A man of work
The Origin of Work
In God's original plan for man work was not in the equation. God placed a perfect man in a perfect garden and then gave man a perfect wife. Adam and Eve were the two in the garden, and by the subtitlity of the Devil, Eve was tricked and deceived. The bible says in Romans 5:12,"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered in to the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:", although Eve was the first to eat the fruit, the blame of sin entering the world is put on Adam. Adam made the conscious choice to go against the word of God commanding him to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
It is an unfortunate dilemma that man is now in, in Genesis 3:19 is says, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bead, till thou return unto the ground; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." God's curse placed on all men is that they work hard physical labor for their food and they shall do this for the rest of their life. "Dust thou art" it is a rather disconcerting thing to think that God's opinion of man is that he is dust. When one weighs the opinion of Protagoras and that of God there are two very distinct differences. Protagoras,"Man is the measure of all things" God,"Dust thou art", worshiping the creature more than the creator, men have for decades now been boiling a seething hot cauldron of philosophical crap trying to make themselves feel good about man by clinging to the idea that they are more then dust, as Victor Frankl expressed the strength of man's will, "Inward strength can overcome outward fate" so many of these philosophers had a good idea and then messed it up when trying to elevate man above God. The thing to get from this is that work is a divine judgment on man from God because of Adam's sin, and the modern Christian can either wallow in self-pity and say, "Woe is me!" or he can get up and say, "Ok, so maybe work is God's curse on man, even so if my job is to work then I will be the best worker for the Lord that I can possibly be." -That should be the mind set for today's Christians. Now that the origin of work is through let's take another look at work and see what place it has in the daily life of the Christian.
The Christian and His Work
In proverbs 11:18 it says,"The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward." As in most things in life there are two sides of work.There are two distinct kinds of work, the work of the devil and that of Christ, and you Christian need to have the wisdom to discern the difference between the two. The Devil is the great deciever and in Revelation 12:9 you are warned of just how vast and wide his deception reaches, "...Which deceiveth the whole world:". You are also warned in 2 Timothy 3:13 that evil,seducing men will, "wax worse and worse". In joshua 24:15 it says," choose you this day whom ye will serve" Joshua is giving his last speech and in it will ring for the rest of eternity a challenge to serve the Lord and him only.There is a very real and sobering idea presented in 2 Peter 3:11 ,"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness...." The idea is that every physical thing on this earth is going to get burnt and destroyed. The idea that should totally and completely soak the mind of the Christian day and night is that we are not to waste one minute of our time serving the flesh. We are to live for Christ and serve him only ,and in today's society if a person were to look at the current state of the vast majority of Christians they would see a group of people nonchalantly rejecting over 95% of what God has told them to be. We ( I speak of saved, born-again believers) are to be "sober minded" (Titus 2:6), we are to "watch and pray" (Matthew 26:41), we are to deny the physical lust of the flesh and to wholly follow God (Luke 9:23), and we are to be content with "food and raiment" (1 Timothy 6:8). The vast majority of Christians today are living in a consumer driven society and God is not in their minds at all. The thought life of today's Christians is dismal at best. Their spirits cryout in hunger and wait to be filled, hoping and pleading with their consciences to put down the remote and pick up the Bible. It is a sad thing today that in this modern world we have the fastest transportation; however, with all the transportation the hardest journey is not some far off country in the east, but rather the short distance from you to the BiIble. The hardest journey is one that is going against the natural, lazy inclination of the flesh and in this modern apostate, Laodecian age Christians have gone beyond their needs and their thought lives are saturated on self-fulfillment, self-gratification, self-pleasure, and nothing spiritual just foolish carnal things that they don't even need. The devil has done a great and terrible thing and that is to take the Christian's mind off people going to hell and instead has gotten them to be consumed with spending all their time with their careers, their ambitions, and their dreams, and while this is being done he stealthily and slyly perverts the desires of Christians so that those ambitions and dreams are not spiritual but carnal. In Psalm 51:10 King David says something that every man, woman, and child should pray for, he said, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." of all the things we can possess nothing could be more important than having a pure heart.
How to Work
Work is a vital part of life and knowing how to work is a necessity. The Apostle Paul says that he worked day and night to show to the people as an ensample how they ought to be working.(2 Thessalonians 3:8-11) Working day and night sounds rather painful and depressing, that is unless you truly love what you do. In the same passage Paul brings up another point, "...That is if any would not work, neither should he eat." According to the Bible if you have the power to work and refuse to do so, you do not deserve to eat. Notice the wording "if any WOULD not work..." the wording suggests that some people in the church were just mooching off the other members and paul said that lazy slothfulness has no place among any Christian.
A very important attribute to any christian is to do the Lord's work quietly, meekfully, and not to be prideful upon finishing that work. In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 it says this, "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing." The working Christian is not to be someone who is always boasting about what he or she is doing, but rather one who does their job and then in a sense goes home. If its your job to do a specific task then there is nothing to gloat about for simply doing the thing you were given to do. Completion of today's work does not make up for the past or allow slackness in the future, it simply fills today's quota for the job that God has set before you. Paul in Hebrews 3:13 says this, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." We are to work each day and as we work there is a certain grind that can happen and this grind is best avoided when Christians get together in Godly fellowship and strengthen each other with good conversation. According to the Bible (Hebrews 10:25) we are to stick together as a unit and not forsake fellow Christians.
According to Ephesians 4:28 you are working for more than just for your self. We work so that others who can't work will have their needs provided. As a Christian you work for the Lord (1 corinthians 16:10) and remembering that a servant is worthy of his hire(luke 10:7) we are to work diligently and fervently. In 1 Corinthians 9:9-10 it says, "...Doth God take care for oxen?.. Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope;and that he that thresheth in hope; in hope should be partaker of his hope." In the eyes of the Lord when we work we are as oxen plowing a field. Now work can be as much physical as it is spiritual. In the sense of a farmer plowing a field there is another spirittual field, a realm plowed with words and deeds, a spiritual crop to be sown. A preacher preaching what the Lord gave him, and man witnessing on the streets, that is both spiritual work and the majority of the fruit of will not be seen in this life, but in the life to come.
The dangers of laziness and stinginess in the worker's life
King Solomon describes the destruction of a lazy man in Proverbs 6:9-11, " How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travailleth, and thy want as an armed man." The truth in life is that you need your priorities in check, comfort and rest can only be done once the work is finished. There are all kinds of people out there looking for "shortcuts" to making money fast, but the painful fact that they will learn is when one goes out looking for shortcuts they undoubtly are sucked into someone else's plan to make money as an old saying goes," A shortcut is the longest distance between two points." The Bible ,time and time again, warns the reader of the dangers of allowing laziness in their life. Laziness slowly creeps in and if left unchecked there is no end to the damage it can do. In Proverbs 26:14 it says, "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed." Instead of spending your time with work and productive things, you will succumb to the sweet pleasures of the bed and be ever increasingly less productive. On the flip side Soloman says in Ecclesiastes 5:12 "The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." The truth of this passage is when you give a good honest work day to God, your sleep is golden.
The outcome of your work
In Romans 14:7 we see a passage that puts your small life into perspective. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."- that idea is frightening if one were to mediate on it for very long and when cross-referenced with 2 Peter 3:11, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness," and 2 corinthians 5:11, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...." The idea is staggering to think about when looked on in a global sense that when you look at every single Christian today working you would see the Lord working in marvelous ways. The global scale of things can never truly be pictured, but when a Christian hands his time and life over to the Lord and gives God his heart there is no telling what miraclouls things can happen. I have seen the Lord work in many ways in my life and want to exort and encourage any reader to the simple idea that came upon me one day and that is, that this life we live is too short to be wasted on ourselves so we must live for someone greater than ourselves. Give yourself to God and wait and see what marvelous things the craftsman from Nazareth can do with it.