By Stephen Leonard
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
Is working what you do to be able to retire well? To provide for you and your family? Is this your sole motivation for work? Many do not see their work as a reflection of who they are in Christ. They do not see their work as a joy, something done as thanksgiving to God; working in a specific manner to show who the Lord of their life truly is.
Genesis tells you that due to sin in the world and especially sin in you, that your work will be beset with “thorns and thistles,” and with “the sweat of your face” your work will be accomplished. It sounds ominous that work will be so difficult and troublesome for Adam, and, therefore, for all sons and daughters of Adam.
So, how can you say that your work is a joy? Simply because of the “proto-evangelium,” the first promise after the Fall, that a Seed will arise that will crush the enemy Satan’s head, even Jesus, the Son of God (Genesis 3:15). And, that as our text says, you should do all your thorny and sweat producing work in His name and in thanksgiving to God; consequently, transforming your work into joy, rather than drudgery; an offering to God, rather than to yourself; the produce of your own hands.
Labor Day ought to be a holiday signifying your labor is a gift to God, through your thanksgiving offered to Him for creating you to do it. How you do your work is the way you transform the result of the Fall; you actually redeem your work for God by doing it well for His glory. Satan shall not have the triumph! Rather the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will have the victory.
Labor Day is truly for Christians a Christian holiday, because Easter transformed your labor into a gift of thanksgiving to God through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus rose, so do you, and your life is made a sweet savor of salvation in the transformed person you become and in the work you do.
As you celebrate this holiday look at your work as something you offer to God as thanksgiving for what Jesus Christ has done for you. Whatever you do, do it unto Him. And rejoice that the work of your hands pleases Him, as you offer it up to Him.
“Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me; the changes that are sure to come, I do not fear to see: I ask thee for a present mind, intent on pleasing thee.”
(1st verse of Anna Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)