This weekend is, in the United States, the unofficial “end of summer.” A holiday called “Labor Day” where, ironically, no labor is usually done. It is a day off from work for most people. A three day weekend that many will use to relax, get some projects done around the house, or spend time with family and friends.
I’m going to take the opportunity to remember that God calls us to work in His kingdom but also gives us Sabbath rest periods.
God created the world in six days and “on the seventh day He rested.” And God built this need to rest into us. God made us so that we live best if we take one day of rest for every six days of work.
But more than just a “day off” it was meant to be a day that there are NO distractions as we draw close to God. He is always close to us, but sometimes the world drowns Him out. Because of the Fall, we need to close off the world in order to hear God’s voice in our lives.
Labor Day to remember to draw close to God in order to hear our calling.
You don’t have to be a pastor or missionary or teacher in order to be called by God to work in His kingdom.
You may have noticed that most people who are pastors or missionaries or teachers are passionate about what they do. Most of them are not in it for the money or the fame, but because they have a passion to do what these callings carry out. It isn’t the calling that creates that passion, however.
The passion comes from God. It doesn’t matter what you do (as long as it isn’t contrary to God’s Word). Whatever you do, do it because you are passionate about doing that. It is what He created you for. Acting, selling, making, serving, or whatever you are passionate about doing that is God’s calling for you.
God created you with that passion in order to bring others into His Kingdom. All callings have that has their goal. Not just pastors and teachers, but all people of God. Just as Jesus died to save all people, so all people of God are called to share that message with the world. God saved us by the passion of Jesus. God put passion in our lives. And so we can passionately reach the world through whatever we are passionate about.
In fact, I think I have come to a point in my career that I’m not so much passionate about being a pastor as I am passionate about what being a pastor means to the Kingdom of God. It is the results that I am passionate about, not what I’m actually doing.
The last hours of Jesus’ earthly ministry are called “The Passion.” But it wasn’t what He was doing that He was passionate about. In fact, Jesus began the Passion by praying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus was NOT passionate about feeling the sting of the thorns, the slash of the whip, the pierce of the nails, or the absence of God on the cross. He WAS passionate about the result of what all that pain and suffering would be. Jesus was passionate about suffering and dying to save you from your sins.
The Passion of Jesus was the culmination of His passion for you. It wasn’t the end of His earthly ministry; it was part of everything He was doing for you and for me.
So don’t look at your job or career as “something you do” when you are not at worship. In God’s Kingdom there is no distinction between our work life and our worship life. In other words, we are not just weekend Christians. We are called by God to be and work and live in His Kingdom every day, not just on the weekends.
I hear sometimes from people that they don’t “get anything” out of worship. Could that be because we are approaching worship as something that it was never intended to be?
Church is not something we go to. Church is something that we are.
Rick Warren writes, in the Purpose Driven Life, that “we don’t worship God in order to feel good but rather to do good.
Praising God and receiving His gifts of grace, mercy and forgiveness in worship is not something we do once a week and then go back to our real life on Monday morning.
Worshipping God gives new meaning to Monday morning. Weekend worship is just one part – a small but important part – of the overall worship of God that we are called to take part of.
So, as we take time this weekend away from labor, let us think about our calling. What is your passion?
If you are not passionate about your job or career consider this:
1. Being called to work in God’s Kingdom isn’t so much about what you do; it’s more about how you do it.
2. If you don’t have a job right now, this is an excellent opportunity to explore what you are passionate about and consider how you can do that for God’s Kingdom.