Our work is to be for a purpose! Our work is to be for our good! Our work is to be fulfilling! Does your work really matter to God?
Today’s Reading starts with chapter 1 of Genesis which speaks to the beginning and original plan…
1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.6And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.9And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.11And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.14And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.20And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.28And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.–from Genesis 1
Look at the purpose behind the work God did! God creating something out of nothing! He set the world in place so that we would then be able to take that something and make something out of that! We were created in God’s image which means we would have similar desires as we would have the creative passion like Him! God calls us to not just live, but to thrive – put another way – Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over it. God has positioned everything so that we will have provision in our lives. And God’s plan is good. God’s creation took 6 days and on the 7th day He rested.
So what will we do with this creative desire? How will we find fulfillment in our work lives? How will we use it to glorify God? It’s not just another day! It’s not just for a paycheck, even though that part is important! It’s about perspective to move forward! It’s about purpose in how we live, what we say, how we interact with others, how we shine the love of Jesus to the world around us. This is because we are relational! We weren’t created to go it alone! We need to live life in relationship with God first and with people second! When we consider God, we see three people: Father, Son, Holy Spirit! We see how they are connected, they are one, they are in unison, and each one is purposeful and relational! So how are we being relational? At home? At work? At church? With family? With friends? With co-workers? With neighbors? With the people that you meet when your walking down the street? With the people you pass in your car? With the people you see at the store or in the mall or …?
God’s Word speaks to one another right? That’s because we aren’t supposed to go it alone! With one another we can find fulfillment! We can serve one another! We can use our unique gifts and talents provided to us by God! With one another we can find success! With one another we can flourish! With one another we can find happiness! Joy comes from the Lord! Happiness is a choice!
Ever had someone ask you what would you do if you won a million dollars? or the lottery or something like that? I can remember telling people that I would probably be doing what I am doing and the only change would be when I decided I was going to take vacation.
Today’s reading continues with the following text from Genesis 2
15The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
–from Genesis 2
We have been put here for a reason, for a purpose!
Today’s devotional speaks into fulfillment in work like this talking about our job description. We saw above that the job description was to work it and keep it in regards to the garden of Eden. What’s your job description?…
Your Job Description
We often consider our job as a means to a paycheck – a way to fund our leisure activities and pay the bills. However, God intended more than mere survival for his people. He created mankind to grow and cultivate the earth so that it may prosper and glorify him. He desires flourishing for all of creation. We learn this in Genesis 2: “The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Work is not a curse but a gift from God before the Fall. God created us to be stewards of his creation through our work. There is great dignity in knowing that we are made specifically with a purpose in creation.
In Genesis 1:28, God gives Adam and Eve their job description, the cultural mandate. He commands them to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth with his images, and subdue it. This mandate wasn’t just meant for Adam and Eve; it was meant for all humanity. The cultural mandate gives us purpose in our vocations. It instills significance in our work. Understanding our biblical job description is the first step to finding fulfillment in our work.
We need to realize, embrace, and pursue the fact that work isn’t a curse, it’s a gift from God! And as with any gift, we need to be a good steward with what we have been given! We weren’t accidents! We were created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose! Even if our parents didn’t know we were coming, God did! He wasn’t surprised! He was setting His plan in motion and wanting you to play an integral part!
So what’s our job description? What’s our mandate for living? We each have different skills, talents, training, degrees, but God has a plan and purpose for each us so that we can find fulfillment in our work! The best way to find fulfillment is to take a hold of God’s job description rather than the one you read when you applied for the job!
Let’s take a hold of God’s job description from Genesis 1 and live fulfilled lives for the glory of God!
28And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
–from Genesis 1