Yesterday I spoke about determining the minister's salary. The theme was around working for a living. This is a good thing - read on for more details.
Today, I want to look at what we do after we've worked a full week. We call it rest but do we really understand the intent and purpose God has in both work and rest?
Modern society keeps adjusting the hours. I remember the norm was a 40-hour week, usually eight hours-a-day, five days-a-week. Sometimes we worked a half day on Saturday. Then nurses were offered four days of 10 hour shifts. First responders like fire, ambulance, police etc., worked extended hours with periods of being off for a week at a time. Now consultants set their own hours. Don't get me started on e-mail, BlackBerry's etc. All these changes have blurred our appreciation of work and rest.
We need to understand God's purpose for work to properly understand His purpose for rest.
Work is a privilege that affords us pride in doing something well. We get the opportunity to use our time and talents to honour God and serve people. Understanding the value and merits of work will enable us to appreciate rest more clearly.
Rest is not about leisure or creating a diversion from work. The old saying "TGIF" or "Thank God It's Friday" was used alot when I was growing up. It usually meant a complete diversion from the so called grind of working. Most of us lived for the weekend and couldn't wait for Friday. Looking back we missed the balance of work and rest as God intended.
Believers are never to see work as a chore or a grind. What we do, we do unto the Lord, whether it is work or rest.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF REST?
God's intention for rest, is a time set aside to think about and evaluate our work. Who am I really working for? Why do I do this kind of work? How well did I do my work this week? What was it really worth?
Rest allows us to recalibrate our work ethic and spiritual values. All week they get challenged and ridiculed by those who cannot understand or appreciate work from God's perspective and we need time to do some course correcting.
Rest gives us the time we need for honest reflection.
Rest affords us time to process our life mission or purpose. Is this what I am called to do? Do I want to do this the rest of my life? Is it time for a change? What contribution am I making to others? What is my attitude towards what I do each day for pay?
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
In the New Testament, the first day of the week is Sunday. It is a time to gather together with other believers for corporate worship, prayer, communion, teaching, giving and fellowship. It is meant to set the tone for how the next six days will go.
After our work week, the time spent with other believers in the 'House of God' is refreshing and allows us to realign our life to why we do what we do.
Bringing our tithe into the storehouse brings greater meaning to what I am doing for a living. I present my offering in thanksgiving for the privilege of work, the satisfaction of doing a good job and then I prepare myself to serve the Lord again through my place of employment.
Work and rest are gifts from God to be enjoyed.
Let us remember the words of Jesus when He said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27