Everything we have talked about so far didn't happen after the fall, it happened before the fall. The work that God engaged His creation in, the command to subdue the earth, the idea of taking the provision that God has made and working with those elements, all of that comes before the fall, not after the fall. God is a worker and creator and because we are made in His image, we reflect His working nature. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzel, Skip shares how God created work to give you purpose and enrich your life. But before we begin, we want to tell you about a resource that encourages dads to turn the tide in our culture by standing for Jesus in their homes and communities.
Your gift to this teaching program has helped us grow and we want to do more in 2023. This month with your gift of $50 or more, you'll receive a download or DVD of a new critical issues video hosted by Skip, Where's Dad? The problems are clear, teen crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, abortion, and a host of others. The question is, where's dad? Where's the man of the household when their boys are making life decisions about their treatment of women, their worldview, and their morals?
Why are legions of energetic teens channeling their time towards self-destructive and socially destructive behavior? And where's dad to guide them, to correct them, to be in relationship with them? We realize that single parent families are not exclusively a male issue. Fathers who do not take responsibility for their children are the critical problem. Where's Dad? looks at the problem of missing fathers in the home, tells stories of people who have been impacted by this plague, and looks at the possibilities of reconciliation at any age or stage of life. Get your DVD or download of the full length video, Where's Dad? hosted by Skip Heitzig and featuring Josh McDowell. When you receive your copy of Where's Dad?
when you help us expand Skip's teaching with your donation of $50 or more, call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com to get your copy of Where's Dad? Okay, we're in Genesis chapter 1 today as we get into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. What does subdue mean? What does have dominion mean? Literally, and the Hebrew word is radah, to have dominion, it means to subjugate, to be master over. Literally, it means to enslave in a positive sense. To enslave, that is to capture, to discover its secrets, and to harness its potential.
That's the idea of having dominion over the years. This is God's mandate for scientific research. This is God's mandate for material progress. Master the environment that you have. Use the resources that are on the earth. Extract coal, oil, mineral wealth, plant life, and later on God will say, and animals for your sustenance.
And later on, Adam's descendants will build cities and raise livestock and make and play musical instruments and forge tools of bronze and iron. They'll do this. They'll subdue the earth. They'll have dominion over it. They will master the earth as they make discoveries and observations of what's around them and what's inside of the earth.
And it continues until now. Proverbs 25, verse 2. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the glory of kings to search out a matter. That is to make discoveries. To make discoveries.
Kings can finance the discoveries and the observation of the natural world and so expand upon it. So here's the big picture. The big picture is God wants us to reproduce and fill the earth and subdue it. That's part of being in God's image. And the opposite of that activity is either to be idle, so inactive, or to be destructive, not constructive, not creative. Either to be idle or to be destructive. And the first option, laziness, is never exonerated in Scripture. If you're a lazy person, and I'm not saying any of you are, but if you are, you can't read through the book of Proverbs unscathed.
Am I right? You get through the book of Proverbs pretty soon, you go, ooh! Right? Like this one. This is right out of the book of Proverbs. Go to the ant, you sluggard.
Consider her ways and be wise. I mean, it just gets right in the grill of a person who is idle or lazy and says, eh, don't do that. Be productive. So part of being a human, reaching our potential, is work.
Now, I want to just drill down on that a little bit. Because this is what I am not saying. I am not saying that if you're a child, or if you're a patient in a hospital, or if you're retired, that you're less human. Or that you're not going to reach your human potential.
I'm not saying that. But a child wants to grow up, not stay a child. And a person who's sick wants to get better, get well, and get out of the hospital. And a person who's retired is celebrating the fact that they've lived a whole life that was productive and now they can retire. And perhaps now they have time even not to stop working, but just to work in a different way by volunteering, by serving, by getting involved in helping other people.
Still being productive. One Christian denomination put out this statement. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguishes man from the rest of creatures.
So then work is a good thing for man, not only because through work he transforms nature to serve his needs, but because through it he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed in a sense becomes more human. So God has given us a position, his image. God has given us a commission to subdue the earth, have dominion over the earth.
Number three, third directive. God gave us a provision, a provision. Look at verse 29. God said, see, I always love it when God says, see, because I just picture God as pointing to something and say, hey, check this out. See that? Look at that.
Check this out. God said, see, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth. And every tree whose fruit yields seed, to you it shall be for food. Also to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, to everything that creeps on the earth in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food and it was so. Then God saw everything that he had made.
Indeed, it was very good. And so evening and morning were the sixth day. Now notice what God did not say. God did not say, see, I have given you prepackaged meals which will be delivered right to your doorstep at your address in the Garden of Eden.
This isn't some kind of angelic door dash system that he sets up. God says, see, I have given you the raw materials, the building blocks like seeds and other things for you to do something with. You still have to be busy and engaged in the process. Let's call this co-creation. Co-creation. God gives us provision. Still takes work. God gives you seed. You still got to plant the seed. The seed grows. You got to go into the field and get the harvest.
That takes work. You got to go pick the fruit that grows on the trees that God has provided. You got to cut up the herbs that God also provides in the earth. So in the New Testament when the disciples said to Jesus, Lord, teach us to pray. Jesus said, when you pray, here's a good model. Say, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. What's the next line? Give us this day our daily bread.
Okay. It's part of the prayer. A prayer for God to give us what we need daily. Give us this day our daily bread. Now how does God answer that prayer? Does He answer that prayer by you doing this? Give us this day our daily bread. I'm just going to wait here for that to happen. And we in our minds imagine the menu and we pray the menu. Lord, I'd like steak and potatoes, maybe a Krispy Kreme donut at the end.
Hot now would be really good. I just want to add that, throw that in. And I'm going to do it in Jesus' name, so I really want. Is that how He answers the prayer?
No. He answers the prayer by farmers caring for cows and raising vegetables. He answers the prayer by truckers transporting the food to grocery stores across the country. He answers the prayer by the store staffing it with people who stock the shelves and check out people who buy the food. He answers the prayer by restaurant owners who hire cooks and waiters and dishwashers. He answers the prayer by businesses that make plates and cutlery from designers who design it to manufacturers who work in the factories. So if you think about it, the home that you live in, the clothes that you wear, the food that you eat, the medical care that you enjoy, all of that is the result of people co-creating with God.
I've provided all that you need. Now go do something with it. Go plant that seed. Go harvest what grows, etc.
By the way, let's talk about God's provision. Do you know that scientists tell us that we live in a very unfriendly universe? An unfriendly universe. There are asteroids floating around up there at a very high speed. There are gases out there. All the planets that we know of have hostile environments on every planet. So if you think, man, I want to go to the moon.
No, you don't. Ever look at the surface of the moon? It's got pockmarks all over it. You know how it got those?
Things hitting it. We live in a hostile and unfriendly universe. And scientists have made this discovery that the earth is in what they call the Goldilocks zone. Isn't that a great term, the Goldilocks zone? Scientists refer to the Goldilocks zone as the Circumstellar Habitable Zone. Or it just happens that all of the right factors necessary for biological life as we know it take place in only one place that we know of. The earth. There is virtually no other place in the universe that has the habitable conditions that we know of.
Except the earth. Huh. I wonder how that happened.
Isn't that amazing that it just so happened? Now talk about provision. That in the entirety, okay there may be, and it's funny because there's always these shows out there like there may be life on this planet and people eat this stuff up and spend millions of dollars making shows with absolutely zero proof. None. Doesn't exist. But it's all around us.
Why? Because God has provided that. It's God's provision. So God has given us a position. He's given us a commission. He's given us his provision. Fourth, God has given us a vocation. A vocation. I want you to Skip ahead now to chapter 2.
I'm going to take you to one verse. After all this happened in chapter 2 verse 15 it says, Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden, watch this, to tend and to keep it. He gave him a job. He gave him a job. This is the first day on the job.
Adam, come here. Welcome to your new job. You're a gardener. You're to tend and to keep the gardener. So now in chapter 2 verse 15 we go from principle to practice. After declaring man's special status as being in God's image, after commissioning him to subdue the earth to have dominion over it, after promising to provide all that would be necessary for that to happen, now God puts him to work. So we go from appointment to enjoyment to employment. Now he works.
And here's what I want you to notice. Everything we have talked about so far didn't happen after the fall. It happened before the fall. The work that God engaged his creation in, the command to subdue the earth, the idea of taking the provision that God has made and working with those elements, all of that comes before the fall, not after the fall.
Why do I even bring that up? Because you wouldn't believe how many people, when they talk about work, will say something like, well, don't you know work is part of the curse? It's part of the curse because of sin that came upon the earth.
No, it's not. Work isn't part of the curse. The curse, sin, just made work harder.
That's all. And so God said later on, after the fall in chapter 3, by the sweat of your brow, you will work all the days of your life. The work became harder. So work is not a curse ordinance. It is a creation ordinance.
Ordained at creation before man sent. So the fall did not introduce work. It introduced death, and that changed the nature of work.
Follow? So you might look at it this simplistically. Adam was originally a gardener, but then he became a farmer because of the fall.
Really more like a plow horse. He had to really work hard to get results. So then, to sort of sum it all up, since this is sort of an introductory study to this series we're doing, working is good because it reflects the nature of God as a worker and a creator. Work is good because it enables us to fulfill our purpose in exploring and using the natural world. Work is good because it benefits others as we work together to co-create with God. And work is good because the God who Himself works declared it is good. So how do I know work is good? Because God said it's very good.
Enough said. So because of all that, because we find this in the very first chapters of the Bible, it is not surprising that whenever we encounter work in the Scriptures, it is always spoken about with dignity, with honor. The Bible extols the place of work in people's lives.
Throughout the Old Testament, here's one of the most famous verses you know of in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Now watch this. A time to plant. What's that? That's work. A time to pluck what is planted. What's that? That's work.
You can talk. A time to build up. Work. A time to break down.
Work. A time to cast away stones. A time to gather stones.
All that's work. A time to tear. A time to sow. And at the end of that little section of verse, and I didn't quote all the activities, just the ones that pertain to work, what prophet has the worker? From that in which he labors, I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Proverbs 14, verse 23. All hard work brings a prophet, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Again, extolling work. Oh, and by the way, did you know that even the Old Testament system of welfare was built on work? You know, there was a welfare system in the Old Testament. Very different from the modern American welfare system. The welfare system, the biblical welfare system, gave the poor dignity. And here's how.
Here's how it worked. If you're a farmer, you plant and you reap, but you keep some of that produce left in the fields. You keep the stuff on the vines. You keep some of the fruit on the trees. You get most of it. That's your prophet. But then you leave some of it.
Why? Because the poor of the land are allowed to go into your field and pick. They have to go in and pick themselves. So there's dignity built into it because they're just sitting around like, come on, give me a paycheck.
Come on, somebody drop off some fruit at my house. They got to go in and work. This is Leviticus 19 and Leviticus 23. So there's still dignity built into the process, but the poor of the land are taken care of and God commands his people to do that. By the time we get to the New Testament, we also see work with its exonerated place. Jesus worked. You know what Jesus did for a living.
What was it? He was a carpenter. The Greek word is tekton. We usually think of a carpenter as a guy who works with wood. The word tekton means he was a craftsman and most of the materials used back then, a little bit of wood, mostly it was stone. He was principally a stoneworker, a tekton, worked with wood as well, and he did that for 30 years. He apprenticed under his father Joseph, his stepfather Joseph, and then after age 30, he went to work for his father full time, a salvific work, a salvation work. And then when Jesus told stories, he gave parables. He often used work-related themes. Matthew 13, the sower and the seed.
A sower went out to plant and sow seeds. Matthew 20, he gave the parable of the landowner who hired workers at predetermined rates. Luke chapter 18, the parable of the nobleman who said to his servants, do business till I come.
All of these places work in a good light, not an evil light. Paul the Apostle, Ephesians chapter 6, servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh. And then Paul even writes to the church at Thessalonica, 2 Thessalonians 3, and says this, we gave you this rule, if a man will not work, he shall not eat. Okay, so that's getting in your face.
Man, I really need some. You're willing to work? No. If you don't work, you don't eat. Now, he's not addressing those who are unable to work. He's addressing those who are unwilling to work. If you're unwilling to work, you don't get the benefit. If you are willing to do something, you get the benefit. By the way, work isn't just your career.
Work includes a lot of things. What your output is, what your production is, housework, driving the kids to school, volunteering for organizations and serving. So I named this sermon in honor of my dad, who often said to his sons, get a job.
But I really do admire my dad because he had a very high work ethic, and he wanted to make sure that his sons had the same work ethic. And he would often say, not only get a job, but he would say, when you do your job, really do it right, son. Don't just do it. Do it well.
Do it so well that you become the best person in your company who does that job. And so he would say, a job worth doing is worth doing well. He said that so often. I don't think he invented that. I know he didn't. But he said it so often that I thought he invented that because he said, get a job, and a job worth doing is worth doing well.
So he instilled that within me. There's a guy who died, and he went to heaven. And who was there meeting him at heaven? Peter, right? Peter meets all these people in these lame jokes.
And so Peter meets him and says, welcome to heaven. And the guy protests. He goes, man, this isn't right. This isn't right. I'm only 35.
I'm only 35 years old. Man, I shouldn't be dead. Peter goes, well, I don't know. Stay right there. Don't go any further. Let me check the records.
I'll get back to you. So Peter goes, checks the records, comes back, and says to the guy, well, according to the hourly work reports that you've been turning in, you are 97 years old. That guy's been fudging on his work. Probably because he viewed work as a drag, a negative, a drudgery.
Let me leave you with this. A task without a vision is a drudgery. A vision without a task is just a dream. But a task with a vision is a victory. If you can do an activity and have purpose in doing it, you're winning.
You're winning. When you can discover that, like the guy who ran the Olympics, Eric Little, who eventually became a missionary, but he loved to run. He said, and when I run, I feel his pleasure. You can work and say, when I do that, I feel God's pleasure. That's a task with a purpose, and you're winning. So let your work be the means by which you offer yourself to God to reach the world for Jesus Christ. God has you at that job to teach you lessons, but also to reach other people for His glory.
That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, Hustle and Grind. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these teachings coming to you while connecting others to God's truths. We want to connect more listeners like you to God's never-changing truths in these ever-changing times. So we would love for you to consider partnering in this work today so that many others can continue to know God's truth and be transformed by His love.
Here's how you can take God's Word from more listeners like you around the world. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give your gift today. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.
Again, that's 800-922-1888. Coming up tomorrow, Skip's son, Nate Heitzig, shares the one purpose that can help you thrive in your work life. It doesn't matter what job you're doing. I don't care where you work. I don't care what your role is at your job. I don't care how long you've been doing it or how short you've been doing it.
I don't care if you hate your job or you love your job. Whatever job you're doing, do it unto the Lord. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His Word. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-21 05:12:07 / 2022-11-21 05:21:55 / 10