Labors! by Carl Hanson

Today (Monday, September 2) is marked on our United States calendars as “Labor Day”. Also celebrated by our Canadian neighbors to the north, this holiday always falls on the first Monday of September. Though initially established for the purpose of honoring the WORKFORCE, for some it has become a day to get some extra work done around the house or yard, while for others it merely provides a long weekend to just get away and relax.

What would this world be if there were no WORKFORCE? Though the WORKFORCE is associated with a variety of occupations, some may be seen as more significant than others even when the level of pay may not seem to say so. There is significant work done for little pay (i.e. providing care for the young and the elderly) while high salaries are paid for work that may not be so significant (i.e. professional athletes). There are those in society who have found the salary matters not when they understand the benefit their works provide. In that they find great satisfaction and their labors are a joy to carry out.

In view of all the things people stress over and get caught up in — including over-focusing on the physical while missing the significance of the spiritual — Jesus exhorted. . .

“(27) Do not WORK for the food that perishes, but FOR THE FOOD THAT ENDURES TO ETERNAL LIFE, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:27 ESV)

We know the body needs food to be sustained and the Lord noted that as well. (note Matthew 6:11 & 31-32) However, many were following Him because He had fed them, rather than because they were acknowledging Him as the Messiah. Though feeding hungry folk is a significant thing, the nourishing of the soul is an even more significant work.

In his letter to the church at Corinth Paul wrote. . .

“(58) Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. ALWAYS GIVE YOURSELVES FULLY TO THE WORK OF THE LORD, because you know that YOUR LABOR IN THE LORD IS NOT IN VAIN.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

Regardless of the occupation we may prepare for and take on to support ourselves and our families, there is LABOR IN THE LORD on many levels for all of us to do. In doing so, we become a worker with God! (2 Corinthians 6:1) I submit to you there is no grander WORKFORCE than that!

Have a great day HONORABLY INVOLVED IN THE LORD’S WORK! – Carl

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“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

Some previous “teEn-MAIL” focuses may be viewed at http://www.teenmailbiblestudy.org

#1-corinthians-15, #eternal-life, #labor-day, #spiritual-food, #workers

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #16

(#16) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

6:6-11: (2) Don’t Be Lazy!

Verses 6-8: After pointing out the danger of being too hasty in co-signing and participating in agreements without proper thoughtfulness, Solomon now turns to those who make no plans at all! “Sluggard” is the term for a person who moves like a “slug,” or shell-less snail. This is not meant to be complimentary! The “sluggard” doesn’t like to move, so the verse urges “go to” and “consider” the “ant.” This parallel is instructive to anyone who will put out effort to learn it. The “ant” is a very small, but effective teacher of God’s Wisdom, which is seen in the Creation (Proverbs 3:19-20). The ant colony has no “captain” (leader), “Overseer” (superintendent), or “ruler” (authority figure). Who has given ants such knowledge, but God? Ants are industrious, organized, adventurous, and efficient. Ants show that an organized society is possible as long as its’ members follow God’s Wisdom. Ants are orderly and opportunistic, because they take advantage of the seasons, gaining “supplies” in the summertime when plentiful, and “gathering food” in “harvest” when ready.

Verses 9-10: “How long” is a question that puts emphasis upon ending the practice, in this case, of sleeping. “When” puts emphasis upon a time limit of “sleeping.” The point is, that sluggards must make a choice to end their slothfulness. The lazy person’s response to these questions is to plan more of what is already being done: “sleep,” “slumber,” “folding of the hands to sleep.” A lazy person takes “little” steps, and thereby feels no twinge of conscience at being lazy. The sluggard rationalizes him/herself into further laziness, which is a by-product of being lazy!

Verse 11: Laziness overcomes a person subtlety, as a “prowler,” and creates “need” (steals) like “an armed man” (robber). Laziness robs one of opportunity, passion, determination, progress, individual strength, and family. God worked six days in creating the world and then rested (Genesis 2:1-2); God ordered Israelites to work six days and then rest (Exodus 20:9-11); the Apostle Paul worked to support himself so that the Thessalonians would not be burdened (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9). Then Paul said: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God’s solution in exterminating “sluggards” is to let them starve to death! Every society whose “takers” outnumbers and outvotes the “earners” is doomed to crumble. Politicians who cater to “sluggards” and penalize the “workers” are in direct contradiction to the Wisdom of God. “Go to the ants” and see what we once were and could be again.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #earners, #lazy, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #sleep, #slothfulness, #sluggard, #slumber, #takers, #wisdom, #work, #workers

Did you know that Biotech workers are the…

Did you know that Biotech workers are the most satisfied employees in America? That was the finding from a Career Bliss survey of 200,000 employee reviews from 70,000 jobs all over the country. Biotech is the application of technology to medicine, agriculture and biology. You may be surprised that customer service, school teachers and secretaries were among the top ten. One theme runs through the highest ranking employment: jobs where the worker serves and helps others. Maybe this is part of what Jesus taught long ago: if you would be first, then become a servant. This is Just-A-Minute

#happiness, #just-a-minute, #satisfied, #workers

What is the secret of a good family life?

Today’s nudge is, what is the secret to having a good family life? From my experience, the old saying is true: “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Having God and His church as the central focal point of the family is the key to a good and happy family life. It first starts with the parents. If both parents are focused on God and share the same goal of getting themselves, their mate, and their family to heaven, then they are working as a team. The selfish ambitions that arise in many marital relationships simply do not happen in this environment.

From there, the parents need to be actively involved in the work of the church and involve the children at an early age. Working for the church should be second nature to breathing for the parents, and the children should be taught accordingly — to be workers and not lazy. Any task the child can help with should be given as early as he is able to do so. E.g., helping prepare food for others, sorting clothing to give to the poor, grading Bible correspondence courses, straightening books in the pews, helping prepare communion trays, etc. Anything. What this results in is the family becoming a team, a well oiled machine, so to speak, that works together for the Lord. Children are taught to think about others, rather than themselves and learn that true satisfaction and happiness comes from giving, rather than receiving.

#family, #family-life, #happiness, #workers

What stands out about our congregation?

I think one of the biggest things that stands out about our congregation is the percentage of workers. I’ve heard it said, and even seen in some places, that 10% of the people do 90% of the work. Not so in Purcellville. We certainly have some who are not actively engaged, but a very large percentage of the congregation is busy working on something and are willing to work when called upon. For example, we have so many ladies who want to teach, that we’ve started rotating teachers in and out of the children’s classrooms. Yet we only have about 38 or so adults in the congregation.

#congregation, #work, #workers