It has been my privilege to consult with two companies that have well-thought-out, clearly stated mission statements. These written documents answer two questions for them: Why are we here? What do we do?
As individuals, it’s important that we can also answer those same questions. Last week I was discussing this with several professional people. Some of them admitted that, caught up in the frenetic pace of the typical workday, they rarely pause to consider, “Why am I here?” or “What am I doing?”
For followers of Jesus, however, the Bible directly provides us with the answers for both questions. We know from the Scriptures that we cannot earn God’s acceptance. His grace – or unmerited favor – comes to us as a gift. But that does not mean what we do is not important. In fact, work is a big part of why we are here.
Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” And after we read that the Word of God “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:17 tells us, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
From the beginning, as recounted in the opening chapter of Genesis, God’s plan was for humankind to perform work on earth, to “fill the earth and subdue it” – which theologians describe as “the cultural mandate.”
Each day, whether we sit at a computer, build cabinets, practice medicine, teach a class, run a company, or perform countless other tasks, God is calling us to good works, performing them in ways that honor Him and serve others. Not to earn His love and favor, but because we have His love and favor.