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The idea of work is foremost in our thoughts these days. School has begun again, which always means work. Summer vacations are fading into memory and that means back to regular work. Labor Day is soon here, the time when we celebrate the working man and woman of our country. God set aside one day out of seven to be a day of rest in His promises and word. And He also believes in the value of work and labor. When He first created human beings, before there was any sin or problem in the world God said to take care of Genesis 1:28; 2:15), He told them to take care of the garden. There was work even before sin made it hard.
Labor Day in this country goes back to the 1880’s when state after state passed laws recognizing the contributions made by those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” It is generally a time for picnics and barbeques and the last celebrations of summer, even though the temperature says otherwise. We celebrate the benefits we all receive from the labor of others. In truth we are all dependent on the work and labor of our fellow citizens.
We are usually eager to rest in the Lord, but what about working for the Lord? Are we ones to only receive from God his goodness and blessing, or do we set aside part of our time and resources to work for the Lord? Most work we do is for wage and reward. Its called a paycheck. But the work we do for God is done out of an attitude of thanksgiving. After all we have each benefited greatly from His labor.
Each of us has benefited from the work of God. Not just his creating and providing, but especially the work of Jesus to forgive our sins and restore us. He worked hard on the cross carrying your sins and mine and earning the forgiveness that lets us face the future knowing we have a loving and caring God. Jesus didn’t call in sick and he didn’t quit early. He saw the job through until the bitter end. He kept at it through all the pain and trouble until it was finished, his death and then His resurrection were the fruit of all his labor. As a result of his labor you and I have forgiveness and peace that is everlasting. We have a future home that is so much better than this present one even with all of its joys and beauty.
Do you want to make a difference in this world? A difference that will last? Work for the Lord. Take on a job at church. Begin praying for a neighbor to come to faith in Jesus. Begin to build up your own spiritual life. Bring comfort and hope to someone in despair. Your work can make an eternal difference. The work we do for God will never wear out, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58. Everything in this world will wear out or be forgotten, but not the things done for Jesus. They will last forever because God lasts forever, and will always remember. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23.
During this Labor Day holiday, think about how you have been blessed by the work of others and by the work of God. Determine to use your labor to make a difference for God and for others.