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A Theology of Work, Part Two

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15

Last time we surfaced two implications for work from Genesis 2:15:

1.  Work is a good thing.
2.  You are designed for work.
Today we look at two more implications:

3.  Your work matters to God.

It does? It matters to God?

Yes, it does. God cared about Adam's work and he cares about your work. It may seem mundane to you but it matters. It matters to God.

He wants your work to be meaningful, not a source of frustration or drudgery. It could be that you are doing work that does not fit you. If that is the case, ask God to give you work, whether a job or volunteer work, that fits who you are, that fits your passions and wiring.

John Eldredge's counsel in Wild at Heart: Do what makes you come alive.

4.  Do your work for God.

Transform your work into worship. How does that happen? By doing your work for God. Whatever we do for God, for God's honor and God's pleasure, becomes an act of sacred worship.

It is significant that the two verbs in verse 15 (work and take care of) are also the two main Hebrew verbs for spiritual service to God. The word work is often used of serving God and the words take care of are used for keeping the commandments.

God is suggesting that the whole point of Adam's work is not gardening but serving God. Gardening was simply the way Adam served God, but the point is worship not gardening. “It's all about you, Lord. It's all about you.”

Is your work all about Jesus? Or is it about a paycheck?

There is a wonderful story about work as worship. My mentor in seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks, tells of being on an American Airlines flight that was delayed for six hours out of Dallas. Passengers were irate and one man was especially difficult. Finally Hendricks goes back to the galley to commend the flight attendant. “I have been extremely impressed with the way you handled this difficult passenger. Could I have your name so I can write the company you work for?” 

She replied, “Sir, thank you very much but you should know that I do not work for American Airlines.” (Long pause. Hendricks wondered if he was on the right airline. Then she finished.) “Sir, I work for Jesus Christ.”

Ahh, a worshiper!

This is the way God designed us to work.

Whom do you work for?

This week’s post is from Jeff Wells, author and pastor of WoodsEdge Community Church.

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