Yesterday in this nation we celebrated Labor Day with what zpeople appreciate most, a day off of work! Labor Day was instituted and became an official holiday to honor the value of the labor that the workers of this nation create on a daily basis. It did not come just because it was a good idea. There was much resistance to the unfair labor laws which had people working 12 hour days, six days a week under unsafe working conditions; not to also include the many children, some as young as five years old who worked those same hours, in those same conditions for pennies a day. The Industrial Revolution brought much wealth to this nation in the late nineteenth century, but it was not reflected in the paychecks of the workers. It took marches, pickets, strikes, and other protests with risking their very lives for the proper attention to be given to the conditions of the working class in this country. Finally, it was acknowledged to the degree that President Grover Cleveland instituted Labor Day as an official holiday on June 28, 1894 -but it took many, many more years for labor conditions to change to even where they are today, and sadly some workers still labor under less than satisfactory conditions.
God approves of work. In the Garden of Eden one of the first things that God did was:
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15 (KJV)
After God made man, He gave him work to do. Work is honorable and pleasing to God and rewarding to man. So it is no wonder that it is one of the main themes of the Bible. In the New Testament we read these encouraging words:
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose]. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (AMP)
Here we see the essence of God’s desire for HIs children – to be diligent, consistent, and excellent in all that we do- doing what is our best and then even more than that, with the assurance that what we do and all that we do is not without purpose, nor it is not without reward.
We have a God who longs to bless us and walk in blessings. Yes, it might constitute effort on our part, but God’s part is so much bigger and so much greater –
Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. Romans 11:33 (MSG)