July 27, 2014 – August 2, 2014
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:15.
Study Help: Messages to Young People, 177–180.
“The true glory and joy of life are found only by the working man and woman. Labor brings its own reward, and sweet is the rest that is purchased by the fatigue of a well-spent day.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 98.
- At creation, what was graciously supplied to humanity? Genesis 2:15.
Note: “God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence. And when, as a result of his disobedience, he was driven from his beautiful home, and forced to struggle with a stubborn soil to gain his daily bread, that very labor, although widely different from his pleasant occupation in the garden, was a safeguard against temptation and a source of happiness. Those who regard work as a curse, attended though it be with weariness and pain, are cherishing an error. The rich often look down with contempt upon the working classes, but this is wholly at variance with God’s purpose in creating man. What are the possessions of even the most wealthy in comparison with the heritage given to the lordly Adam? Yet Adam was not to be idle. Our Creator, who understands what is for man’s happiness, appointed Adam his work. The true joy of life is found only by the working men and women.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 50.
- What portion of a wise person’s labor belongs to him or to her? Ecclesiastes 3:13.
2 THE COMMAND TO WORK
- What is an intrinsic part of the fourth commandment? Exodus 20:9.
Note: “The religion you profess makes it as much your duty to employ your time during the six working days as to attend church on the Sabbath. You are not diligent in business. You let hours, days, and even weeks pass without accomplishing anything. The very best sermon you could preach to the world would be to show a decided reformation in your life, and provide for your own family. Says the apostle: ‘If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel’ (I Timothy 5:8).” Testimonies, vol. 5, 179.
“Laziness and indolence are not the fruit borne upon the Christian tree.” Child Guidance, 124.
- How do Christian stewards do their work? Colossians 3:23.
Note: “The path of toil appointed to the dwellers on earth may be hard and wearisome; but it is honored by the footprints of the Redeemer, and he is safe who follows in this sacred way. By precept and example, Christ has dignified useful labor. From His earliest years He lived a life of toil. The greater part of His earthly life was spent in patient work in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. In the garb of a common laborer the Lord of life trod the streets of the little town in which He lived, going to and returning from His humble toil; and ministering angels attended Him as He walked side by side with peasants and laborers, unrecognized and unhonored.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 276.
“You are not to neglect the duty that lies directly in your pathway, but you are to improve the little opportunities that open around you. You must go on doing your very best in the smaller works of life, taking up heartily and faithfully the work God’s providence has assigned you. However small, you should do it with all the thoroughness with which you would do a larger work. Your fidelity will be approved in the records of heaven.” The Signs of the Times, June 16, 1890.
3 THE FAMILY FIRM
- When should Christian stewards begin their training? Deuteronomy 6:7.
Note: “The education of the child for good or for evil begins in its earliest years. The children should be taught that they are a part of the family firm. They should be trained to act their part in the home. They are not to be continually waited upon; rather, they should lighten the burdens of father and mother. As the older children grow up, they should help to care for the younger members of the family. The mother should not wear herself out by doing work that the children might do and should do.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 206, 207.
- How can parents teach their children the principles of work and the duties of life? Proverbs 22:6.
Note: “In the home school the children should be taught how to perform the practical duties of everyday life. While they are still young, the mother should give them some simple task to do each day. It will take longer for her to teach them how than it would to do it herself; but let her remember that she is to lay for their character building the foundation of helpfulness. Let her remember that the home is a school in which she is the head teacher. It is hers to teach her children how to perform the duties of the household quickly and skillfully. As early in life as possible they should be trained to share the burdens of the home. From childhood, boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 122.
- What is the inevitable outcome of idleness? Proverbs 19:15.
Note: “Where there is an abundance of idleness, Satan works with his temptations to spoil life and character.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 18, 1894.
4 IMPROPER REST
- What is the counsel for those who do not fulfill the command to work that is given in the fourth commandment and rest instead on the six common days of the week? II Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 6:9–11.
Note: “God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.
“The word of God declares that if a man will not work, neither shall he eat (II Thessalonians 3:10). The Lord does not require the hard-working man to support others in idleness. With many there is a waste of time, a lack of effort, which brings to poverty and want. If these faults are not corrected by those who indulge them, all that might be done in their behalf would be like putting treasure into a bag with holes.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 247.
“Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.” The Ministry of Healing, 177.
“Indolent, careless habits indulged in secular work will be brought into the religious life and will unfit one to do any efficient service for God. Many who through diligent labor might have been a blessing to the world, have been ruined through idleness. Lack of employment and of steadfast purpose opens the door to a thousand temptations. Evil companions and vicious habits deprave mind and soul, and the result is ruin for this life and for the life to come.
“Whatever the line of work in which we engage, the word of God teaches us to be ‘not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.’ ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,’ ‘knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ’ (Romans 12:11; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:24).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 345, 346.
5 “HIS REST” (Hebrews 4:1)
- When did the Lord institute His rest day for humanity? Genesis 2:2; Hebrews 4:4.
- How did the Lord confirm His original institution? Mark 2:27, 28.
Note: “God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Christian Education, 190.
- How do you prepare for what the Lord calls “My Sabbaths” or “My rest” (Exodus 31:13; Hebrews 4:5)? Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54, 56.
Note: “On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 355, 356.
“Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment and are transgressors of God’s law.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 253, 254.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is the purpose of labor?
2 What is part of the fourth commandment?
3 When should we begin to appreciate labor?
4 What happens if we are not productive during the week?
5 Describe the nature of the Christian and his or her rest on God’s holy day.
Copyright © 2012 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.