Motivation to Work

‘Breaking Home Ties’ (Norman Rockwell)

God works and he commands that we also work.

” And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28

” Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work … For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” Exodus 20:9,11

Toilsome work is a curse, but faithful service is a blessing and an eternal command.

” In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:19

” Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 7:15

” And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” Revelation 22:3

” If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26

God empowers us to work to bless us. 

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18

” He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” Isaiah 40:29

” Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Job 1:10

” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

God imparts wisdom to work to redound to his glory.

” And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:21

” And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;” Exodus 35:31

” And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it … And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;” Exodus 36:2~4

” For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 2:26

” His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23

Neighbours work to help each other.

” And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:39

” And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another:” Leviticus 25:14

” Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Proverbs 3:28

” Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29

Poverty is a shameful punishment for a man’s laziness.

” Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11

” For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” Proverbs 23:21

” Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” Proverbs 19:15

” The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.” Proverbs 21:25

” I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 24:30-34

” By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18

Work without greed and give to the ministry and to the poor.

” When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.” Deuteronomy 24:19

” At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” Deuteronomy 14:28-29

Work fervently.

” Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” Romans 12:11

(Fervent means ardent in piety, warm in zeal, flaming with devotion -SJDict.)

Force yourself to enjoy work and its rewards and refuse discouragement.

” There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Ecclesiastes 2:24

” He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:4

” And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?” Numbers 32:7

” I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14

” Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” Isaiah 3:10

” And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12

Spiritual Warfare: cast out the spirit of Lethargy.

” (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” Romans 11:8

” Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” Isaiah 29:9-10

” And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 21:7

” But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.” 1 Samuel 16:14-15

” In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” Psalms 77:2-4

Beware the troubling spirit of “End Times” anxiety that leads to idleness.

” That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” 2 Thessalonians 2:2

” And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 21:25-26

” And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” Matthew 20:6-7

Wait patiently and go to work!

” And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5-13

” And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Luke 12:42-43


Four Things

“Watch ye,

stand fast in the faith,

quit you like men,

be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13


What does “guile” mean?

guileThe word guile in the Bible means deceitful cunning, and it is usually applied to words that are designedly tricky, treacherous, and insidious.

To have no guile means to be simply honest.

  • Exod.21:[14] But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.
  • Pss.32:[2] Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
  • Pss.34:[13] Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
  • Pss.55:[11] Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.
  • John.1:[47] Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
  • 2Cor.12:[16] But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
  • 1Thes.2:[3] For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
  • 1Pet.2:[1] Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
  • 1Pet.2:[22] Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
  • 1Pet.3:[10] For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
  • Rev.14:[5] And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

We should be simply honest and not use trickery and crafty words.

Saint Paul sarcastically told the Corinthians he was ‘crafty’ and caught then with ‘guile’ to mock his opponents’ false accusations against his ministry. He was actually sincere and direct (cf 1 Cor. 1:12; 2:17; 8:8; 8:21).

The word ‘guile’ is related to the word ‘wile’ – meaning a deceit, a fraud, an insidious strategem, a sly practice – which word appears twice in the scriptures:

  • Num.25:[18] For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.
  • Eph.6:[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The word ‘beguile‘ is the combination of ‘be’ and ‘guile’ – meaning to impose upon, to deceive, to cheat (viz., by guile).

beguile

The devil relies upon deceptive methods to trick people – he beguiles then with his wiles.

  • Gen.3:[13] And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
  • Gen.29:[25] And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
  • Num.25:[18] For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.
  • Josh.9:[22] And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?
  • 2Cor.11:[3] But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
  • Col.2:[4] And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
  • Col.2:[18] Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
  • 2Pet.2:[14] Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

These examples of beguiling show lying, hiding the truth, playing on fleshly desires and fears, presenting false appearances, using subtilty, using enticing words, and feeding the imagination. All of these strategems are defeated by truth.

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17


Audio Podcast: The Four Antichrists

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(Podcast page here; handout pdf)