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God Is a Worker

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1993), pp. 346-347

God is a worker! Perhaps you've never thought of Him that way. But that's how He first appears in Scripture. In the creation account (Gen. 1-2) He wears no end of occupational hats: strategic planner, designer, civil engineer, real estate developer, project manager, artist, and many more. Using these skills, He created something that was "very good" (1:31). How good? As good as God! No wonder the creation is said to "glorify," or praise God. His work is worth honoring, and it honors Him. (See Is. 43:7; 60:21.)

Furthermore, God continues to work (John 5:17), maintaining the creation and providing for His creatures. He also carries out the work of salvation. And He uses people to help Him accomplish these tasks. Think what that means:

1. Work itself is inherently good. God didn't mind "getting His hands dirty," so to speak, in creating the universe. Genesis says He "worked" to bring it into existence (2:2). But that means work must be good in and of itself, since by definition, God can only do what is good. It also means work reflects the activity of God. The engineer who designs a bridge, the zoologist who studies animals, and the farmer who raises crops all carry out jobs that God did at the beginning of the world.

2. Your work is important; it matters. The work that God gives you has dignity to it. In fact, God created you "in His image" (Gen. 1:26-27). Just as He works, so He has created you to work. Genesis even says that God has placed human beings in authority over the creation as His managers. As you use the abilities He's given you, you can be a partner, a coworker with Him to carry out His work.For example, God can use: the nurse to meet the health needs of patients; the grocer to distribute food to customers; the researcher to provide accurate information; the lawyer to promote justice for clients; the career homemaker to nurture growing children. God values these kinds of jobs because they help to carry out His purposes in the world. These things matter to Him.

3. There's no such thing as "secular" or "sacred" work. God certainly uses ministers and missionaries to meet spiritual and personal needs around the world. But they are not the only people doing "God's work." God is just as interested in the physical, emotional, intellectual, and other needs that people have. He also cares about the management of the earth itself. It takes all kinds of skills, and all kinds of people, to do what God wants done in the world.

4. You should do your work in a way that honors God. Your work has dignity; you're created in God's image as a worker; you're a coworker with God; you have God-given abilities to carry out important tasks that He wants done. All of this says that what you do for work and how you do it should bring glory to God. He should be pleased with it&md;and with you as you do it.