Wednesday, September 15, 2010


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ecclesiastes 9:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Though we may equate work with the fall, it pre-existed sin's entrance into Eden. God gave Adam the work of tending the garden before he and Eve sinned. And despite what the writer of Ecclesiastes says about the cessation of work after death, Jesus' remarks to His disciples about them ruling and reigning with Him when He establishes the Kingdom of Heaven, suggest that work may continue past the grave.

Work [1. Continued exertion or activity, whether physical or mental directed to some purpose or end; labour. 2. The acts, obligation etc. that one does in return for something of value, as money. 3. Any prolonged or industrious effort.] is part of life, whether we enjoy it or not. It shapes our days, gives us a reason to get up in the morning and sends us to bed tired at night.

In our focus verse, Solomon touches on a couple of aspects of work that can make it more enjoyable and us more productive.

"Whatever your hand finds to do..." suggests that all work may not be equally attractive. Sometimes we are required to just do the next thing, whether we feel like it or not — to tackle the odious task at hand.

" it with all your might..." addresses the way we accomplish our work. Doing a job with all our might implies working with focus, energy, physical strength, skill and imagination.

"...for there is no work... in the grave where you are going" tells us that work is not all there is. Of course the principle of the Sabbath, refraining from work one day in seven and spending it in rest and worship, runs through the Bible. If you are near or at retirement age, you will be facing the fact that the number of years that society considers you productive, is limited. So, Solomon says, work hard now, while you still have the ability.

I ask myself, do I:
- Tackle all the things I need to do, even the ones that are hard, boring, unpleasant and scary — the tasks I'd rather avoid?
- Work with focus, giving each job my best?
- Work with the knowledge that my earthly workdays are numbered?

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the right attitude about work. Help me to do everything as if You were my boss and supervisor — because You are. Amen.

MORE: Work-related

In this day of electronic bombardment, it's easy to get distracted from the job at hand. Michael Hyatt (CEO of Nelson Publishing) often addresses issues of productivity on his blog. He begins a recent post about lists:

"My to-do list is at the center of my personal workflow. Like you, I am bombarded with scores—sometimes hundreds—of requests every day. They show up in my inbox, on the phone, and at my door. All of them want action now. That’s why years ago, I learned the importance of creating a daily to-do list. It might sound simple, but I don’t know of a more important productivity tool."

Read all of "Your to-do list as a personal command center"

You might also enjoy "What to do when you hate your job."

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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