It is Labor Day Weekend. What does that mean to you?
For some, it simply means the end of the summer. For others, it is a long weekend. The schools gave a four-day weekend this year, and many are taking advantage of it for one final mini-vacation.
Labor Day was founded to celebrate labor and those who work hard to put food on the table and care for their families. And yes, labor unions were at the forefront of that, but I am not about to get into the politics of unions in this column.
Today, I want to address this idea of labor, or work. In my Bible concordance, I see 129 occurrences of the words related to labor. And I have not even turned to the Ws to look up the word “work.” But I know it is found numerous times in the Bible. In fact, work is found in the first few pages of the Bible.
God instructed Adam to work in the garden, even before the first sin. From the beginning of time, God intended for his children to work and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Many times today, we look at our work as something that has to be done but could never be enjoyed. Many people work in order to provide for their families, but they long for the day when they can retire. They are tired of working.
My point today is simple: Work matters to God. Throughout his letters, Paul often spoke of his labor on behalf of others. He encouraged others to work, going so far as to say, “If a man does not work, do not let him eat.” In the Old Testament, we read, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Clearly, the Lord wants his children to be as active and busy as they can be. He wants you to be the best employee or employer that you can be. He wants you to be an example to others. God charges us to be faithful, both to him and to others.
There is no doubt in my mind that God called me to be a pastor. For 31 years now, I have served in that capacity. But if you think God only calls preachers and missionaries, you are mistaken.
God calls teachers, secretaries, clerks, salespeople, truck drivers and on and on the list goes. He helped you prepare for your job, and he set the circumstances for you to get that job.
Enjoy the next couple of days of rest and relaxation. But come Tuesday morning, pour yourself into your work. Do your best for God’s glory. As you do, he will receive glory, and you will receive satisfaction.