Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fruits of Labor

God bless them and said to them.  “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
–Gen 1:28

Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mt 9:37).  There’s a great abundance in our world. An Austrian-American economist Ludwig Von Mises (1881–1973) wrote, “The law-abiding citizen serves both himself and his fellow man and thereby integrates himself peacefully into the social order.  The robber, on the other hand, is intent, not on honest toil, but on the forcible appropriation of the fruits of others’ labor.”  Although there’s plenty to go around, still in our society there’s greed, mismanagement, and dishonesty.

Colossians 1:10 tells us to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord, please him in all respects, bear fruit in every good work, and increase in his knowledge.  We therefore have to curb our negative traits and persevere in doing good deeds.  It’s stated if we do these things we shall eat the fruit of the labor of our hands, we’ll be blessed, and it’ll be well with us (Ps 128:2).

Right to Life

With a right to life we have to give back liberally to our creator.  We do so, by offering up our gifts to him.  He’s the one who has blessed us, so give to the poor and needy.  We shouldn’t have hearts that bear grudges.  It’s the Lord who blesses our work and all that we do (Deut 15:10).  We have to be steadfast in our work, knowing that in focusing on God we won’t labor in vain (1 Cor 15:58).    
Ron Paul (b. 1935), an U.S. representative from Texas, put his own spin on rights:  “Rights mean you have a right to your life.  You have a right to your liberty, and you should have a right to keep the fruits of your labor…I, in a way, don’t like to use those terms: gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights, religious rights.  There’s only one type of right.  It’s the right of your liberty.”

How should we work?

Whatever we do, we should do heartily to the Lord and not for men or women (Col 3:23).  We should work hard to help the weak and remember the words of the Lord who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  We’re reminded that no one is able to serve two masters.  He’ll either hate one, love the other, or devoted to one, and despise the other.  We can’t serve God and money (Mt 6:24)      

Suzanne Morrison (b. 1990), an author wrote: “The idea is to be detached from the fruits of our labors, which means that we do things simply for the act of doing them.”  Maybe what Morrison really meant was that whatever we do, we must do unto the Lord.  It’s he who has blessed us with our gifts (Eph 2:10).  

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