Posts Tagged labor

Labor Day

1 Timothy 5: 18

The laborer is worthy of his wages.

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you are enjoying the holiday. As you celebrate, consider all the people whose contributions add value to your life. It is so easy to overlook people’s roles in society and not value them until they are gone. Let us make an effort to show people how much what they do matters to us.

Have a great day and spread it around.

Relieved

Psalm 81: 6 & 10

I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket. I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

I am always amused by people who say that the Old Testament does not speak to us today. Today’s verse is modern day theology. It is Jesus’ message about the Holy Spirit. This is the place, spiritually speaking, where we are all supposed to live.

God has relieved us from the labor of work. Am I saying that we no longer set our hands to the plow? No. What God is revealing is that He is the labor behind the work. He supplies the wisdom and the power. We are to abide in Him and rest in Him while He provides for us. Hebrews 4: 11 says, “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” The King James version says that our labor is in entering into this rest. In other words, our job is to enter into the rest of God. We are to be diligent in our pursuit of a Sabbath relationship with the Father and Sabbath, by the way, is every day. Our labor, our task is to abide in Jesus every moment of every day. That is sometimes a challenge and that is why it requires diligence. It is quite easy for us to become stimulated by some “emergency” or even some “to do” and begin to operate in our own strength and wisdom. The calling upon our lives is to learn to let go of our ways and our strength and embrace Jesus’ ways and the strength of God. Our challenge is to live in His abiding grace where He does all the heavy lifting. This is the challenge of the New Covenant. Endeavor, labor even, to live in Jesus’ peace while the Holy Spirit provides the power.

Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things” (John 14: 26). He also promised us that the Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth (John 16: 13). So, the strength, power and wisdom are in the Divine Trinity. God has taken the kneading bowl from our hands and put it into the hands of the Holy Spirit. Our part is to abide in Him and allow Him to abide in us. We take the time to quiet ourselves down and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow him. It is harder than it sounds because we learned to do everything in our power: by our education, personality, charm, hard-work and all of the other worldly methods. God is trying to redeem us from all of that though. Just like a relief pitcher in the 9th inning, God has sent the Holy Spirit to win all of your games for you. Let’s be diligent to enter God’s rest and the peace Jesus left for us while the Holy Spirit does his job.

Toil

Ecclesiastes 2: 26

For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight.

We were never meant to live off of the sweat of our brow. We are supposed to live through the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and joy from the Lord, our God. Toil is for the sinner. Wow! That is an amazing and powerful statement. He, the sinner, labors in order to give to the one “who is good in God’s sight.”

None of us were good in God’s sight but now, because of Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees the beautiful visage of Jesus. Because Jesus has clothed us with his glory we are “good” in God’s sight. In Jesus we have access to all that God is including His wisdom and knowledge. You are meant to live on the daily influx of God’s wisdom, joy and knowledge. Does this challenge your thinking a little? Our occupations ought to be what we do in order to make the world a better place. Our living, our sustenance is supposed to come from God.

Sinners are supposed to pour into our bosom. We shouldn’t work for a living. We should give for a living. We are not supposed to be so busy that we cannot even call a sick friend or take time with our kids. We are to use our time to commune with God and receive His wisdom, knowledge and joy. Then we can take all that God teaches and shows us to the sinner and help them to be beautiful in God’s eyes. It is hard to accomplish the big tasks of the world, the global issues of humanity when we have to work ten hours a day just to make ends meet. Who shall go to the lost and hurting? We haven’t the time to slow down and hear the voice of God. He is speaking to us today. What is He saying? What does He want us to do with our time? The answer is not that He wants us to work ourselves to death. He wants us to position ourselves to receive His wisdom, His knowledge and His joy. Then we take what He gives us and give it away to those who are toiling, to all who are lost. The sinner lays up treasure for us but we receive treasure from heaven and dispense it to them so that they can rise up from drudgery and despair.

Our God is our provider. He didn’t call us to “make a living.” He called us to Himself. He means to provide and He is, but we have to get a big enough revelation of these important verses if we are going to live the lifestyle God created for us. It is a challenge. We can live as God designed, but we must first allow our minds and hearts to accept His vision of life. This is pretty big, I will grant you but it is also the Word and intent of God. If we can accept it, we could actually begin to live this way. That would be amazing. We could do so much for the Kingdom of God if we were not bogged down in our labors.

Think about today’s verse. Roll it around in your mind. Is God a man that He can lie? Did He mean these words when He gave them? Why did God make sure this verse ended up in the Bible? You are meant for higher things. God is calling. Can you hear Him?

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

John 14: 10

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

This is a great word for ministers but truly Jesus modeled life for us all. He is our example. Therefore, we can take inspiration from this message from the Lord.

One day, when I was a bit over-taxed with duties and responsibilities, it occurred to me that I could work through inspiration or perspiration. Well of course, I was working hard. I was sweating the deadlines, burdens and responsibilities. I was in my strength instead of Jesus’. You see, he has created a model by which we work, accomplish, rest, serve him and honor him all at the same time. When we yield our heavy burdens to the Lord, allowing him to carry the load, he is honored. We have also preached the word by our very actions because we have communicated a reproducible model. People can appreciate that we accomplish through Jesus’ labor and wisdom and perhaps recognize that since they have the same access to Jesus as do we, that they can do the same thing. 

Whatsmore, we are only doing what Jesus did. We model him. Jesus said he did nothing of his own initiative (John 8: 28). God was the one performing the works. He supplied Jesus with the words to speak. The Father directed Jesus steps. He navigated him to the town or village which was right for the time. Imagine how much easier our lives would be if we could learn to follow God’s voice within us the way Jesus did.

You know, there is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, let’s do things the easy way. I choose to live by inspiration rather than perspiration. How about you?

Happy Labor Day

Colossians 3: 23 – 24

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Happy Labor Day as we celebrate the rewards of joyous labor! What? That is not your perception of labor? Perhaps we all need a fresh approach to labor for by it we serve our Lord. It is a worthy thing for each of us to have something to which we can set our hands. We receive all of our blessing from the Lord without earning it but He certainly does bless all that we set our hands to. “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand” (Deuteronomy 28: 12). 

Today’s verse reminds us to do our work heartily. What does that mean? I perceive it to mean that we should give our full effort to our labor and to do it with a good attitude knowing that our service is actually unto the Lord Jesus rather than to a boss or corporation. God has given us jobs and for that I believe we should be grateful and every day we should thank Him and apply ourselves as if Jesus were our personal supervisor for in truth he is. We should celebrate with a joyous heart because no matter what our job or occupation it is a means by which we can bless others. Even if you don’t particularly like your job if you really perceived Jesus as your supervisor wouldn’t that change the way you look at your job? Even the most awful job would, perhaps, be sufferable if Jesus was in it with us. And just think, maybe God has you there for some divine, Kingdom reason.

Rejoice and be happy for we have the means by which we can invest our labor. Make every day a work unto the Lord. I think that when we see ourselves offering a gift of our effort and work to the Lord, we will find joy and meaning in even the most mundane tasks. Make this “take Jesus to work” week and enjoy fruitful labor. Be blessed!

Restful Labor

Hebrews 4: 10 – 11

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His, Let us therefore be diligent to enter than rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.

Okay, so what is going on here? The writer of Hebrews is saying that the person who has entered into God’s rest has rested from his works just like God who has also rested from His works. Then verse 11 says that we should be diligent to enter into this rest lest we fall into disobedience. There is an epiphany. If we do not enter into rest we are in disobedience? Not only that, but the effort expended is not in doing the works but in entering the rest.

That is so counter-cultural that it barely even makes sense. Many years ago I heard Kenneth Hagin speak on living a fasted life. It was an impactful message, but then weren’t all of Hagin’s messages? Anyway, his point was that every day is the Sabbath and every day is the day of the fast. He was teaching that we don’t live to God on certain special days but rather every day. We must learn how to live in God and let the Lord Jesus live through us on a daily rather than on a Sunday basis. Everyday can be, and should be, a day of rest wherein we allow God to do the works.

From Matthew 19: 26 we learn that with God all things are possible. The key words there are “with God.” Why, then, do we still labor with the works rather than to enter His rest. There is a revelation in here to be found. We are to be diligent in laboring to enter into His rest. That sounds silly. Labor to rest? But the author knew that we would have to work to wrap our heads around this one. So, I have begun my day with my “To Do” list and plotted out my time from the time of arising until 5:00 pm. Then I will figure out what I can accomplish in the evening hours, shall I run errands or do I need to sit and read a piece of fiction or maybe even play a game? Really?? As it turns out, I forgot to schedule in any bathroom breaks.

What am I saying? I certainly am not against having a good schedule to work from. I absolutely think it necessary that I have a work plan otherwise I will not get done what I wish and I will end up spending time on things that I shouldn’t. However, I am the fool spoken of in the Psalms if I do not begin my day with my Father asking Him to be Lord over my day. It would be foolish for me to plow ahead in the power of my strength. I have done that before. It doesn’t work. No, this time I am going to labor to enter into His rest and let Him be the power and the strength in my day. That is what Jesus prayed afterall, “Thine is the…power” (Matthew 6: 13). Jesus even told us that the works that he is renowned for were not even his own work product. He said that it was the Father who lives within him that does the works (John 14: 10).  Query: if Jesus didn’t try to walk in his own power, if he didn’t attempt to accomplish his To Do list in his strength, what in the world makes me think I can do mine?

We are a nation of “doers” but God has called us to be believers rather than doers. There is the rub. We have mighty things to do in the name of the Almighty but it is only with His almighty strength working through us that we attain the prize. Our father is not impressed with how hard we work for Him but rather how diligent we are at resting in the power of His might. He doesn’t want us to burn out. He has already provided the power and the wisdom. Our job is simply to direct His power. We allow Him to flow out of us. Then all things become possible to us.

Endeavor to enter into His rest.

A Day of Rest

1 Kings 8: 56

Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.

Our dear Father has given us rest. Our success is in His strength and in His promise. It is not in our many labors. As we learn to trust in His strong right arm, then we can live a life of rest.  So we may rest from our labors and enjoy the fruit of his presence.

As you enjoy your Labor Day Holiday I hope you will receive divine rest. I pray that you will be renewed and invigorated.

                                                   Happy Labor Day!!