Wednesday, January 6, 2016

God's Purpose For Work

Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography
As I unveiled to my email readers last week, we're going to start off 2016 looking at how to be an entrepreneur. In thinking about this first post the question that kept popping into my head was, “Where do we start?”. There are so many challenges and opportunities facing the modern entrepreneur we could spend an entire year on the different branches of running your own business. But there is one question that gets to the root of the matter: what does the Bible say? As Believers, lets not forget following God's design for every area of life – including our work – is our top priority. So...I have a little study for you. Below are verses and passages which reveal God's purpose for work. As you read through these verses, I'd like you to ask three questions:

According to this verse/passage what is God's purpose for work?

What message from the world contradicts God's purpose?

Do my words and actions reflect God's message or the world's message?

If your heart's desire is to really know why God gave us work, I pray you will thoughtfully read these Scriptures – maybe even set aside time to do this later, if you feel tempted to rush through it now. I stress this because we so often rush over the familiarity of the Bible to “get to the point” (And yes, I know this because I've done it myself too many times!). Wisdom for life starts with the word of Truth.

Passage #1

For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
(1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
(2 Thessalonians 3:8)

Passage # 2

But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God...But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
(1 Timothy 5:4 & 8)

Passage # 3

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
(Ephesians 4:28)

Passage # 4

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
(1 Thessalonians 4:11)

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 )

How The Proverbs 31 Woman Used Her Work To Obey God's Purpose!

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies...She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands...She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
(From Proverbs 31)

Now think about how the world either twists or completely ignores God's purpose for work. The message that work is about living comfortably, having a certain lifestyle or even fulfilling our life passion is everywhere and may even seem to have a gleam of truth to it. But when you push these messages back, they are really all about us. But even more scary is how often do the messages of the world characterize ME? After reading these passages, I know I found some attitudes and mindsets in myself that need to be conformed to God's purpose instead of the world's. What about you? Was there anything in these verses that surprised you or stood out to you?

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
(Colossians 3:23-24)

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