Glory in Work
Passage: Luke 2:8–2:20
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Gen. 1:28).’”
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return (Gen. 3:17-19).”
“And there were shepherds…out in the field…keeping watch over their flock…by night (8).”
I. God may deprive you of your current longing, but only because it is way too weak!
“Happiness has come to be understood by Christians and non-Christians alike as the individual’s experiential satisfaction. Happiness is measured by experiences that are emotionally satisfying. Many of us look for those experiences in work and in our relationships. Ours is a culture in which the managed pursuit of pleasure is seen as the ultimate measure of one’s happiness. Even in the church, this pursuit of happiness has been used to justify all types of sin. ‘I’m just not happy with him!’ says a woman planning to divorce her husband of 25 years. ‘I’m not super happy in my current job; I need to find something else,’ says the young professional. These are the types of statements made by some Christians trying to justify to themselves that their experiential happiness trumps God’s plan.” Hugh Welchel
“…they were filled with great fear (9b).”
“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing (Mere Christianity, CS Lewis).”
II. Your work will not save you, but Jesus will and that’s good news.
“…good news of great joy that will be for all people (10).”
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Gal. 4:4-5).”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6-7).”
III. With God hope is found in His Son placed in a manger.
All they had was Jesus and that was enough. All you have is Jesus, and that is enough!