God’s Original Design
Genesis 1-2: God spoke, He formed, He planted… And He saw that it was all very good.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man like Us…’”
Imago Dei– We are created in the image and likeness of God
- Work is a co-laboring between God and man.
Sin has corrupted work
- Work becomes toil.
Genesis 3:17b-19a “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…”
- Work becomes a form of idolatry.
Genesis 11:4 “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’”
We are called and created to work
Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
- It is not if you are meant to work, but where, how, and doing what.
The benefits of work
- Earn money to live
- Build relationships
- Hone skills
- Raise self-esteem
- Contribute to society
Proverbs 12:14 “Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.”
Proverbs 14:23 “Work brings profits, but mere talk leads to poverty!”
Proverbs 12:25 “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.”
Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappear; wealth from hard work grows over time.”
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Ephesians 6:7 “Work with enthusiasm as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Blessings for Obedience
Deuteronomy 28:12 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
Tips for success
- Show up. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10
- Don’t complain. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16a
- Always go the extra mile. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Phil. 2:3-4
- Don’t give up. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
- Rely on God’s strength, not your own. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
- Trust in the favor of God. “Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalms 5:12”