Today is Labor Day and for many working and school going Americans it’s a three-day weekend. It’s a day that marks the end of summer, the start of the school year, it kicks off the first college football games of the season, and lots of people are coming together in outdoor events. In the late nineteenth century labor activists came together to push for today to be a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions that workers have made to make America strong and prosperous.
When you think about your strength and prosperity, is your job the first thing that comes to your mind? Obviously, we need employment to sustain our livelihoods, but where does your strength come from and how is your prosperity determined?
We are reminded by our biblical siblings of where to find our strength: in one of the Books of Wisdom, King David says, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121:2) In the Old Testament, Isaiah says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Finally, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13) Although our employment may bring financial stability to our household, our “actual strength” is divine and comes directly from the Lord, as we see throughout scripture.
We are also reminded by our biblical siblings throughout scripture that our prosperity is in our spiritual connection with Christ. Everything of this world will one day perish, but our connection with the Living God is the only eternal thing. Again, in one of the Books of Wisdom, King David says, “You will enjoy the fruits of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!” (Psalm 128:2) In the Old Testament, Jeremiah says, “For I know the plans I have for you’, says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (Jeremiah 29:11) In the New Testament, our dear brother, Paul, says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19). All prosperity points to Jesus, to truly know Him is to be prosperous, because all of the “financial and tangible prosperity” of this world will one day vanish, but Jesus remains the same for eternity.
So, how do you grow in your strength with the Lord, the One who offers you eternal prosperity? Well, a simple shepherd boy that grew up to be a great King who sought after God’s heart tells us in today’s passage. David outlines for us the starting points to cultivating a God centered life. In addition, I’d add, pick up the Bible every single day and ask for Jesus to grow you up in His Truth, and that is labor worth celebrating!
Psalm 101 (NLT)
Of David. A psalm.
1 I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
I will not tolerate.
6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
will minister to me.
7 No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
8 Every morning I will put to silence
all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
from the city of the Lord.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for all of the work that You lay entrust in my care. I ask for you to guide me to do everything in Your excellence. Grow me in Your strength and help me to see each step of faith with You as the only prosperity that I need for this life, because this physical life is fleeting, but my spiritual life with You is growing each and every day. Thank You for continuing to see me as a labor of love worthy of You, Jesus. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.