Though I have always enjoyed preaching God’s word as a pastor, not every work in the Christian ministry is easy. When I face challenges in my work, I always seek guidance from the Holy Book. I wanted to remind myself what the Bible says about work and therefore focused on Bible verses based on this theme. One of the questions that came to mind was, “How many times is work mentioned in the Bible?”
Theologians suggest that the word work is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible. Sometimes, the Bible refers to work as toil or labor. Christians imply that God considers working a crucial aspect of life based on the high number of times it is mentioned in the Bible.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of work in the Bible. Keep reading to find out what Jesus said about work and much more!
What is a biblical theology of work?
Christians speculate that the biblical theology of work is God designed work as a man’s occupation on earth. Genesis 2:15 suggests that God gave Adam the instruction to work and take care of the Garden of Eden.
Some Christians assume that work resulted from the fall of Adam and Eve. However, the Bible suggests that God assigned work to Adam before he sinned. Work is one of the themes covered in the first two chapters of Genesis, and Adam and Eve’s fall appears in Genesis 3.
Though work was not the result of the original sin, Christians believe that the fall makes work more difficult (Genesis 3:17-19). The curse mentioned in this passage is believed to have brought futility and toil into work.
Work is believed to be a means by which we sustain life. It is often associated with an individual’s profession or our means of livelihood. Contrary to popular belief, work is not evil. Biblical scholars speculate that, like everything that God created on earth, work was a good thing. It is believed to be a way in which we can make discoveries about this world that God created.
What Does the Bible Say About Work?
The Bible suggests that work is a part of life, and we should have a positive attitude toward it. It reminds us to be intentional about each task that we handle and do it well since it brings glory to God (1st Corinthians 10:31).
The Bible also reminds us that we should give all our hearts to our work. Rather than looking at it as if we are serving human masters, we should view it as if we are working directly for God. Colossians 3:23-24 suggests that the Lord will reward us for our work.
The Bible also suggests that God creates humans to work. This is because he told them to be fruitful, fill the earth, and rule over every living creature (Genesis 1:28). Through working, we fill the earth with good things that glorify God.
We can also learn from the Bible that work may not always be easy and that we need the help of God to achieve good results. Psalm 90:17 suggests that if we call upon the Lord, he will work out his purpose through our work.
Biblical references about work
Ecclesiastes 3:22 explains that even if sometimes work may feel frustrating; God can transform our limits into blessings. It, therefore, encourages us to be content with our work.
The Bible instructs man to labor for 6 days and rests on the seventh day. It means that you are not to work on day 7 since this is the day of the Sabbath (Deuteronomy 5:13-14)
1st Corinthians 15:58 suggests that we should avoid distractions as we work and remember that our work toward the Lord is not for nothing. 2nd Chronicles 15:7 shares a similar message since it speculates that our work shall be rewarded.
Work is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:8-9. This verse implies that we are God’s fellow workers and that everyone has a part to play at work.
Psalm 90:17 explains that God cares about our work, and he uses it for his glory. It encourages Christians to ask for God’s favor in their work.
2nd Thessalonians 3:10 suggests that work is not optional since it sustains us. It speculates that there should be consequences for anyone unwilling to work.
Additionally, Romans 8:28 elaborates that those who love the Lord receive God’s blessings since he works for their good.
Types of Work in the Bible
- Redemptive work– According to Biblical scholars, redemptive work in the Bible involves bringing people to Christ. People like pastors and evangelists engage in this type of work. For instance, Matthew 4:18-22 suggests that Jesus called his disciples to help him with redemptive work.
- Providential work– We can learn this type of work from the example of God providing and sustaining his creation, including humans (Philippians 4:19)
- Justice work- The Bible also suggests that justice work exists since some people engage in God’s work of maintaining justice. For example, some priests in the Bible were appointed for this type of work (Ezekiel 44:24).
- Creative work-God is believed to give people creativity that they display through their work. For instance, the Bible suggests that some people were craftsmen. Jesus and his earthly father were carpenters (Matthew 13:55) and engaged in creative work.
What is the importance of work according to the Bible?
The Bible suggests that work is a gift of God. Christians believe that God blesses us with works so that we can honor him. Christians also imply that work is essential in the Bible since it guides us on how to use our time wisely. The Holy Book encourages us to make the most of every opportunity we get and be careful about how we live.
Work is also important in the Bible since it enables us to provide for our loved ones. 1st Timothy 5:8 suggests that anyone who fails to provide for their household is worse than an unbeliever.
Additionally, working according to the Bible is crucial since it prevents us from laziness. It also prevents us from being busybodies. 1st Thessalonians 4:11 encourages us to work with our hands and mind our business.
Theologians speculate that work according to the Bible is crucial since it enables us to have something to share with others (Ephesians 4:28).
What did Jesus say about work?
The Bible suggests that Jesus said that he is also working just as his father (John 5:17). Christians believe that this verse means that God is at work to maintain his creation, and Jesus also works to intercede for us in heaven. This Bible verse shares a similar message as John 4:34, where Jesus speculates that he was sent to accomplish God’s work.
After Jesus taught the Beatitudes, he taught his disciples that their light should shine before others so that people may see their good works and glorify God. (Matthew 5:16) This verse suggests that Jesus encouraged people to work for the glory of God.
How Does God Want You to Work?
Christians believe that God wants us to display good character while working. They argue that we should not only focus on the quality of our work but also remember God’s faithfulness as we pursue work. The Bible teaches that our work as Christians should be in line with God’s moral standards. It should be based on principles like faithfulness, love, and justice (Psalm 89:14)
Biblical scholars also suggest that we should acknowledge God in our work and serve others through our work. Mark 12:31 reminds us that the greatest commandment is to love thy neighbor. God also reminds us that we should use the wealth we get from work towards his work. The Bible also suggests that when we do go and share what we have with others, it pleases God.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.