Work as Worship

While I was in Youth With a Mission (YWAM), we would often hold several all-hands-on-deck Saturday morning workdays each year.  It was a time to deep clean, paint the facilities, and provide concentrated help on yard or maintenance projects.  During my time in Kona, we often had a guest from Indiana Wesleyan University speak at the base, Dr. Glenn Martin.  He was a tremendous teacher who shaped our thinking on living with a biblical worldview.  One of the things that he taught us was “work as worship”.  Shortly thereafter, our Saturday workdays became known as “worship days”!

There are two things I want to highlight here.  First, God is the one who initiated work.  He works.  He created the universe (Genesis 1 and 2) and He continues to advance His Kingdom.  God’s work is an overflow of who He is and what He does.  Some view work as a consequence of sin, believing that if it wasn’t for Adam and Eve’s choices, we’d still be relaxing in a beautiful garden eating fruit to our heart’s content!  Not so.  God assigned Adam to work and tend the garden well before the ‘snake in the grass—sin in the hand—removal from the garden” scene ever happened (Genesis 2:5-16).

Second, all of our work is to be done unto the Lord.  Regardless of who is watching, we are ultimately working for His pleasure and glory.  We should be offering our full effort to whatever we have in front of us to do: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).  Every expression of work we do—dishes after dinner, merging two companies, calling plays in the huddle on a football field, designing a new home or website, baking a pie for the widow next door, tending a contusion on a horse’s hind quarters—can be done as worship “unto the Lord,” and for His glory.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Lastly, our call and vocation is not ultimately to something but to someone—the Lord Jesus.  We adopt His character, ways, and mission, as revealed in the Scriptures, as our sole standard and uncompromising point of reference.  As His disciples, we want to do nothing that ever diminishes His character in someone’s eyes, taints the goodness of His ways, or misrepresents His mission to a watching world.

Reflection Points

1.     How can you reflect the character and ways of God with your work?  Your job?  Your working relationships?

2.     How can doing your work “as unto the Lord Jesus Himself” change your attitude this week?