Finding true rest in the blessedness of work

Eric Blick. Kenya 2011

Intro. How do we glorify God in our work and in all we do?

The big idea. In beholding Jesus Christ, we see the VALUE of work and receive true rest from our TIRELESS work.

Point one. What is work?
A. Work is blessed because we see God working. Genesis 1:1
B. It is blessed because we see God commanding Adam and Eve to work even before the fall. Gen 1:28
“Culture is, first of all, the name for our relentless, restless human effort to take the world as its given to us and make something else.
…the two postures that are most characteristically biblical the two postures that have been least explored by Christians in the last century. They are found at the very beginning of the human story, according to Genesis: like our first parents, we are to be creators and cultivators. Or to put it more poetically, we are artists and gardeners.”. Andy Crouch, Culture Making.

C. Work is blessed because we see the holy spirit working. Gen 1:2. Hover over the deep literally means providing order to the array of elements that God has created out of nothing. That is our role too – provide order out of the chos around us. This reflects back to God the beauty of his character trait of order and justice!

Point two. Why does work tire us out?
Because we fell in four ways not just one, we are tired out building a sense of worth apart from God – killed by the work under the work. Four ways we fell:
1 Broken relationship with God. Adam and Eve hid from God after they disobeyed. 2 Broken relationship with each other. Adam blames Eve.
3 Broken relationship with our work. Genesis 3:17-19 our work will be hard 4 Broken relationship with ourself. Adam no longer has peace within himself

Going to work to build an identity is the tiring work under the work. Seeking romance to find a sense of worth as a human is the work under the work. Seeking power and influence to somehow make me worthwhile as a person is the work under the work. Saying, I will be someone if… I am rich… I am a great student… If I am a poerful business person…. If I have a family…. This is exhausting work that ironically will never satisfy that inner longing for rest and significance.

Point three. How can we get true rest to really work?
Because Christ experienced cosmic unrest for me, we can have true rest from the work under the work.

Heb 4
4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

God is pleased with his work at the end of Genesis 1, then sin enters the world and their is no true rest. However, in Christ he not only leads his own to rest but he IS the rest for them. You can rest from the work under the work when we understand that Jesus work counts for us and God says that that work is good, like at creation, and is finished.

Isaiah 57 says that Jesus was the one who experienced cosmic unrest and separation from God on the cross so we could get true rest. Vs 20. But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

On the cross uses cries out it is finished. What is finished? The work under the work is done. Suddenly we are acceptable before God, all who believe in Christ, and we have a permanent identity. Instead of working to get an identity, we have Christ’s and can joyously work out of this identity to Gods glory and to serve others, not to get an identity. It is a freedom from inside out, not a slavery of doing to get.

Can we rest from our work under the work and feel the same love of the father over us as we heard when Jesus was baptized, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Matt 3.

Conclusion. A follower of Christ is someone who has rested from their own work and found rest in the completed work of Christ for them.

Come to Christ to find your rest…
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”. Matt 11

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