By Stephen Leonard

“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

My wife and I received a call from my sister, who was watching my 98 year old father while we were away for the weekend. His cold had proceeded into pneumonia, and now my sister said his breathing was getting more difficult. She said she thought we needed to get home as soon as possible. We raced for home from five hours away. We arrived in time for my father’s last four hours with us. 

As my wife and I stood by his head as he lay in his bed, my wife asked him what he was going to do when he got to heaven. Dad was as clear as a bell up to his last breath. He answered with one word, because of his labored breathing. His answer was, “Work!” 

You may find his answer to be strange, but he was right on target. All his life, my father loved to work, whether it was building something, he built several homes for his family to live in, plus several churches for his congregations, or working very diligently to prepare a sermon or Bible Study. He loved to work with his hands or his brain, but he was limited in working in a nursing care center, being in a wheelchair for the last few years of his life. In heaven, he could get back to working under more pleasant circumstances.

We were made to work by our Creator. He put Adam to work immediately, cultivating the Garden of Eden. God was a worker, and we are made in his image. There is no doubt we will work in heaven, only without thorns and thistles and maybe Murphy’s Law. But our work will be fulfilling, and we will be most satisfied by it!

So Labor Day should be a day of celebration as we contemplate our working to the glory of God. All that we do is intended to be done with thanksgiving unto His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

Your work should not be drudgery. It is a matter of your mind and spirit. If you see your primary rewarder and the one you want to please most as your Father in heaven, then what you do unto Him will be done with great joy. Such a mindset makes all the difference in the world. 

May your Labor Day, chiefly a day with your family and friends of rest and relaxation, be a reminder that work done to God’s glory is a pleasurable fulfillment of enjoying Him forever. Remember to make this your chief thought on that day, but also throughout the next year!


“Go labor on: spend and be spent, your joy to do the Father’s will; it is the way the Master went, should not the servant tread it still?”

(1st verse of Horatio Bonar’s hymn, “Go, Labor On,” 1843)

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