportunity to participate in gathering adequate provisions for our family as well as making a positive difference in our work setting. We seek to overcome challenges in the workplace and are able to do so because we do our work heartily, as for You, Lord primarily. We seek to be just and diligent in our work not just when we’re being observed by our supervisors or fellow employees, but we remain aware that you are always watching over us. We don’t resent or dwell on the negatives of our work or workplace but recognize how we serve you well when we work with a cheerful heart. And we can do so knowing that our reward is not just the weekly paycheck but most importantly the glorious eternal inheritance we receive in heaven. Keep us faithful we pray. Amen.

WORK PART ONE

2 comments

Kazungu Amos   -   

May 19, 2022
This message is worth to embrace.

Barbara    -   

May 20, 2022
Thanks brother for taking the initiative

LEAVE A REPLY