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The Value of Work

Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.  Nehemiah 3:5 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.I once led a discipleship training school for a missionary training organization.

On one occasion, we accepted a student from Nigeria who had been a spiritual leader in the church of his country. In his culture, he did not serve others; they served him. We built a two-hour work duty into our daily schedule. When we had a prayer meeting or teaching session, our Nigerian student was one of the first to arrive. But with work-duties, he was difficult to find.

One Saturday, we had a workday where I labored with the students on a dirty job. Coming back from the work detail, the student from Africa looked into my dusty face and said, “Very practical Christianity.” He finally started to get it: Christianity was more readily caught than taught.

When Nehemiah built the wall around Jerusalem, a short statement speaks volumes about the value of work: God rebuked the Tekoite nobles. Matthew Henry said, that “they would not come under the discipline of being obliged to perform this service. They thought that the dignity and liberty of their rank exempted them from getting their hands dirty and serving God.” Evidently, the Tekoites believed specific tasks had more value than others.

Our work has value because God calls us to do it, and we are a person of value doing it. Satisfaction from a job well done is a separate issue from value. We should not seek to get value from our work, but to bring value to it.

The Tekoites philosophy was that we have worth because of what we do. God does not see big or little people. He sees people and majors on why we do what we do, not what we do. Whatever task God calls us to do has great value if we do it for Him, which frees us from the bondage of the Tekoite nobles who looked to people rather than God for acceptance.

Remember, whatever you do has value when God calls you to do it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/