1. The purpose of work (Genesis 1:27-28)

Scripture ReadingGenesis 1:27-28

What are we here for? What good is our work? What is the purpose of the things we do?

From the beginning, Genesis tells us God intended human beings to be his junior partners in the work of bringing his creation to fulfillment. These verses in Genesis give us a mission statement—some people call it the “creation mandate.”

The story of our first parents in Genesis shows us that God created people for a number of reasons. We are to exercise responsible dominion over the world, to be fruitful and multiply, to receive God’s provision, to work in relationships, and to observe the limits of creation. It is not in our nature to be satisfied with things as they are, to receive provision for our needs without working, to endure idleness for long, to toil in a system of uncreative regimentation, or to work in social isolation.

Think about this passage as you work today. How does your work fulfill these missions that God gave us?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, because the little that my hands have found to do matters to you. Please help me do all I can to make your world beautiful, and a reflection of your glory. Amen. (Prayer submitted by Emeka Opara via Twitter)

For Further Exploration: Read more about the call to work in the book of Genesis in God Creates and Equips People to Work (Genesis 1:26-2:25), from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

Author: Theology of Work Project

Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org

You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work.

© 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc.

Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.