Our Work, God’s Plan

We don’t often say to ourselves, “Thank God it’s Monday”. We’re far more likely to say, “Thank God it’s Friday”. For most of us, Monday is the start of a new working week. Perhaps a week filled with long, hard hours and stressful situations. Monday is the point in the week furthest from the weekend. We much prefer Friday, because on Fridays our work is almost done and then we can relax.

Most of us spend roughly 50 hours a week, for about 48 weeks a year, for around 45 years of our lives in paid employment.  Of course, many of us also engage in unpaid work, caring for family or volunteering in some capacity. It’s no overstatement to say that work is a big part of our lives. It can bring us a lot of joy and satisfaction as we contribute to the good of others and provide for our loved ones. But work can also be the source of frustration, disappointment, and hurt.

As Christians, we don’t always know how to integrate our faith with our work. Perhaps we compartmentalize our lives, segregating work from our faith. We are unsure about what God wants us to do with our work.

The gospel gives us a new purpose for our work

Not surprisingly, the Bible says a lot about work. At the beginning of the Bible, we meet the God who works to bring the world into existence, and he creates human beings to work. Right from the start, work is a good part of God’s creation. But we also see that through the Fall, work becomes marred. We commonly experience this duality of work, its beauty and brokenness.

The gospel brings good news to our work. It tells us about Jesus’ work of salvation for us on the cross. The gospel gives us a new purpose for our work, that ultimately our work isn’t futile, but that it is done for Jesus. Paul tells the Colossians, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col. 3:23). Infused into work is rest. Yes, this rest is physical, but it’s also profoundly spiritual. In the gospel, we realise how Jesus gives us true rest and takes all our burdens (Matt. 11:28-30). 

This Sunday, we’re starting a new sermon series called, “Our Work, God’s Plan”.  We’ll look at what the Bible has to say about this big area of life: what makes work good and what makes it tough; how we can serve Jesus and others in our work; and how we can properly rest from our work. Of course, we’ll also consider how the gospel impacts our work.

If you’re keen to investigate this area further, I can recommend some excellent books: Work Matters by Tom Nelson, Every Good Endeavour by Tim Keller, and The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert.

Our hope is that by understanding more deeply God’s purposes for our work, we’ll see more profoundly the opportunities we have to serve him, therefore being able to say at the start of each week, “Thank God it’s Monday”.

Vicar

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