Laboring for the Lord

This past Sunday, as we studied Genesis 2:1-3, we looked at the need for us to have a day of rest (a Sabbath), the history of the Sabbath for Israel and how that correlates to our lives as Christians now, why church is on Sunday, and what the “ultimate rest” is for us (not working for salvation but resting in salvation by faith alone).  I mentioned that God designed 6 days for work and 1 day for rest, yet many of our workweeks are a 5 day workweek.  What do we do with that extra day off (normally Saturdays)?

We often use that day for yard work or taking kids to their sports games or doing shopping or many of the other activities we do or need to use Saturday to get caught up on.  None of those things are wrong.  But how can we also use that extra time to labor for the Lord?  Well some of the things are vitally important and you don’t need to leave your house to do it.

First, prayer.  When was the last time you spent a good deal of time praying for your lost friends and family, praying for your local church body, your pastor, the lost in your community, missionaries abroad, opportunities for ministry, etc?  We can labor and fight in prayer as that is one of the most important things we can do and one of the most powerful.  As a pastor, I love to hear people are praying for me because it goes far, believe me.  So take some time, block off your calendar, grab your husband/wife/friend and just pray for those things that you may not normally pray for.  Battles are first won in prayer so labor there.

Second, set aside time to serve.  That can be taking your family to volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, volunteering to help clean the church (if you have a building), inviting people to go out witnessing with you, or a host of other things.  Will it mess up a Saturday you just wanted to rest?  Probably, but you hopefully have one full day you’ve set aside for rest and communion with the Lord (many that is Sunday of going to church and resting afterwards).  It’s not that we don’t have time to serve the Lord, it’s often that we don’t make the time and consume ourselves with ourselves.  Am I saying every Saturday should be a service project and you can’t have vacation time or kid time or anything like that?  Certainly not, but overall, do we find time to serve the Lord or are our weekends only about us?

Another way to labor for the Lord – call a fellow Christian brother or sister, maybe even one you haven’t seen in a while, and talk with them on the phone or go meet them for coffee.  Use the gifts God has given you to edify them and build them up.  It doesn’t have to feel like a burden to serve the Lord nor does it have to be “hard”.

Husbands, you can serve the Lord by letting your wife simply rest while you do the laundry and the dishes or whatever other household chore your wife does (hopefully you are BOTH doing work around the house).  Not only will this benefit your marriage and romantic life, but it can be serving the Lord if you are doing it “unto the Lord” because you serving Him through serving her.

These are just a few ways to spend that extra time you have off from a “paying job” to do work for the Lord which in itself is paying, but in ways that manifest themselves here on this earth, but more so in the life to come as we store up treasures in Heaven!

This blog post comes from further thoughts of the sermon on Genesis 2:1-3  titled “Rest Assured Rest Given” which can be found by clicking here or simply visiting http://www.refugesanger.com/teachings.  We are also on iTunes – search “Refuge Sanger” or “Pastor Mike Massey” to find our messages.

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Q & A from August 9, 2015 Study on Genesis 1:1-2

Q: If everything must have a beginning, where did God come from?

A: God has always existed – there was no beginning or cause for God.  To try and ask who created is illogical much like to ask “to whom is the bachelor married?” or “what does the color yellow smell like?”.  Those things that came into existence must have a cause but God has always existed.

Q: You named a few examples of scientific evidence for a young earth, one of which being human population growth – could you explain that a little further?

A: Certainly.  Scientists estimate that human population doubles every 150 years (which is a conservative estimate) and they say that human population started 10,000 years ago.  If this were true, if you do the simple math (and granted there are more complex things) the population would be: after 1500 years – 2,048, after 3000 years – 2,097,152; after 4500 years – 2,147,483,648; after 6000 years – 2,199,023,255,552 (already way more than we have now), and by today should be – 147,573,952,589,700,000,000,000,000,000,000 (even factoring in death, food supply, etc. it is hard to think we would still only have 7 billion today).  On the opposite end of that, it also shows that it isn’t hard to have the 7.28 billion people we have today from the 8 that survived in Noah’s ark after the Flood.  There are many other evidences for a young earth as well.

Of course as we talked about on Sunday, all of what you believe in how things came to exist comes from faith because no human was around when the universe began. So the atheist has faith in the Big Bang or whatever theory they hold to as the Christian has faith in God creating the universe.  The difference is that we have a risen Savior with plenty of evidences to show He rose from the dead and is God, as well as a Bible that is 100% accurate and 100% right in prophecy so we can trust it when God says “in the beginning God…”

Q: Please elaborate on the gap theory a little more.

A: The gap theory holds that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, there was a fallen race (probably fallen angels) that made the world without form and void and so God started over in Genesis 1:3 so that is why the world could be billions of years old and yet the Bible still be right (that is the generalization of the gap theory).  It is one way Christians can make humanistic historical science fit with the Bible (and remember we talked about the difference between observational science and historical science).  However, the Hebrew grammar does not fit with it nor simple reading of the verses nor an average Hebrew reader looking at the Scriptures not to mention the Bible does not teach it.

Problem is that humanistic science will never fit with the Bible unless you want to say miracles did not and cannot occur (thus meaning Jesus never rose from the dead or be God to begin with).  You won’t “fit in” by holding to a billions of year old earth if you still hold to the resurrection of Jesus.

Q: Can a person believe in the gap theory or an ancient earth and still be a Christian?

A: What makes a Christian a Christian?  As Romans 10:9-10 tells us, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Not if you have perfect theology and understand all the mysteries of the universe, but if you confess and believe in Jesus.  Of course if one has doubts about the Bible and think they cannot trust the Genesis account, how can you trust your salvation as well since the Bible is what ultimately tells you the way to salvation.

Q: My kids all go to public school and they teach evolution as fact which goes against what the Bible teaches and what I believe – what can I do?

A: First, if you choose to keep them in public school then just be sure you are talking to them regularly about what is being taught and making sure they have answers for why the Bible is true and trustworthy.  In case of science type questions, one great resource is http://www.answersingenesis.org which has a great search tool of articles as well as a kids section designed for younger kids (in case the adult stuff is too complicated).  Also, check out “The Truth Project” if you can get your hands on the DVDs (though there may be some of the sessions on YouTube).  If financially possible, you could move them to a private Christian school (though you’d also still want to see what they are being taught and review with them) or even simply homeschool them as there is so much material out there now for homeschooling and widely accepted.  Either way, you the parent are responsible for raising your kid(s) in the fear and admonition of the Lord – it isn’t the governments job, the public schools job or the church’s job.  Believe me, it is far better to be active in your child’s life than to have both parent’s working to have luxuries in life.  They need us as parents and not our money or what we can give them.  Obviously, sometimes life calls for both parents to work to be able to support a family, but if both parents are working simply to have a nice house, nice cars, nice stuff and the children aren’t being raised in the fear of the Lord because the parents aren’t around as much, priorities need to shift.