WORK, WEALTH & WORSHIP
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
I want us to think about three W’s today; Work, Wealth, and Worship. Does it seem to you that the prevailing cultural narrative is that poverty is more honorable than wealth? Are we to believe that if a person risks his time and treasure in a business and works hard enough to succeed that he deserves our scorn; but if he fails that he deserves our pity and a hand-out from the collective purse? This stuff is making me crazy!!
So what does the Bible say about it?
Prov. 10:4 – “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”
2 Thess. 3:6-10 (NLT) – “Now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. . . We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you . . . we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’"
Listen, our nation's economy was built on the Christian work ethic: HONEST WORK HONORS GOD!
I do have to agree that there is no such thing as a self-made man. We cannot and must not ever forget that whatever we accomplish in life would have been impossible without God's help. And since every good and perfect gift comes from His gracious hand, we should be thankful. But honest work is also part of God's provision. In the Garden of Eden, before Adam's fall into sin, when everything was created perfect for him to live and prosper, Adam was given work to do. It was part of God's blessing and Adam found fulfillment and pleasure in it. Part of what God gives us is the ability to produce wealth, and He reminds us in Deut. 8:18 not to forget it.
But we must also remember to "honor the Lord with our wealth." -- Prov. 21:3. Now I don't want you to think that you have to be working at the church to do things that are meaningful and God honoring. Our text clearly says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord . . ." If they are Christians, that should be the heart attitude of the CEO and the mail-room clerk, of the guy who drives a truck or the gal who cleans the office. Why? Because all Christians ultimately work for a boss named Jesus. And there is no mention of idleness or laziness in His job descriptions; His Word says: "Work at it with all your heart. . ." Let your work demonstrate your love for Christ. Let your attitude in the workplace reflect His compassion and grace. Serving and pleasing Him should be your highest goal. Friends, whatever job you do, try to see your work as the completion of your worship. I think that is what Paul was saying in Romans 12:1 when he wrote: "Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."
Honest work honors God . . . let's make that old motto the new American narrative!
--- Pastor Keith Andrews