Monday, September 4, 2017

The Eternal Rest of Labor Day

Written by: Scotty Smith

He said, “It is finished” John 19:30

     Lord Jesus, on this 2017 Labor Day, our hearts are filled with gratitude and praise. We're grateful for our vocations and the gift of work. Indeed, through work, we provide for our families and participate in the Creation Mandate--our ongoing calling to steward resources, make culture, and fill the earth with your glory. What a privilege and honor, even when it gets very frustrating.

But even more so, we’re grateful for your finished work, Jesus--for your perfect and complete "labor of love." Everything changed when you cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” We praise you for the once-and-for-all-ness of your redeeming work on our behalf. That's one job that's completely, perfectly, and forever over. Hallelujah!

As our substitute in life, you accomplished what we could never do for ourselves: You joyfully obeyed our Father, by everything you thought, said, and did. The will of God was your bread and delight. We praise you for your saving life.

And as our substitute in death, you made our Judgment Day to be yours. Through your death on the cross, we're counted guiltless and righteous. We're fully known and greatly loved, seated in the heavenlies and rooted in love, standing in grace and sealed for eternity. The peace this brings us is of incalculable. We praise you for your redeeming death and the triumph of your resurrection.

Performance-based-spirituality has taken an eternal beat-down. Legalism and pragmatism have been exposed and dethroned. Now our labors have become labors of love. We obey you because we love you; and we love you because you gave yourself for us as a sacrifice for our sins.

We now work from a place of rest, not restlessness; not to get anything from you, but because we’ve received everything in you; not to build a little fiefdom for ourselves, but to expand your kingdom in our communities; not to get crowns, but to throw crowns at your feet on Day. Indeed, on this Labor Day, we are so very grateful, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.

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