Christianity 201

January 10, 2016

The Don’t Commandment That Has a Do

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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The Decalogue in Exodus 20 is often referred to as the “Thou Shalt Nots.” There is of course the command to honor father and mother, which is the “command with a promise” but there is also the very long-worded command about Sabbath which takes up 4 verses.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (NIV)

(It is second only to the command about “graven images” which takes up 3 verses.)

This command however actually has a “do” among the “don’ts.”  Six days you may work and do all your tasks. (CEB).

Our friends Stephen and Brooksyne picked up this theme last week at Daily Encouragement

Today let us consider the positive element in this commandment which is found in the phrase, “do all your work”.  From the very beginning God has ordained work in some form as Adam and Eve were called to subdue and rule. Do you see your work as a blessing or a curse?

A common attitude among many in the work force is to view labor as a curse. Mondays are dreaded by many and a popular phrase for the end of the week is “TGIF” (Thank God It’s Friday) which typically is not a reverent expression of gratitude to God, who made every day for us to rejoice.

What should our attitude be toward work?  God wants us to view work as a blessing and respond accordingly. We are to live in His presence and glorify Him at all times, including our time at work.

The apostle Paul expresses this perspective in Colossians 3:23:

“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.”

David C. McCasland writes, “We may feel that work is secular, but view leading a Bible study as spiritual. The Bible draws no such distinction, however. When we honor God and help people, then our work and ministry blend together in pleasing service to the Lord.”

Today we urge you to begin this year with an earnest thankfulness for your job and a recognition of this provision that comes indirectly from God. Daily work done for God takes on eternal value while it also builds character and provides a good role model for others to follow.

Daily prayer: Father, help us to labor wholeheartedly according to Your command. We want to bless You with a grateful attitude and bless our workplace in regard to our productivity and loyalty. We thank You for our daily provision and blessing that comes through the work of our hands. We also thank You for our employers who help to meet our monetary needs. We pray for those who are presently seeking employment that You will provide a place of gainful employment. But until that financial door opens we pray that You will provide through unexpected means and the generosity of others. As You bless us through the work of our hands we in turn bless You by faithfully giving back a generous portion to finance Your kingdom through the local church, Christian ministries, and other worthy endeavors and needy individuals. Grant us the desire to live with less so that others can have more. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.