1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation… 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Why do we work?
“Work was not a necessary evil that came into the picture later, or something human beings were created to do but that was beneath the great God himself. No, God worked for the sheer joy of it. Work could not have a more exalted inauguration.”¹ We work because God created us to, it is inherently good, and it is a continuation of His work.
Then how should we work?
We should work in at least these four ways: to Provide (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11; 1 Timothy 5:8), to Give (Ephesians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 9:6), to Love the World (1 Corinthians 7:17), and to Serve Jesus (Colossians 3:23-24).
But how can we work well?
We can work well as we both look back and look forward. Here’s what I mean: look back to the cross and look forward to Jesus’ future kingdom. When we look back to the finished work of Jesus in our place, we are freed from fear because He already worked perfectly to restore our worth. When we look forward to the future Kingdom He is going to establish, we can be filled with hope because He is going to make things the way they should be. If you know this is your past (you are wired for work), this is your present (Jesus has redeemed your worth through His work), and this is your future (Jesus is going to bring to perfection every good thing you are working toward), you will be able to work well here and now for His glory and the joy of all people.
1. Read through Genesis 2:1-3,15 and discuss what stands out to you.
2. What does Genesis 2:1-3, 15 tell us about work? How does this differ from how you used to view work? How does this differ from how the world seems to view work?
3. Which of the four ways that we should work, listed above, most stand out to you and why? Which one of these ways do you think you have most neglected and why?
4. How does looking back to the finished work of Jesus personally help you work hard? Are you working as though it is finished? How does looking forward to Jesus’ future Kingdom personally help you work well? Are you working as though someday Jesus will complete all the good your work is doing?
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