Work

Art:

This Ink with Pen and Brush is from a photo taken on our trip to Historic Williamsburg, VA in October 2006.  It’s one of dozens I took of various structures in the village.  Many, like this one, represent ‘cottage industries’ typical of early American culture.

I chose it because it represented a ‘cottage industry’. I don’t recall what ‘industry’ was involved.  It required a separate large structure in which a fire was kept at a high temperature.   I chose it to represent our Thought—Work.   

Thought:

A FRIEND OF MINE, in business for himself and with several employees, once asked me: “Jim, when does a person stop looking for work?”  Before I could answer he responded. “When he gets a job!” You may have to think about that for a moment.  I’ll give you this hint…lazy.

EVER WONDER where this whole idea of ‘work’ started in the first place?  Some think ‘work’ is some kind of curse that came as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. Not so.  Work actually predates their ‘fall’ and has a wonderful eternal purpose for our lives.  It begins now and continues into Eternal Heaven.

Work in Heaven?

[1]“THE IDEA OF WORKING in Heaven is foreign to many people.  Yet Scripture clearly teaches it.  When God created Adam, he “took the man and put him [first couple] in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).  Work was part of the original Eden.  It was part of a perfect human life on Earth. Work wasn’t part of the Curse.  The Curse, rather, made work menial, tedious and frustrating: “Cursed is the ground because of you, through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17-19).

“HOWEVER, ON THE New Earth [Eternal Heaven], work will be redeemed and transferred into what God intended: No longer will there be any curse.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:3).  Serve is a verb.  Servants are people who are active and occupied, carrying out tasks.

GOD HIMSELF is a Worker

He didn’t create the world and then retire.  Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17).  Jesus found great satisfaction in his work.  “My food, Jesus said, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34). We’ll all have work to do, satisfying and enriching work that we can’t wait to get back to, work that’ll never be drudgery.  God is the primary worker, and as his image-bearers, we’re made to work.  We create, accomplish, set goals and fulfill them -to God’s glory. Consider Christ’s activities: working in a carpenter shop, walking the countryside, healing, fishing, sailing, meeting people, talking, teaching, eating—doing his life’s work.  Even after his resurrection he moved from place to place, connecting with his disciples and continuing his work. (A preview of life after our resurrection).”

[2]“ON THE NEW EARTH, God will give us renewed minds and marvelously constructed bodies.  We’ll be whole people full of energy and vision.  James C. Campbell says, “the work on the other side, whatever be its character, will be adapted to one’s special aptitude and powers.  It will be the work he [or she] can do best; the work that will give the fullest play to all that is within him [or her].

“EVEN UNDER THE Curse, we catch glimpses of how work can be enriching, how it can build relationships, and how it can help us to improve. Work stretches us in ways that make us smarter, wiser, and more fulfilled.  The God who created us to do good works (For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10) will not cancel this purpose when he resurrects us to inhabit the new universe.  The Bible’s picture of resurrected people at work in a vibrant society on a resurrected Earth couldn’t be more compelling.  We’re told that we will serve God in Heaven (Revelation 7:15; 22:3).”

WHATEVER you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.                                        Colossians 3:23, 24


[1] HEAVEN, by Randy Alcorn, 2004, page 319

[2] HEAVEN, by Randy Alcorn, 2006,  395-396

2 thoughts on “Work

  1. I’ve always hoped the Lord would let me be a symphony conductor in heaven since He gave me so little musical talent down here.

    Like

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