Make it your ambition to ... work with your hands, just as we told you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Christians in Thessalonica and in our world today need to understand the value of work. Our Lord holds us accountable to support ourselves and our families, to earn our own living. Paul isn't telling us that we ought to be driven by our work. In fact he's not really making a statement at all about work attitudes beyond simply telling us that God created us to take responsibility for our own welfare in this world -- to earn our own way.
Some big questions remain: In modern society, do we make it possible for everyone to earn his or her own way in life? How do we best provide every human being the dignity of a job? What are we prepared to do to provide for those who can't work or can't find work?
Paul worked in Thessalonica, probably making tents, to earn his own way. Jesus learned the carpenter's trade, and then He left that work to carry another piece of wood -- the cross -- to Calvary for us. He dignified our lives by granting us forgiveness and eternal life. He asks us to dignify everyone's life by providing the opportunity for all to work.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thanks for Your work that gave us our salvation. Bless us in our daily work. Use us to provide the dignity of work for everyone. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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