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Sunday English Service - 02 JUL 17 - Why work?


For the last several weeks we have been studying about the power of the blood of Jesus. Today I want to start a new series: the series is about work. When I first went on television, I remember I started a series on prayer. It was done in four different sets of several messages. And we started with a set of messages titled: "Why pray". If God is going to somehow accomplish His will, anyway, and He knows what His will is, then why should I pray? He will do whatever He wants; "Why should I pray?"- that is the question. And I took a few messages to explain why the bible tells us to pray.

Now I am going to start this series also similarly, the first section will be about: "Why Work?"Why should I work? Is it not possible that God can just meet our needs in some other way; that we can all be free and be delivered from work and just sit and eat and not work at all? Why didn't God come up with a system like that? Why does He want us to work? I want to deal with that. Now, this series is a very interestingseries because it has to do with issue of how to relate our faith and work or how to integrate our faith and work; It's always a big question. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe He is the true God and savior. He has changed our lives, we are saved. Now we go out and work in this world, how can we glorify him, how can we lift him up; how can we show him to others as the Lord and Savior? Can we somehow manifest his glory; can we somehow show forth his saving power in our work; can we somehow bring him to the people that we come in contact with at our work?Is it possible?

Now there are many views about how it can be done: some say that while you work you must be interested in social justice, you must give voice to the issue of justice; care about justice; then it will identify you as Christian and people can see Christ through that. There are others who say you just point-blank evangelize at the place of your employment; tell people about Christ; every chance you get. There are others who say that you must be very skillful; and excellent in the way that you carry out your work. Everything that you do must be beautiful and wonderful; so that people may see Christ through it; something different in you and through that see Christ through it. There are others who say you must glorify God by seeking to influence the culture itself. Culture varies from place to place; even within one culture, there are many semi-cultures. In the works part you might find so many cultures. You will find in some offices where there is one particular person there, the office will function very well; when he is absent, then half of the other group is absent. And nobody works; everybody goes to sleep. It's a culture - it sets in.

You can have different cultures in your work place; you can have a culture of success; you can have a culture of lackadaisical don't care type of culture. You can have different kinds of culture. So how do you work in the midst of that culture and influence, in that culture... influence people to know Christ? Now people say that you must seek to influence that culture by glorifying God, working in the midst of such people. There are others who say that through the ups and downs and the plus and minus of all that you go through at work - the challenges, and the troubles and so on; you must glorify God; and you must be grateful, joyful and show that you have a different heart; you have truly a changed heart because of your faith in Christ; thereby you can manifest Christ and His love, and so on. There are others who say, the whole point about working is to make a lot of money so that you can be of help to others; you can give generously to good causes, like the bible says that you are ready to do every good work. The bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 8, that God really causes us to increase so that we may be ready to do every good work; anything good we are ready to participate in by our giving; so it's good to earn a lot of money and do it.

There was a man named G.D. Naidu, I remember back in those days; some of you may remember him; he said, first 25 years you study; second 25 years you make a lot of money with what you studied; and the third 25 years, you spend all that money doing something good for the society in which you grow up. It sounds like a good philosophy; if you look at it like that, then everything makes sense. So a lot of people believe in that kind of a thing. So all these difference ways are there, they say. Now each one of these way is a valid biblical way, I think; because every one of these ways that I just mentioned, has biblical basis. The bible supports such an outlook; and you can do that; but in order to do that effectively - wherever we are; we have to learn to apply in different situations, different circumstances because things vary according to the countries we are in, or cultures we are in, according to situations we are in; according to the positions in which we are in. Some of us are in positions where we can influence people very much - in high positions. Some of us are not in high positions - some are lower in theladder; and we cannot influence much; and so our ability to influence is not that much.

So things vary and you have to be able to apply in different situations and circumstances; adapting to different situations; being able to apply this thing. But this whole teaching is going to guide us through the whole idea of how to integrate our faith and our work. But in order to do that effectively we are going to study three things; I hope we will cover these three things. We must know answers to three great questions about work from the bible; we must know biblical answers to three great answers about work. One is: why should I work? That is what we are going to study first: Why should I work? Is it not possible to find fulfillment in life as a human being without working; can I just remain without working - just sit and eat and not work and find fulfillment and live as a true human being, created in the image and likeness of God. Why work? The second thing is why work is so hard some times? Why is it so difficult? See now it gets interesting; because this is where the rubber meets the road; everybody goes through that. We always wonder - I have always wondered why is it so difficult; why is it so challenging? Why are there so many problems, hardships? Why work is such a pain some times. Why there is so much of it in this world? Why do we feel that sometimes it is fruitless, pointless, useless and difficult? You must answer that question biblically, why.

Today we will talk about what the fall has done, why the society is the way it is; why we face challenges and so on; but that is not enough. We have to answer the third question: and that is: How through the gospel we can overcome these challenges and difficulties? And find satisfaction and fulfilment for ourselves and ultimately live for the glory of God; fulfilling God's vision for our lives. How can we have the gospel that we have believed work in us in such a way that enables us to overcome these obstacles and live successfully even the midst of all these difficulties. Three questions: why work, why work is so hard, how can I overcome it through the help of the gospel in which I have put my faith ; how can my faith come in and lift me in the midst of all these. Now these are three interesting questions - I challenge you to listen to it without fail; and I tell you this will be greatly helpful to you in your careers, in your business; in every field of endeavor, whatever it maybe that you are involved in.

So, we are going to answer these three questions; and the book of Genesis - especially the first few chapters; is the foundation for all these things. Because we are going to go to the very origin of work today and examine these things; to answer the question: Why work? Now today's sermon title is: "God works". The answer to the question, "Why work?" - Because God's works. If God works, then you and I better work. God Himself is working - that is the answer. So we are going to look at it and I am going to take you to Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and show you how God does His work. God's work is the prototype of all work that follows after that. You know what prototypemeans, right? Prototypemeans that, that is the thing that is first. When God works in creation; that is where you see work exemplified for the first time. In the bible, in the beginning there was work - in the beginning itself there was work; and God was working from the beginning. And Jesus says in the New Testament; my Father and I we are still working, he says. So they have not retired; they are still working. So, that is the prototype that means that we all follow that type and do our work based on the work that we see manifested or exemplified here in chapter 1 and2 of Genesis.

So let me ask you to turn to Genesis chapter 1; I want to read to you verse 31, which is the last verse. And then continue on to read chapter 2 verses1 to 3; and then read verse 15 of 2nd Chapter. So let's start with chapter 1 verse 31: Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. - Thus the heavens and earth; and all hosts of them were finished. On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day; from all His done which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day then and sanctified it; because in it He rested from all His work; which God had created and made.

And verse 15: Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. - Now, we see that God worked and then God puts man to work also; that is why are read these two passages. We see that God worked and He put man to work also. Now, look at the way it is stated here; I want to show several things from thistoday about how God worked. Severalthings: the first thing is: that God is a creator, we see that here; and His work of creation is described as work. Just like any of us would do work; the very language itself shows that it is typical work like we do; even though He is God and He has power and the ability to do the work; still it is described in terms very much like our work. Notice: it says, He worked six days and created everything; and finished everything in six days. And on the seventh day he rested - it sounds like we do today; we work six days and seventh day, we rest. The author, supposed to be Moses; puts it in this way - six days work, one day holiday. It looks like just like we work; just like we have beengoing through. Today we are here in church; but six days we have been working -most of us have been working six days. And todayis a day of rest and we are spending our time here, praising and worshipping God; and spending time; looking at the word of God. He puts it terms that we use here in this world. The thing is if you look at the work of God's creation; it is something very special. When the book of Genesis was written, there were other creation stories also in the world - very famous creation stories. If you compare the two: between the bible and those creation stories, you will see how special the bible is; how real the bible is; and how unreal they are.

For example, the Babylonian creation story: it gives an account of how the world was created - it says that there was a god and there was a goddess; and both of them were fighting; and in the fight the god ended up killing the goddess; and with the body of the goddess, he formed the earth. Everything in the earth was created by the dead body of the goddess. Now that basically says that there was a conflict, there was a war literally; and in that war, one god has died and through that dead body the whole world came into being. It is almost like an accident. The ended up fighting and one died; and then tried to figure out what to do with that body, they just decided to make the earth; you know that is the way it sounds like. But look at the bible presents creation - what a contrast. The bible says that God went about with His wisdom and understanding and knowledge and power, deliberately purposing, and planning and envisioning, imagining and creating a world that is absolutely marvelous; beats all wisdom of the world; creates a world, so beautifully and so orderly. If you look at the first chapter, it is amazing. In the first three days of creation, first day He creates light; and separates light from darkness. Second day He separates the heaven from the waters; and third day He separates the waters from the dry land; and so on. And then fourth day plant life comes into being.

See, before making the dry land you cannot put plant life; so what must come first, comes first; what must come next, comes next - there is an order. Without doing the first three days of creation, you can't have what He created on the fourth day. You cannot have plant life when the water is covering the earth. There was no separation of water and dry land. So, all of these He does, prepares the earth for placing the plant life, on the earth; then puts the plant life there. And then puts the sun, moon and the stars. Then places the birds and fish and then the animals, and then man. This is the how the six days of creation is told. And there is a particular order; and the order seems to be a very logical order; clearly thought out, very wisely done; neatly done. Just imagine God creating man first and then man crying out for food and then God says, O My God I forgot about that; you got to wait for a few days. After all I got to get all these things cleared up, make dry land. Man would not even have a place to set his feet down on this earth; because there was no dry land. Now God makes provision for all of that; then only finally He makes man. When finally man comes into being everything that man would need is already in place. There is an excellent order. There is no creation story in the world, in other cultures and religions and so on; that is told in such a logical and orderly manner.

Now the Greeks also had a creation account: They had the idea of successive ages of mankind; there were different ages and the first beginning, original age was the golden age, they said. In the golden age period, gods and humans lived together. That sounds like Adam and Eve in the garden and God comingin and fellowshipping with them. It sounds like little bit similar; but it is not; because it said, neither god nor humans worked. They didn't know anything about work. They earth just produced in plenty whatever they needed; nobody worked - they had no concept of work; no need to work, no necessity to work. Nobody knew anything about work. The bible is so totally different. The bible tells us in the book of Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 that God worked and created a beautiful world; very purposefully,very planned manner, in a very orderly manner, God created the world. In a deliberate manner, He created it. It didn't happen like an accident. It didn't happen as a result of war or something like that. It didn't happen just as a chance. It happened because God envisioned a particular world, made everything deliberately.

For example, here we have a lot of weddings happening; at least I would say 40 weddings in a year; So I give an introduction which is a standard into every wedding I give that; but I enjoy giving that introduction. It's from Mark's gospel chapter 10 verses 6 to 9, I read those verses. It says, in the beginning of creation God made man; male and female. And then it says, therefore shall man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife; the two shall become one flesh; and then, it says, Therefore what God has joined together, let not man put asunder or separate. And then I explain these things in three points basically, as introduction. The first point is this: In the beginning of creation; when God made man, He created them as male and female it says. Why did God create man as male and female? Why could He not create them just as man or woman? We have so many problems between man and woman today. Some people think that it would have been a very peaceful earth if we just had women or just had men. Now each of them are competing for positions, superiority and so on. Some feel inferior, others feel superior; and there is a fight. Women insist for their rights, men don't want to give too much in - this kind of a conflict is there. Why all this? God should have just created one gender. Why two genders: male and female? Because God had a purpose - He had purposed man's life in this way; He had envisioned families, children and the earth being filled with families.

So how to produce family, you must have man and a woman; that is why God created man in two different genders; male and female. So I tell them every time they come for marriage, they are already jittery - the man and the woman, getting married. I tell them look, "You are designed for marriage. God has designed you for marriage. So don't worry, everything is going to work out". You are made for marriage; that is why you are here. A man and woman are here to get married; because God has designed you for marriage and so it is God's will, God's good plan - you will do alright. Marriage is going to be good for you. God said it is not good for a man to be alone; I will give him a helpmeet. Marriage is God's idea. You look how orderly these things are done. If you read chapter 2, first God gives man; God makes man, teaches man everything - what he should do, what he should not do; before He makes the woman; and then gives him work; and then gives him wife. That is why when you go ask for a wife, these days they ask you whether you have got a job first. It is just logically; if you just follow God's order, everything will be fine.

I remember one time one girl was trying to marry a guy who didn't have any qualifications to do any kind of work, has never worked, not planning to work - and even if he wants to work, nobody will give him work. She wants to marry that kind of a fellow; and from the fellow's family - one person came and said, "Well, don't worry give him the girl because we are all here, we won't let them down. We will take care of them - feed them and take care of them". I said,bible says "Don't trust the man who has breath in his nostrils. If you stopped breathing the next minute, what will happen to this boy and girl?" This is nonsense; and plus I know the guy who said that - that they will take care. He has never opened his wallet to evenbuy a coffee for anybody; he will never give a cent to anybody. That guy says: "Don't worry. We are all there. Do you think we will let them down?" I will guarantee that guy will let them down.

God's order is the best order. God says, "Get a job, then get married". That is God's order. You don't want to obey God's order? Then too bad. God says, If you will just listen to my commandment and do what I say, your peace will just be like a river. If you just listen to what I say and just follow this; you will have a wonderful life. You will be a blessed person; you just follow my principles, He says. So, God does everything in an orderly fashion. Creation is an amazing thing. I have taught Genesis chapter 1 and 2 so many times; from so many angles, from any subject that we want to study - I always come to Genesis chapter 1 and 2; and it fascinates me how much is there in those two chapters. And here I am once again; and again I find it very interesting. If you look at the order of creation, the logical order; how the thing that must come first, comes first; the thing that must come next, comes always next. There is no confusion, there is no disorderliness; in fact, God takes the chaos, and makes it orderly; that is what the creation is all about.

So, the creation story in the bible is so amazing, so wonderful. It tells us about how God worked and how God worked beautifully. His work was beautiful, orderly, logical, good. And also another thing that we read in Genesis chapter 1 and 2; Genesis 1 and 2 - the beginnings, we see that no distinction is made between the material world and the spiritual world. That is why they say in the Hebrew mind - among the Jews, they never made the distinction also in their minds about the spiritual world and material. It is all the same to them. As far as they are concerned it is all the same to them. But you see among Christians they make a big difference between the material and the spiritual; and that affects the idea of work for the Christians. Now where did they get there idea? They got it from the Greeks; the Greeks messed it up by bringingin what is called "Dualism" where they said there is a spiritual world and material world; the two things are exactly the opposite of one another; material world is evil and bad; spiritual world is good. All that is material is bad; all that that is spiritual is good. And they separated to call one bad evil and call the other good; whereas the bible calls the material world good. Have you ever thought of that? I will show you in a few minutes.

God repeatedly, again and again, calls the world that He made the material world; this dust to this earth good. They messed it up totally and so Christian ideas now changed; everybody thinks material - we live in a material world brother. This is a temporal; we are all going to fly away and go away. So that is why we should not pay much attention to this. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do; it doesn't matter how you do it; it doesn't matter whether you do it in a good way or not; whether you excel in it or not. You know this whole life of earth is just a fleeing thing and that is it; and so we shouldn't pay too much attention to it, and so on. The whole idea comes from that; and that affects the attitude towards work. How much it affects theattitude towards work is unbelievable really.

A lot of people thinking that; once they get saved, once they come to spiritual life, they ceasepaying attention to their life and to their material world; because they think this evil, bad material world. And they quote such verses from the New Testament like: God wants to deliver us from this evil world. Which evil world? This is good world - the world that God created is good world. Which evil world? When the New Testament says the is evil world that God wants to deliver us from, it is talking about the world that is affected by sin and therefore filled with all kinds of sinful things; sinful ideas, sinful attitudes, sinful philosophies, sinful ways of doing things. When it says, "World", it is not talking about this world of dirt and earth; it is talking about the world of ideas, philosophies, thinking. God wants to deliver us from that world; we need to be delivered from that world. That is why the bible, New Testament talks about the renewing of the mind. It says, be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good and acceptable, and perfect will of God; the bible says. So you got to understand the bible more thoroughly, you know. As soon as the New Testament says,"the world", it doesn't mean the world which God created originally. No, that world God called it good. Sure, it fell into sin, and it is affected and marred by sin, so there is a problem in this world; but still it is a world created by God; and it is basically good. What is wrong with the world is the ideas that have come in; the philosophies that dominate it, that ruin it and marred it continually; and make it a difficult place. That is the thing from which we need to be delivered.

So, there is no distinction between spiritual and material world as far as Genesis is concerned. They don't see it in that way. Plus if you look at the bible it begins with the earth - chapter 1 begins with the creation of the earth, and the heaven and earth. In mentions heaven and earth; but do you know in the Hebrew mind, heaven and earth are not two separate realms; but a Hebrew figure of speech meaning the universe. In the same way that we use the words kith and kin. What does "kith and kin" mean? Kith and kin means relatives. These are not two different words; it's meaning the same thing. So Hebrew mind thought heaven and earth means one realm - not two different realms; not opposing kind of realms. Not one realm evil and the other realm good. No, they didn't think like that. In the beginning, God made heaven and earth. They thought of it us one universe - God created it as universe; that is the way they thought of it. Now, if you read the bible; you know, I say this because a lot of Christians say we need to get out of this world, that Jesus comes, we will just slip out or escape from it, fly away from it and so on. I am telling you my friend, you may fly away; but you are coming right back here. That is what the bible teaches. God isnot going toforsake this earth and throw away this earth and throw it in the dustbin. No, God is going to take this earth that has been marred by sin, ruined by sin; and recreate it - and make a new heaven and a new earth and that is where we are going to be. And that is what is called, "our eternal existence". That is where our eternal existence is going to be.

So, to think that the earth and everything that has to do with the earth, is bad is wrong; because that destroys our attitude that we must have a positive attitude towards work. Christians who think like this...you know, you will always find that when they are praising good works: you know what kind of work they will praise? They will praise the work of a missionary - because that is good works; they will praise social worker, because they are thinking of it as a good work. They will even praise the work of a doctor, nurse or teacher, or something; because it has to do with doing something good for the people; but they will not think of a work of mechanic or an electrician or somebody is skilled in working with things - the material world, as a good work. It is just work, that's it. It is not good work. When they talk about "Call"; they will talk about: are you called as a missionary; that is wonderful. Are you called as a doctor; that is wonderful. Some noble profession like that: dealing with people, doing something good, they call it as, "Call of life". But they will not call a mechanic's profession as a "call". That is just an ordinary thing; that is of no significance - it is not important to God; not important to anybody. That is the way they think like that because of the wrong orientation. So I say to you; there is really basically no distinction that Genesis makes between the material world and the spiritual world. God in factis very much involved in this material world. He creates so much purpose and so much design and put into it. He takes so much pride in it. Read some passages in the bible; there are passages where God literally boasts about how He has made the world - Who has weighed the sands and the dirt; who has measured the depth of the seas and so on. That is the way God speaks. Just imagine what kind of wisdom and understanding; and ability and power it took to make the world.

Alright, and also, a lot of people when you say creation is work - God worked. When you say, "God worked", then people would look at you like that: "What do you mean God worked?" That is not work. He simply said, "Let there be light". There was light. That is not work. Many years ago, like say 40 years ago, 50 years ago; if you brought a man from the village who is not familiar with office work and all that, and showed him a man sitting on the table with a piece of paper and writing something, in an air-conditioned room; that man would have said, "He is working?No, he is not working. Come and see how I work. I get down and I work; I really work; and I sweat and I work. This man is not working." He will not acknowledge that is work.

Even more recently when companies started allowing people to work at home, I remember I went to one country and I wanted to contact some person; he wanted to come with me as we went to buy something, and so on; and I thought, "Well, he is working from home". So, maybe he can just spare some time and come with me; and let's purchase this. So I called him, and I said, "Why don't you come with me; you are just working from home why don't you come with me". He said, "No, no I am working". I thought working from home means it's an easy thing; work if you want, not work if you don't want; you can work as you like; and you can sleep a little bit if you want. I had no understanding at that time;just a few years, how people worked at home; what this working at home business meant. But he told every minute he has got to be in the computer; they would track every minute of his activity there; and if he is missing, they will know. He cannot go away for every length of time and come back and not be caught for it; he has got to remain there. "After 5 O'clock I will go with you", he said. Then only I realized the man is really working. I thought he is having a jolly good time. After all he is working at home; he doesn't have to take his car, drive such long distances, deal with the traffic and all that nuisance. He is sitting at home; and enjoying, having a good time. No, those people are very clever. Not only are they saving you some gas and some time - terrible time, and all those things; some pain of travel and all that. You know what they are doing? They are getting more work out of you. All that time that you are not driving, you are working; more work is being done for them - they are very clever people. That is why they are having all those companies.

Now, God's work of creation therefore, is actual work. Some people find it very hard to believe; they say, "Well brother, He said: Let there be light", and there was light. You call that work; big deal. That is not work. Well I will tell you how that is work? You just think about how much power and wisdom, and understanding and knowledge God had to have and employ to get the creation done.

One man was telling me, "Well he sits in a nice chair and air-conditioned office and He gets so much, so many lakhs as salary every month, but look at me slogging." As if that everybody can do. If you make...this guy sits there, you have to close down the company in a few days. That is why that man is sitting there: he is getting the salary. He is not just putting you know putting one leg on the other and just enjoying his time and getting the big salary. His work is different: he has got to think, he has got to have the wisdom and understanding; vast knowledge of things and he has got to deal with this stuff that this man can never think of dealing; he either has the education or the ability or the training and the experience to deal with it. That man is getting paid to do that. That is why he is earning so much.

This man thinks it is easy - anybody can do it. No, anybody can't do it. And the same way, a lot of people look at God and say, "Well, He said, Let there be light and there was light". Big deal, I can do it. Well try. Plus He had so much power; if you had so much power, you better have so much wisdom also, and understanding also; because everything that you say comes to pass, you better be careful about what you say. If the same responsibility is given to some of us, that we had the power to say something and it will come to pass; and we are to exercise that kind of authority and so on and create; we would have created a lot of trouble. A lot of people have created a lot of trouble - a lot of homes have been caught on fire because what was said yesterday is still burning; some people said things ten years ago and the fire has not been put off. Nobody can put it off; because there is such animosity, and anger and hatred; brought about through those words that were spoken. The person with such power to create anything that comes out of his mouth; better have wisdom and understanding, and knowledge to the extreme literally; perfect wisdom and understanding, and knowledge. And God had that: perfect wisdom, understanding and knowledge; fantastic imagination - to imagine and envision. See God did not create this world by accident; by just a war happened; this is the outcome. No, no, purposefully God created; God was like a person who made a master piece work of art.

I knew a painter back in those days; quite famous. He went all over the world; and had one-man-shows and all that. I couldn't believe how much his paintings sold for; thousands of rupees, sometimes lakhs of rupees. Man had such talent - he could imagine things, envision things and keep it in his heart. He was rich inside; and had such ability with his hands to do modern painting. And he could come up with all kinds of stuff. And heads of nations came to look at his work he has done on canvas; because of ability. Now God is millions times more able than that. God was able to envision a humanity; God was able to envision an earth like it is today; the earth is wonderful - so amazing. Astonishing the way it is created - the sun, moon, the stars; and all the creatures that are existing here on this earth. The plant life - and all of that. Look at it; they are so amazing and astonishing. God in His wisdom and understanding, He brought that forth; not only did He have this wisdom and understanding - the power to imagine, envision, purpose, plan; but He also had the power to speak and bring it to pass. Now you mean to tell me that is not work, then that means we don't understand what work is. That is work, my friend; to imagine that kind of a world, that kind of humanity, and bring it to pass; and plan it perfectly; and put it into effect; and to bring it pass - it is something that is amazing that God has done. His infinite power with which He created does not mean he didn't work. No, it means that He worked and He literally...the bible says that in many instances that He had to put His hands to work. He gave shape to man's body; when He took that dust out of the ground and made man's body. In Genesis chapter 2 verse 7, we are told that. In verse 21 we are told that He took the bone out of a man and sculpted a woman literally. And then He dug a garden - planted a garden literally; then when man sinned and clothed himself with fig-leaves He came and made a coat of skin by killing an animal and taking the skin; and doing literally tailoring work for him; and clothed him. I mean God literally worked; worked in every way - employed His wisdom and understanding, imagination, power and everything; plus His hands - He was at work and that is what we read in chapter 1. But then we see; that God sees that His work is good.

Do you know in chapter 1, in Genesis, any time something occurs again and again, you need to take notice; that is a typical thing in bible study; that is one of the things that you need to observe;if one sentence or word is appearing so many times; it saying something. And one sentence that appears again and again is the sentence that says: "God saw that it was good" - appears seven times. Have you ever looked at why it appears seven times? Six days God created; right. Six days, each day after creation, He looked and surveyed His creation at the end of the day, every day - He would do everything, create everything for the day; and at the end He would make a comment, he said: God sees and says, "It is good". Second day He would do the same thing; finish the creation; then see and certified and then say that it is good. Third day the same; fourth day the same; fifth day the same; sixth day, the first part of the sixth day, He made the animals and said it was good; in verse 25. And then finally He makes man; at the end of the second day - before the closing of the second day. After He makes man, then He makes the seventh time another comment; at the seventh time, He says it a little more differently; it is not just good, it is very good now. God saw that it was very good. It is amazing; every day after creation He makes the comment: "It is very good". God says, it is very good. The Greeks were wrong to say, all material things are evil and bad. It is wrong; God calls it good. If He called it good, it is forever good. What makes this earth possibly bad and utilized as something bad; is our mind - our corrupt minds and our sinful mentalities. That is what makes the earth the way it is. The earth is not bad. It is God-made earth. God said, "It is good". And in that good earth, God put man; and He put him to work; and all these things were good.

So work; this is how work was inaugurated. It could not have had a better inauguration. When work idea was started, God Himself exemplified it. God makes man to work and shows that just as man needs food and water; and rest, and friends, and social life and relationship with God and all that; to really truly live human life; man also need another thing called "Work". Work is very essential for life. Without meaningful work, every person that cannot work and does not work will find a significant inner loss and emptiness. There is an emptiness in that person -indescribable emptiness. You can never find fulfilment without work. Man is designed for work; and to not work is against his nature. That is why without working man cannot find fulfilled. We all have to live by our nature; not working is not part of our nature. You see, fish's nature is to stay in water; why? Because its nature is that it breathes in water; it takes an oxygen through water. Once you take the fish out of the water and throw it on grass. The grass maybe beautiful and good for us to sit around and spend time; but not for fish - because its nature is different. As soon as you put it on grass outside of water, it begins to struggle, it cannot move; and then soon it dies; it cannot. So man must work. Why? Because God has designed him for work. Man finds meaning and fulfilment through work because man is designed for work.

I heard about a couple in another country. The man worked for a school where he taught special children; children that did not have mental growth as they should have. And as he was teaching them, he felt compassion for them; because he realized that even though they study and finish school and so on; they have certain handicapped , they are in a way disadvantaged because of their mental growth; and when they go out they cannot get proper jobs and the government of that country takes care of these people; you know, they will never beg, or they will never beg or end up in the streets or anything; they will be well taken care of; because the government gives them all that they need. But that does not satisfy them. He found that these children that went to school were concerned about how they are going to live; how they are going to work and so on. And they wanted to work just like anybody worked and they wanted to earn just like anybody earned. So this man had a vision to create something for them; and he went out and started a company which made several products for many companies at an assembly line, making these things. And today the company employs 500 of these people; you know you who are mentally slow a little bit. And employs them; and he particularly teaches them skills; trains them for the job; so that they can do it as efficiently as any other man who is totally healthy. And he gives them the technology; makes available the technology, the tools and the knowledge; and the training - anything necessary to excellent their job. He talks about what a great joy and happiness, and fulfilment that it brings to those people. They don't want the government cheque; they don't want to take money from the government; they don't want to live on somebody's sending them the cheque and live freely - they don't want it. They are not finding fulfilment and satisfaction; even though that's good and meets their need. They want to work just like anybody.

Why do they want to work? Because they are made, designed by God to work. He says it gives them such a satisfaction to produce this kind of thing so that the children can find their fulfilment. They find their fulfilment, he finds his fulfilment. It is amazing how work brings tremendous fulfilment to people; that is why when you lose a job...have you ever lost a job? When you lose a job, you feel terrible; you feel totally lost. It is very disturbing - deeply disturbing experience. Just to think about it is a very deeply disturbing experience. Why? Because not only because our salary stops and we will struggle in that way; but because without jobs we find ourselves totally lost; because we are designed to work and we are not working. That is the problem; we are made, just like the fish I told you; we are made like that. And we need to realize that freedom as the bible teaches is not removal of all restrictions. Freedom is finding out what restrictions are good for you; for your nature and for your thing. The fish most have the restriction that it should not come out of water. If it comes out of water - dead/gone. As long as it restricts itself to the water, it will have life; when it comes out of the water it will die. So freedom it not the ability to do whatever you want and whatever you are pleased to do; freedom is finding out what harms you, what hurts you; what will destroy you and what will make you excel in what you are.

So the commandments of God are wonderful regarding work; talking about freedom. People say, "Don't tell me what I should do". Well, you need to listen to what God tells us. If you buy a car, they give you manufacturer's manual, right. I can bet on it: 99.99% people never read it; because we think - is this rocket science; we have been having car from the granddaddy days and we know how to drive a car. We know how to keep it...it is not anything big. Don't tell me to read this book that has got 70/80 pages. I don't want to read it. That is their attitude. Well, maybe there is some very important information there; if you don't follow that information that the manufacturer gives; suppose you don't change the oil as you should, nobody is going to come and find you or take you to jail because you didn't put oil in time. No, nobody will come after all. But one day you will be going from here, 200 miles away and your car will get stuck right on the road; just stop and go no more. You will be stuck. Why? Because that is a natural consequence of really not following the laws of how the car is operated - not following the manual.

Now let me read to you one verse: a very amazing verse, I just quoted half of it. Let me read to you Isaiah 48, and let me read verse 17 and 18: Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,The Holy One of Israel and the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit (Are you listening?) Teaches you to profit. - Don't tell me you are not interesting in profiting. There are some business people in here. Are you interesting in profiting? Some Christians think profit itself is bad. We should not profit. God says, I will teach you to profit; I will teach you to get ahead; I will teach you to excel; have success, He says. I am the Lord Your God, your Redeemer, I will teach you to profit. I tell you my friend every time I open the bible I think about this: God will teach me to profit, God will teach me to get ahead; God will teach me to be a success in whatever I am doing; God will teach me something useful and wonderful. In Tamil, it says I will teach you some very useful things, He says. I will teach you to profit; who leads you by the way you should go. And now listen: Oh, that you had heeded My commandments. - I wish I was reading from very simple translation. He says, I wish you had just listened to My commandments and did what I told you. And He says,Then your peace would have been like a river,and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. - you know while you were sleeping last night, the ways of the sea were still coming in; without fail - regularly, one after the other, keeps coming in. River, a true river never runs dry; it keeps full all the time - flowing all the time.

God says my blessings in your life; peace is a very general word. It is translated many times as prosperity; it is well-being of all kinds - it is spirit, body and soul of every area of your life. God says, if you just listen to me - my commandments. If you read the manual - if you read my commandments, your peace would have been like a river; and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. He is saying, if you just read and followed what I am saying; if you took it seriously, you would have had blessing after blessing, after blessing, after blessing following you everywhere. It will overtake you; while you are sleeping, your blessing will be knocking on your door. While you are sleeping, your blessing will be coming at you; even when you are sleeping. You don't have to pursue this; you just have to pursue the word of God. You just have to look at what God says, and do what God says. God says, your peace would have been a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. I believe that with all my heart; that if we listen to God's command; about what God's says; this is a wonderful manual. You can never go wrong; you could not fail; that God will be with you; and God's blessings and God's abundance, God's peace, God's good things, will follow you all the days of your lives.

Let me show you one such thing: Turn with me to Exodus - one such commandment. And this commandment has to do with work. Exodus chapter 20; and we read it already in Genesis chapter 1 or Genesis chapter 2; where it says, when God finished all of His work; the heavens and the earth and all hosts of them were finished; chapter 2 verse 1 of Genesis. I will read this first, And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. - Here God is setting up a prototyoe. This is the thing that we should follow: Here He is showing what work is all about; six days work, one day rest, he says. He works six days and rested on the 7th day. He exemplified it here in the beginning. There was no Sabbath lawand all that time at that time; but here it is. God Himself practiced it. This is what became the Sabbath law. It became part of the Ten Commandments later on. Look at Chapter 20 and verse 8: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. - Now the mistake that people do is that they stop with that; Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy - people like rest so much; they have created denominations based on that; based on the Seventh Day. Keep it holy the Seventh Day; it is a Sabbath Day, you must rest, you must keep it holy; but the commandment has not ended. In the Tamil bible you will find a semi-colon there; showing that it is continuing. The commandment is not finished. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; six days you shall labour and do all your work. Then only the commandment ends. And then 10th verse was a further explanation of that rest; of the seventh day.

Remember the Sabbath day, is only half of the commandment; to keep it holy. The restof the commandment is work six days - six days you shall labour and do all the work. I don't know why people like the first part and leave the next part out. They like the one day rest so much; but the six day work, they never talk about. Have you ever wondered why that is? The one day rest, they make a big deal out it. In Jesus' day you see how much fight goes on between Him and the Pharisees because of this Sabbath day. They made such a big deal out of it, yet they left out, cut out half of the commandment: six days work and then one day rest. Some people have converted it into six days rest, and one day work. Some people have even converted it into 7 day rest; the commandment is very clear; six days work, one day rest. God could have made it 6 days rest and 1 day work. No, God made it six days work and one day rest. In God's divine wisdom and perfect wisdom, this is the how God made it. If you follow that policy, you will have peace like a river. And your righteousness will be like the waves of the sea. Everybody say, "Six days work; one day rest"

Now there are two extreme ways of thinking about this. Some people think work is a curse; and that leisure is the only way to find meaning and happiness in life. There are others who go to the other extreme; that work is the only important human activity; and even when you are rest; you are resting so that you can get back to work. It's like recharging your batteries; that is the only reason you rest, for recharging your batteries. Both these ideas are wrong; I already showed you the first idea is wrong. You know that work is not a curse; it didn't come with a curse, it came with a blessing; it came with a good creation. When God created everything good, it was part of that good package that work came. It didn't come after the fall as a curse. And to think that work is the only important human activity; and even when you rest, you rest so that you can get back effectively to work - is a wrong kind of philosophy. Why? See work is not all there is to life. You will not have a meaningful life without work; but you cannot say that work is the meaning of your life. Work is not the meaning of your life?

What is the meaning of your life? What is the purpose of your life? If you make any work the purpose of your life, then you create an idol that literally rivals God; that takes the place of God. That is what an idol is; instead of God, now you got this. Your relationship with God is the most important thing; foundation for your life. Your relationship with God - all other things are wonderful; work, friendship, family, leisure, pleasure - all these things are good; but your relationship with God is the number one thing and the relationship with God keeps you from becoming....from allowing other things to coming so important that you become addicted and you become distorted in your mind thinking about it.

So what is rest about? Let me teach about this and then close. What is rest about? Rest is the ability. Let me put this and I will expand on it next week. Rest is the ability to enjoy the most simple and ordinary aspects of life. See, a lot of people can't enjoy their simple and ordinary aspects of life; even the ones that are not strictly useful; but just delightful. That means, enjoyment simply for the sake of enjoyment; but you know some people get so engrossed in their work; they think like this. You want me to spend one day, holiday. You know how much I work one day. If I take that one day and not take off and take rest, I can make 25,000 rupees. You mean to tell me that I can forego the 25,000 rupees and sit at home one day and rest? You call this rest. No, I don't want that kind of rest. They are calculating it in their mind. These are very sad people that they cannot even enjoy the simple things that God has provided for our enjoyment. God is not against us making money and making a lot of money also. God is not against it; God actually enables us to do that. God is not against that; and I will show you later on that the Israeli people was the only nation in the world at that time that worked six days and rested the seventh day. Every other nation did not have any concept of it. They worked seven days; if you want to eat seven days, you work seven day; that was the idea. Only Israelites worked six days and rested one day; and they were the richest. Everybody was wondering why these people are the richest, working six days and taking off one day. And then God told them to take off one year. Have you ever taken off, rest for one year? I will come to that later on.

Now, you got to be doing very well to be taking off one year. It is possible; if you learn God's principle, it is possible. God wanted to astonish the world; show the world, it is not their work, it is He who is providing them. But work is not just for meeting our earthly needs; work has a higher purpose. So work must be put in its place. You cannot take it to the extreme; you cannot just engross yourself in work; and lose yourself in work. Some people lose themselves in work; and lose their family and everything; all the other enjoyments of life. They calculate 25,000 rupees, they will lose; they do not calculate their advantage of being with their wife and children. That one day that 25,000 and 25 lakhs and 25 crores cannot buy for you. What comes out of that? That doesn't mean that we sit 7 days and do that. No, I am talking about the rest, you see.

Alright, again let it say this: it is the ability. What is rest according to the bible? It is the ability to enjoy the most simple and ordinary aspects of life even the ones that are not strictly useful - you should not think only in utilitarian terms; how useful is it to me; what do I get? No, no, no; even things that are not strictly useful or profitable economically in other words; but just delightful. What is wrong with that? Just delightful. Some people look at me like: "Man that looks like very worldly" You want to delight in it. And listen to John Calvin: John Calvin is not from AFT: he lived more than 500 years ago; great reformer who wrote so much; amazing person; a very serious person. He is not joking around. He is a very serious thinker. And look at what he writes: he says, "Did God create food only to provide for necessity; that is nutrition. And not also for delight and good cheer?"

When I was growing up, one man he used to tell me: See, a true Christian, a spiritual Christian should not eat his food, enjoying his food. You should not buy that Kentucky fried chicken and say: "Oh, it's finger-licking good". You should not do that; that is not a spiritual person. You should just swallow that; it should give you strength; you go work for God. That is what food is meant for. You eat it and be strengthened by it, and work for God; no enjoyment is allowed. He was a holy man. I waited patiently you know, so many times as an elderly person. Then finally I asked him: "Why did God put the taste buds then? Tell me; he could have used it as a spoon; you know just lap it in. Why did he put a taste bud? While I am taking it in, I can have some enjoyment also.

When I was a little boy I used to go to the store to get this for the chutney,in Tamil will call it odachakadalai (split roasted gram). And coconut you know. And in those days, I used to buy for 3 naiya pieces. And same store; just next to our house I would go and say give me half coconut and odachakadalai.And he would give me in a packet I would stand there still. I will not move. Why? Because he would give some extra for me to eat while I am going home as a little boy. So I would just turn and say, "What, what do you want?" I would show my hand and he will throw the thing. I will never forgot to get it. If I came back without that I feel like I have lost something. That was a big loss; so I never forgot that. Nothing wrong with that extra). God says, Yea, you need good food, you need nutrition. I have given you food. Strengthen yourself. But on while it is going down your throat; before that keeping it in your mouth a little bit; and taste it, feel it, enjoy it. It is alright. You don't have to be so spiritual and so serious. Enjoy it and say, "Oh, it is so good. God is not upset by that; people think God is just an uptight person: saying, "Did you swallow it" Say thank you and slow it; no more.

You take your children to ice-scream shops and give it to them until they smear it all over their face and you enjoy giving your child the next scoop also. You think God is worse than you; He is thousand times more than you; He is enjoying that. He loves it when you enjoy it. God provides enjoyment in life. That is what John Calvin is saying. Did God create food only to provide necessity,that is nutrition, and not also for delight and good cheer? No, nothing wrong in delight and good cheer. Rest is about delight and good cheer. You work six days, can you have some delight, can you have some good cheer? Yea, so too He says the purpose of clothing, apart from necessity was for decency; but God wants you to look decent. What is wrong with looking good? We made such a big issue, back in those days. "Oh, you cannot dress with good clothes" and all that. No, everything was bad. John Calvin says, "Did God intend clothing only to cover you?" No, it was also make you to look nice. And then listen to this: in grass, trees and fruits; apart from their various uses - there is beauty of appearance and a pleasantness of fragrance. Did not God, in short, render many things attractive to us apart from their necessary use? God did not make everything only for utilitarian purposes. God is not having a mind like some of us; only use it, swallow it; don't smile, don't laugh.

I remember I used to know a guy whose job was to tell us not to laugh. He was such a serious Christian; he never wanted anyone of us to laugh. "Don't laugh" - that is his job. We called him, "Don't laugh". When he came, we said, "Don't laugh is here, Don't laugh". Very spiritual man; "Don't laugh. No laughing". God has rendered most things attractive - even the flowers would have good smell; fragrance - pleasant it is to look at; is attractive to the eyes. Not in the wrong way - it is in a good way; attractive. Nothing wrong with the attractiveness that we find in so many of God's creatures. Apart from their necessary use, God has put this element of delight and enjoyment added to it. That is why the tongue is not only an instrument through which you take in your food. While you are taking it in, you can enjoy the taste of it. How many of you are glad you have the taste bud? That is why you know we are to look at everything and we must say something like we used to learn back in the old days; all things bright and beautiful; all creatures great and small; all things wise and wonderful. The Lord God made them all. There is so much meaning in it. Everything God with His great wisdom;wonderfully made for us to enjoy and the rest is making sure that while you are working in a particular field you are also enjoying everything that God has put there; and get all the enjoyment that you can get; because God has put it to you there. Some people don't have the time to go to the mountains and look at the flowers you know; and look at the beautiful gardens. God wants you to do it; rest is not just lying in your bed and resting; rest is a different kind of activity; where you are taking in and appreciating all that God has put out there; and enjoying in a good way; everything that God has provided. Amen

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