Due to my legendary patience, that I’m sure Ann would be glad to describe to you, I enjoy buffets.
It can be a salad buffet, a pizza buffet, a Chinese buffet, an Italian buffet, a Mongolian BBQ, or one that I haven’t found for several years – a Mexican buffet.
Based upon my observations of other diners, I’m not the only one who tried to get all I can eat onto one plate and thereby pay the “one trip” price.
“All you can one-trippers” have various strategies of getting more food into one trip.
There are the “protein only” because bread and veggies are high-profit fillers.
There are the “get a full-size dish” to avoid the smaller salad plates or dessert bowls.
There are the “strategic builders” who build a rim with certain foods so that they can go higher with the middle of the plate.
One can always tell an “All you can one-tripper” by the careful way he slowly walks back to his seat because he knows he is one misstep away from catastrophe and major embarrassment.
The longer I live, the more I see our calendars resembling the “all you can one-tripper.”
I will not reveal any identities in order to protect the guilty, because I am one of them, but these are the people who always seem to be 5 minutes late because there was just one more task that needed to be done before they left.
We attempt productivity and efficiency, but we exude stress and hurry to those around us.
The battle against time is one of the great struggles of modern life.
In our 24/7 culture, we desperately need to hear what God has to say about the issue of time.
The fourth commandment has often been misunderstood.
Some Christians have thought that they were honoring God by making Sunday the dullest day of the week, a day marked by long lists of things that you could not do, rather than a day of delight.
I have met many believers who look back on a childhood where the day of rest was a day of misery and boredom.
But what kind of God would do that?
Certainly not the God of the Bible who always seeks His glory and our good.
So let's approach this commandment searching for the good life that He wants us to enjoy.
The fourth commandment is the longest of the ten and is divided into two parts.
The first deals with the dignity of work, and the second, the blessing of rest.
Transition: The fourth commandment is the longest of the ten and is divided into two parts.
The first deals with the dignity of work, and the second, the blessing of rest.
The Dignity of Work (Exodus 20:8-9)
· Work is not to be avoided!
It is a good gift from a loving God.
And right about now some of you are thinking that I need to spend a day in your shadow because I’ve lost my mind!
· How can I say that all work has dignity and is a gift?
Expression of the Image of God (Gen 1:26-28)
1. God brought order out of chaos and commissioned man to do the same.
In Gen 1:26 humans were created to have dominion over all else that was created.
In v.28 Man is told to subdue and have dominion.
I have loved moving to rural America because I see how so many of you are living out the Eden mandate.
To those who work above the surface you plant & harvest, you breed and care for a herd, protecting from over-grazing or moving from one pasture to another in order to find water.
You exercise dominion over the animalistic tendencies that would be damaging if the animals were left to themselves.
To those who work under the surface the masonry and road materials you manufacture are perfect examples of dominion—taking what God has created and shaping or crushing it for a useful purpose.
To those who work in the classroom, or in the home, or by giving care; Each day you reflect the image of God in shaping, guiding, and caring for those whom God loves.
To those who work in the office, the factory, or the laboratory; Each day you bring order out of chaos as a reflection of God’s image in you.
Perhaps a good assignment for you over dinner today is to talk about how your work is a reflection of God’s values.
2. All work has dignity
· God expresses Himself as an administrative leader – (dealing with the world of ideas) when he spoke the days into existence.
Each day of creation in Gen 1 shows that “God said” (12x in Gen 1-2) and it happened.
· God expressed Himself as a manual laborer when he “made” (8x in Gen 1-2) man from the dust.
8:6 refers to the work of His hands)
3. Jesus was known as the carpenter.
· Jesus wasn’t just “a” carpenter, he is specifically referred to as “the” carpenter.
· When Jesus was baptized by John a voice proclaimed, “in you I am well pleased”.
What had Jesus done up to this point?
He had obeyed his parents and worked in the carpentry shop.
Completing Your Work (v.9 & 11)
1. Work is not determined by compensation, but by contribution.
Adam did not have wages direct deposited into the First Community Bank of Eden.
2. God gave Adam a responsibility and He expected it to get done.
By thinking of work as contribution rather than compensation we can find purpose and meaning during retirement years.
Your work is much larger than your paycheck.
We each have responsibilities in our homes as part of a family.
4. Speaking of families, what about the family of God?
There are “works of ministry” around here that will only be done when we each live out our spiritual gift in response to God’s prompting.
These works of ministry are why the insert has been provided to aid you in praying through what your work in and through this church might look like.
5. Students, you have homework and assignments that do not lead to immediate compensation.
Every member of a community has an obligation to contribute to the society and to work through coaching, sponsoring & volunteerism for the good of others.
7. Let me say a brief word about care-givers.
Some of us carry responsibility to care for young children, elderly adults, those with special needs, or living animals who cannot feed themselves.
The only way that these care-givers will ever be able to take a day of respite is if we live as a community and consider how we can help each other to live the rhythm of weekly sabbath.
More often than not, the only time that we can’t finish our work in 6 days is if 1) we waste time or procrastinate during the 6, or 2) We take upon ourselves work that God doesn’t intend for us to do.
Dividing Your Work (vv.9, 11)
In using 6 days for creation (He could have done it in 1), God is modeling order and structure for us.
2. Work can seem overwhelming.
The successful worker will divide and prioritize tasks.
Each Day is a unit of work/rest; Each week is a unit of work/rest; Each season contains holiday/festivals which can be seen as units of work/rest.
4. Personally, I have trouble in finding joy in one day’s work.
I stress over the things yet to be done.
Before I’ve even finished this message, I’ve already started to think about the 5th commandment and how we treat those in authority over us.
There are always chores to be done, no matter how great of a meal is served today, the kids and the cattle will be hungry again tomorrow.
No matter how much cleaning is done today, there will always be beds to make or stalls to muck tomorrow.
No matter if the inbox gets totally processed and filed, more mail is on the way.
No matter if the fence rows get totally weeded, soon enough there will be new fence to mend or gates to tend.
In the 4th commandment we are instructed to divide up the tasks, prioritize what must get done and what should get done and what we want to get done.
Then enjoy when the day’s tasks are complete.
It’s OK to stop and go fishing or watch a ballgame after the chores are done!
Transition: Too often, I feel burdened by what I must do tomorrow more than I find pleasure in what God enabled me to do today.
But God's pattern is that we should savor the joy of our completed work every day, every week, and every year.
Which is the point of vv.10-11
The Blessing of Rest (Ex.
Different from the Rest of the Week (v.11b)
The word “Holy” does not mean pious or religious.
It simply means “removed from common use” or “subject to special treatment.”
The best picture of “set apart” I can think of is my pink plastic bin.
For a season between 1990-94 we had several hospital stays with babies being born and other surgeries.
Each time someone was admitted to the hospital we were sent home with a pink plastic tub.
These tubs are useful for rinsing vegetables, bathing babies, holding first aid supplies or keeping all the baby’s socks together.
But I have one pink tub that happened to be under the sink so I used it to carry all my plumbing tools back to my workbench.
If you’ve ever opened a p-trap or snaked a drain, you know that you don’t want the same bin that holds plumbing tools to be used for soaking your green beans!
In that way, my pink bin is “removed from common use”.
2. God does not intend for you to do 60 hours of work in 1 day.
He intends that you do each day’s task then enjoy rest.