Lesson 14 Life Principle: The Awareness of God’s Presence Energizes us for our Work.
Ecclesiastes 2:24 teaches, “There is nothing better for a man than to…tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.” This may be a challenging verse for you, especially if you don’t feel that you do very fulfilling work. Maybe you’re a stay at home mom, or you no longer are employed but do volunteer work, or you are a caregiver to children, a spouse, or aging parents. Maybe you work a ton of hours at a job to put food on your family’s table. Maybe you do an immense amount of work that is sometimes thankless and exhausting. Even if you really like your job, you may not always find it enjoyable. Every labor brings difficulties and frustrations with it.
How do you feel about the work that you do? Whatever your situation may be, God expects you to do your best at whatever you do. Whether it’s people, politics, or other kinds of problems that are causing you distress. You may wonder how you can stay motivated and honor God in your labors. This lesson gives you encouragement: The awareness of God’s presence energizes us for our work.
Reading: Deuteronomy 20:1-4, Deuteronomy 11:7-12, Genesis 39:20-23, Genesis 41:15-16 & 38-44.
Questions/thoughts to consider:
- Read Deuteronomy 20:1-4. What kind of assignment did God guarantee that Israel would face (1)?
- Why might the people of Israel be terrified and discouraged (1)?
- What did God promise He would do for them (4)?
- Read Deuteronomy 11:7-12 and review why God was giving these commands to Israel. Why was it important for the people of Israel to stay focused on God during this crucial time in the nation’s history?
- What is the worst job that you can think of? Why is it so terrible?
- Read Genesis 39:20-23. What do you imagine Joseph’s life was like in the prison?
- Why did the chief jailer have such confidence in Joseph (22-23)?
- Read Genesis 41:15-16, 38-44. How did God bless Joseph’s faithfulness?
Dear Lord, how can I stay motivated and honor You in my work? Joseph did it by remembering that You were with him no matter what happened. He set his heart to serve You faithfully, whether in the prison or the palace and regardless of famine or fruitfulness. The same should be true for me. Colossians 3:23-24 instructs, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” I’m like Joseph, since I don’t always know why You have allowed the difficulties that face my labors. Yet I know that Your plan for me is much greater, so I will “Obey Him and don’t lose heart (Gal. 6:9).” I will do my very best for Your sake and allow You to work through me. In Your holy name. Amen