Created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), we were designed with work in mind. From the beginning God intended and created human beings to be his junior partners in the work of bringing creation to fulfillment. God brought into being a flawless creation, and then made humanity to continue the creation project.
“God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’” (Gen. 1:28a).
God could have created everything imaginable and filled the earth himself. But he chose to create humanity to work alongside him to actualize the world’s potential, to participate in God’s own work.
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it" (Gen. 2:15).
These two words in Hebrew, avad (“work” or “till”) and shamar (“keep”), are also used for the worship of God and keeping his commandments, respectively. Work done according to God’s purpose has an unmistakable holiness.
Through our work God brings forth food and drink, products and services, knowledge and beauty, organizations and communities, growth and health, and praise and glory to himself. Our work is meant to serve God’s purposes. It is largely in and through our work that we make a contribution to the common good, find meaning in our daily lives, as well as leave a footprint of influence in the world. Each one of us wants to make a difference in the world. We want our lives to really matter. That’s because we were created to matter.
Think about the implications for our work. How would God go about doing our job? What values would God bring to it? What products would God make? Which people would God serve? What organizations would God build? What standards would God use? In what ways should our work display the God we represent? When we finish a job, are the results such that we can say, “Thank you, God, for the privilege of partnering with you to accomplish this?”
Dear God, thank you for trusting me to participate in your work. Help me work as one created in your image and bring glory to you. Amen.