LEGACYouth: Savor the Labor

Sunday Messages Notes - September 4, 2016

Well, guys, tomorrow is the first Monday of September and you know what that means...

A time when white clothes go out, sales come in, summer holidays are over, and classes begin (at least for our west coast friends ;) For most, it’s a welcome day off of work or school, ahead of what is likely to be a busier month than the last.

Yet, while we recognize Labor Day as an annual holiday courtesy of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, for many it's still a mystery why we celebrate it.

Let's see if we figure anything out from these clips...

So based on these clips (and a little side research), we celebrate Labor Day to honor those who strove for fair compensation, safe working conditions, a valued labor force protected from exploitation...and the weekend.

But perhaps you're still , 'How does this apply to me as a Christian?'

For starters, I submit we honor Labor Day similarly to how we honor the Sabbath - esteeming the fact God has blessed us both with work and with rest.

You see...during the core of the Industrial period in our nation's history, work was strongly emphasized to a fault as there wasn't a fair system of checks and balances in play. But eventually, there was an uprising from those who understood work as being better executed with boundaries/strategic rest in play.

So when I think about how this pertains to us as believers, I can't help but consider these verses... And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation~ Gen. 2:2-3

Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. ~ Psalm 74:12

You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. ~  Psalm 77:14

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.Psalm 90:17

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters… Col. 3:23

Note when we survey the common denominators of these passages, we find...

  • Work and rest are both best understood as God-established institutions (as evident in Creation) operating in tandem with each other.
  • Honest hard work is something God seeks from all of us.
  • God's Word tells us that working hard, with faith and rest in mind, can lead to the great things he has planned for us.
Perhaps you think this doesn't apply to you because you're young...

But I encourage you: as students...

1) Don't underestimate the call you have to expand your understanding. Rather than view learningas a necessary evil, dare to view study as work and rest unto the Lord (knowing you can discover more of him through both).

2) Dare to be a laborer of Christ.

What is a laborer of Christ?

It's being an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) who not only pursues understanding...but seeks to make that understanding known to the world (see Great Commission), who applies balances and boundaries to work and rest, all the while seeking God's approval above anyone else's.

So again, when it comes to why we celebrate Labor Day and how we're to perceive it as believers, know we're not just celebrating a day off from school/work, but also the opportunity we have to rejoice in what God has done, to partner in what he is doing, and to bless him through faithful effort in reaching people (i.e. tending the harvest).  

How awesome it is knowing we can savor the labor and help lead people to the God whose yoke is easy, whose burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

If you think about it, the opportunity to grow in study is a HUGE blessing from God.

2) Note: If the aim of your effort is rooted in self/other's approval, you won't find the satisfaction you crave (as the A+, the compliment becomes the reward in and of itself). After all, God has something special to those who pursue him with a pure heart and a steadfast spirit.  #levelup

Photo creds: http://www.hbcharlesjr.org

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