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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank God for Mondays!

The work week for most people in western cultures begins on Monday. Many people dread the day because it represents doing something that they must do rather than what they would like to do. Monday begins a five day journey which must be completed to get to the weekend. The weekend represents freedom and joy.

That's not the way it should be. Monday is a day which God has given to us to minister in our work. It involves knowing what He wants us to do and doing it. It will bring an immense joy when it is done within this context. On the other hand, it is a drudgery when it is merely a means of making money that we can spend on the weekend.

The work that God has given to us is a gift. It does not matter where we work because there is God's ministry within in that job. God calls us to be His witnesses in construction, accounting, teaching, healing and even preaching. There is no profession outside of God's calling to do His work.

Those who are living for the weekend maybe outside of God's will in what they are doing. They just might have taken the easy task of making money rather than using their God given talents to work at a job within those talents. Therefore, they will not find the fullness of God's ministry in their work. They are trying to minister to people whom they have not been called.

Most people, however, are where they should be in their professions. They just don't know that their profession is supposed to be a ministry to accomplish God's will. These people may see their employment as a means of earning a living so that they can do God's will. They have failed to see that they don't have to wait to get to church to do ministry. They can do their most significant ministry in the employment that they already have.

Joy invades the individual who sees God's will being accomplished as they do their work. It makes work an opportunity to see God's glory. It brings pleasure in that work which could have been mundane without this purpose being seen. It gets the person up to look forward to the day of employment for it is here that he finds the glory of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (ESV)
12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.


Anthony Chia said...

On the subject of work, to me, it is rather NOT an easy one. Well, for an additional verse, here is one which we should bear in mind (even as we consider those Ps Prentis has quoted):

Col 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,”

We are to (NOT that we can easily want to do that) look at it as in Col 3:23: “Whatever we do…”, and so, in the things which we spend lots of time in, i.e. our working life or career, we are to be working in it, as working for the Lord, NOT for men. So, foremost, we have to ask ourselves, is what we are doing in our working life or career, something that we can be working for the Lord.

If one works as a pimp or a drug pusher, one has to ask oneself if engaging in that kind of work can honestly be working for the Lord. Do not get me wrongl; I am NOT implying that certain jobs are lowly and that you are despised for that. No, it is primarily a question of whether a job is a sinful preoccupation or it is NOT. Being a road sweeper is an honorable job, nothing despicable about it; but being a pimp or drug pusher is sinful and despicable. In sweeping the road, one can honestly say that he is working for the Lord, but NOT so, for the pimp or drug pusher. So, first, one must get into an acceptable job as opposed to a sinful job, for God cannot sin, and so you cannot be working in sin and still say that you are doing the work unto God. Once you clear this, you can then, look at the front portion of the verse, and say, “I will do it with all my heart, for I am serving God.”

A road sweeper is serving God if he treats his job that way (and he can treat his job that way, for sweeping the road is an “acceptable job”), that he is serving the Lord; this “unto the Lord” attitude or posture is paramount, as was highlighted in these verses of Apostle Paul:

“6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:6-8)”

What we do, when we do NOT regard it as done unto the Lord, generally it may NOT count as a good works or bearing fruit. In this regard, we cannot fool the Lord; God is the knower of heart. An attitude or posture of the heart needs to be cultivated, and so, you have to cultivate your inner life, as a Christian.

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Anthony Chia said...

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It is only when you have internalized that the work you are doing, you are doing it for the Lord, and so, you are to put your heart and soul in it, so to speak, you do NOT dread the work you are doing; and therefore, the coming of Mondays! This, of course, is assuming you are NOT believing that you are saved to just bask in grace, as is the belief of some “overly grace” believers, and that you are NOT believing that you are saved to do whatever you like. Christians are NOT being saved to do nothing or to do whatever they like.

Apart from spiritual and physical aspects of redemption, we are being redeemed unto good works and fruit bearing (Eph 2:10). Indeed, there are to be no distinction between so-called secular and non-secular time periods; if we go by that, how much time should it be, for the non-secular portion of a believer’s time? Mind you, too many hardly allocate more than a tiny fraction of their time into this matter, so how can the works redemption aspect of the Lord’s works in salvation, be demarcated by such arbitrary time allocation. The values portrayed in Scripture are to permeate every minute detail of our life, in thoughts, actions and time and timing.

Why these tasks; why NOT that role or any other role? Well, if you think secular occupation has this problem; you are NOT exactly doing the things you like to do, people in non-secular works, also face much the same! For example, we struggle with having to submit to those, men, above us, in our so-called secular work or enterprises, but the people working in the church or in “ministry work”, also have to do that! Whoever your superior, be it the department manager or the senior pastor, you still have to have the grace and wisdom of God to obey them, submit to them and to defer to them, so as to honor God, who is the ultimate Big Boss.
But what about him (yea, how come he got to do that, NOT me!)? This is what Jesus said, in John 21:21-22 – “21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to …, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
In all, God is refining us, intending that we grow in fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23); and in all, God is working them for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Of course, I am far from being arrived in this matter; I am working on it, and so, must all of us.