May 19, 2010

Passionate Work

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 19, 2010

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:8-9

Work loses its luster when it becomes a 24 hours a day, seven days a week focus. Passion flies out the window of work when it consumes my thinking, with no break to refresh. Labor is laborious without a Sabbath to see how God’s calling is much greater than a career. If money is my motivation there is no rest, but Christ’s call brings contentment.

How can passion and enthusiasm sustain us to serve at work? It’s when the joy of the Lord is our strength that we work with unrelenting focus and follow through. Joy comes from doing our job for Jesus. Then we love what we do, and we do what we love. His calling causes us to rise above our daily frustrations and focus on His faithfulness.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-25).

Do you see your work as a part of the Lord’s greater calling on your life? Do you take time weekly to refresh and remember how He has used you in the marketplace and at home to be a mirror of His character? Passion is a product of a perspective that rises above transactional results to relational investments. People at work and family at home are not a means to an end; they are individuals who need the grace and love of God.

Indeed, productivity flows out of a passionate love for people—but it happens as you view work as an opportunity to reflect Christ in your contacts and in your contracts. Perhaps it starts by not working on the Sabbath. Give yourself and your team permission to recharge and reflect on the Lord’s greater purposes. Celebration of Christ’s calling is reason enough to rest your mind, body and emotions, so that the other six days are fulfilling.

A weekly 24-hour fast from our phone and computer contributes to passion at work. Instead of being drained with the dread of what needs to get done, we turn off man’s machines and trust the Lord to take care of business in His timing. Passionate work is a product of a peace that comes from being with Christ daily and weekly in Sabbath rest.

“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

What do I need to trust the Lord with, so I can truly rest on the Sabbath? Is my passion for work sustained by my Savior Jesus’ greater call on my life?

Related Readings: Genesis 3:17-19; Deuteronomy 28:46-48; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 4:1-11

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