September 14, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on May 13, 2014.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Meaning of Work”

Titus 2:9-10

“Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, [10] and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” 

“What is the chief end of man?  To glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

~ paraphrased from the Westminster Shorter Catechism

When it comes to the workplace, every believer has two jobs:  One is to do the work for which we were hired by our human bosses; and the other is to fulfill the purpose for which we were created and placed on this earth by our eternal master, God himself.  Of the two, which would you say is more important?

Though both are important, there is a hierarchy.  The most important is to fulfill our main purpose for existing – to glorify God, yet being good and faithful workers is also important because it helps us achieve our higher purpose.  As Paul notes above, when believers are good employees, they make God look good (i.e., bring him glory).

To open someone’s heart to the gospel is never an easy task; all the harder when that person is in a position above us.  With co-workers, there is the similar challenge that one has with family – those who see us at work every day see us at both our best and worst – but with our bosses, there is the added obstacle of being at different levels socially.

Yet in our passage for today, slaves are encouraged to have the vision that they could make the gospel attractive to their masters.  By their work ethic, respectful attitudes and integrity, they could have the power to influence those above them, even seeing their masters become attracted to the message of the gospel.  Do we have that kind of vision today?  Or have we written off our bosses, removed them from the list of people we thought we could influence for Christ?

Also, glorifying God in our work contexts is not just limited to how faithfully we do our work.  Sometimes we glorify God most by the joy that we have in him.  What kind of person are we at work?  Always cranky, tired, or complaining?  Or full of joy and purpose?  When others see us, is there a brightness in our spirits that attracts them?  Or would they come to the conclusion that the love of God in a person’s life doesn’t seem to be doing all that much for them?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, let me experience more of Your love this day, that I might be filled with the joy of knowing You.  May my glorifying You not be a chore but a natural outflow of all I receive from You.  May I make You attractive today not just by my attitude at work, but also by my attitude towards life.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:2 Chronicles 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Ecclesiastes 3:9-14:What do workers gain from their toil? [10] I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. [11] He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. [12] I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. [13] That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. [14] I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does verse 13 answer the question raised in verse 9?  What do people get out of work?
  2. In addition to work, what is the other main topic of this passage (vv. 11, 14)?  Why do you think the writer discusses these two subjects together (v. 12)?
  3. Are you happy and enjoying your work?  Are you able to see your work in light of an eternal perspective?

Notes

  1. In addition to daily provision, there is the satisfaction of a job well done.  This is God’s design in giving us work, and the satisfaction we get out of work is a gift from him.
  2. The topics of eternity and the work we do in our lifetimes are juxtaposed to give us a sense of perspective.  Temporary things, like our work, can be beautiful in the time they exist (v. 11) and therefore do have value, but there is more to our existence than just this lifetime.
  3. It is good to enjoy our work, and if we are not enjoying it right now, we can ask God for this gift of satisfaction.  At the same time, we cannot take our work too seriously, or let it become more important than the kind of work God does that lasts forever.

Evening Reflection

Did I have a good day at work today?  Was I able to find satisfaction and joy in a job well done?  Did I glorify God today?  Was my attitude towards work or life attractive to others today?

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