Week 33 — Work
"You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man will give you." —John 6:27
"The Egyptians, then, dreaded the Israelites and reduced them to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves." —Ex 1:12-14
Abba: Child, one of the primary tactics of the evil one is to enslave you through work. Don't work for perishable food—salaries, benefits, insurance, security, retirement, status, or acceptance. That makes you a slave. My children are born again free. Don't work on Sunday. This is your declaration of independence, asserting you are free from the slavery of the evil one and the world.
Child: Abba, but everyone else works on Sunday.
Abba: Child, believe you're special.
Work for no one but God.
"Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full well you will receive an inheritance from Him as your reward. Be slaves of Christ the Lord." —Col 3:23-24
Jesus: If you become My slave, you are truly free (Jn 8:36). Do everything for Me. The only reason you're working for a human employer is because I told you to. Everyone must be both a slave and free, but whose slave do you choose to be? (Rm 6:16) Be My slave and therefore free from men's oppression.
Disciple: Jesus, when I work for You, I'm treated with respect. You don't manipulate me. You give me more than my rights (Mt 20:14); You give me mercy.
Co-work (1 Cor 3:9).
"Indeed, when we were with you we used to lay down the rule that anyone who would not work should not eat." —2 Thes 3:10
Abba: Child, I expect you to work and work hard. If you miss work or do a sloppy job, I'll speak with you, but I won't threaten you or cut off your pay. You can get away with sub-par work. I expect your relationship with Me to be your motivation for doing a good job.
Child: Abba, you caught me loafing on the job. I've missed countless opportunities to tell others about You. I'm not praying, loving, and serving as I should be.
Work on repentance.
"Slaves, obey your human masters with the reverence, the awe, and the sincerity you owe to Christ. Do not render service for appearance only and to please men." —Eph 6:5-6
Jesus: The Bible word for "employee" is "slave." One of the most important parts of your job is your relationship with your boss. Treat him/her as you treat Me. This will be a powerful witness and make the gospel attractive to your co-workers and employers (Ti 2:10; 1 Pt 2:18-19).
Disciple: Jesus, You can't be serious.
Work on your respect for your employer.
"Indeed, I have worked harder than all the others, not on my own but through the favor of God." —1 Cor 15:10
Abba: Child, don't work hard to get something, but work because you've already been given everything. Work not for salary, but because you've already been paid. I've given you My life. Work in thanksgiving.
Child: Abba, how shall I make a return to You for all the good You have done for me? (Ps 116:12)
Work on and in an attitude of gratitude.
"Take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts." —Hg 2:4
Jesus: Many times, you will have to work by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). That's how I worked throughout My life. I thought I "had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength" (Is 49:4). I died an apparent failure. You don't need to be successful by worldly standards.
Disciple: Jesus, if I follow in Your footsteps, I may never have a good job or make any money.
Jesus: What difference does it make?
Work without comparing yourself to others.
"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being." —Col 3:23
Abba: Child, since you're working for Me, the quality of your work must be the best. Also, put in a full day's work. Your work is an offering to Me (Heb 13:16). I can't accept a blemished offering. Your work must be your best.
Child: Abba, I offer my work, even the littlest action, as an offering for Your honor and praise. May I work on the job in the same spirit as I should worship in Church.
Work out by faith your salvation (Phil 2:12).
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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