Do you ever feel like the things you do aren’t important or are meaningless? Do you ever think you could be using your life for a better purpose and cause, beyond the things that seem to serve no good purpose? I understand how you you feel because I at times feel the same way. I’ve wonder if I should move to a place that is less evangelized or a more poverty stricken country, or something of the like. I’ve been there but the hope that I cling to is that God determines my days, years and location. In His grand plan and purposes, this is where I need to be. Maybe that’s the encouragement these verses can provide for you.
Rather than write another article or book on these type of things, I wanted to provide some help and encouragement for you to consider from the Scriptures. Below is a sampling of Bible verses regarding the ordinary tasks of life.
I hope these verse and some of the notes I’ve made will be of some help. The Scripture is a wonderful book that is the most detailed and involved piece of literature in the day to day affairs of people. It is for everyone one profits everyone in every situation. God designed it that way. Always remember that God works through normal ordinary means and fits us to do the same.
"A Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting crosses on shoes, but by making good shoes. God cares for good craftsmanship." Martin Luther (probably)
Genesis 1:26-27: Man’s creation in God’s image is to do God-like things to learn more about God. So it’s in our being to do things like God.
Genesis Chapter 1-2: God creates the world and by working. He works hard and then rests. Our pattern of life is built and modeled after God.
Genesis Chapters 1:26-27: All the material in the world is from God and he tells you to have dominion over it. Use it make great things, not matter how big or small because you have dominion over the big and small.
Genesis 4:17-22: As mankind spread, God had them do basic things that we use today: build cities, farm and play instruments. Because they are made in God’s image, they take his materials and do good things with them.
Genesis 4:17-22: Building cities includes all the mundane things that make a city exist: roads, buildings, infrastructure, etc. All of this is part of what God created us to do.
Genesis 5 and all genealogies: Who of them knew they would be listed in genealogies that ultimately made the way for the Messiah to come? We are placed in our families with certain people for a reason that God determines.
Genesis 6:11-22: God tells Noah that He is going to destroy the earth and He gives Noah electing grace and salvation. What is Noah’s next task? Build a boat. For about 100 years. God gives him very specific instructions, but not to do a magic trick. He tells how to use tools. God knew in detail how to use a tool, because the idea to make tools to build culture is from God. Whatever you do in your job, the ingenuity and creativity to do that is from God. Your chicken sandwiches aren’t good because Chick-Fila made it, but because God wove into the fabric of creation how to take salt, pepper, oil, heat chicken, flour and butter and make something close to divine. As well, when you set up systems for speed, organization, etc. that achieve financial growth then you have taken principles from God and used it in your life and skill. You have taken dominion. You can see this in these passages. God knew what tools to use, what to do with them and He knew why. Now we do the same.
Genesis 9:20: Noah becomes a man of the soil. He does like God did: He works and builds. Noah is an ordinary guy, who after being the leader of a new humanity in a sense, doesn’t set up a throne, but goes to work.
Genesis 11:1-9: God looks in anger at man when they try to build a tower to heaven. Why was he angry? Because they believed themselves to be God because of their work, ingenuity and creativity. One of their sins wasn’t undervaluing their work, but overvaluing their work. This happens often to men in the Scripture.
Genesis 13: Why did Abram Lot separate? To see where they would take dominion and multiply. Lot chose to do this in evil ways and with evil people. The question is: In the life decisions we make, will we choose the path that is good to eyes and stomach or to follow God, knowing that he will provide those things in His way and time. A land flowing with milk and honey was figurative for literal things.
Genesis 20-21: Where did Abraham get all his wealth and possessions? He worked. This is the underlying part of his story. He is working and taking dominion and God is using him and his life to bring about the plan of redemption. God’s promises to Him to bring a son are special because it happens within the ordinary times of life.
Genesis 22: Abraham take Issac to sacrifice Him to God as God commands. Issac isn’t unfamiliar with the sacrifice of worship. He even asks his father why all the elements aren’t there. What is significant to this is that Isaac is familiar with worship because his father showed him and participated in worship with him. Stay faithful worshipping with your kids. God is shaping them even when you cant see or your not aware.
Genesis 23, 25, 27: Sarah dies and they bury her. They do so in their traditions and their tradition is there to build and sustain their culture for generations to come. See the deaths of prominent saints in other parts of the Old Testament. Godly traditions build legacies into a family. Don’t overlook the power they have to shape all of life.
Genesis 24: Isaac, one of the patricharcs of the Scripture, is a man who works in the field. He is a normal person that God is using to do great things for generations to come. Stay faithful in what you are doing. You don’t know what legacy God is building in you.
Genesis 30:25-33: God prospers Jacob in his vocation.
The life of Joseph: Joseph spent much of his days working in sectors of society that were not parts of the people of God. They were in institutions that served the common good. They had a bigger purpose: Bring about the lineage of the Messiah. Joseph didn’t spare Egypt from famine by learning about agriculture and planning in a dream. He had a dream and God used his skills and abilities to save them from famine. Remember this: Joseph didn’t take all those supplies in the store houses. Normal, everyday people did. It may not seem like much, but hard work aided in people not starving for seven years. Notice as well: His skill was organization,. leadership and proper planning and frugality. He knew not to spend all the excess and to use their excess to further their wealth even more. Use your skills with money to bless and prosper your business, even when it seems you are just doing the payroll.
Exodus 1:1-7: Israel went from 70 people to thousands upon thousands and they were known for what? Not merely their religion, but for how their God prospers and blesses them.
Exodus 2:3: Moses’ mother made a basket for him. This is craftsmanship.
Exodus 5: One of the punishments for Israel was hard work. Work is so valuable that Egypt thought they could destroy them by making their work hard. But they continued to prosper by God’s grace.
Exodus 17:8-14: The people of God were skilled in the art of warfare. See also many of the battles of Joshua, Judges, Kings and Chronicles. I say art of warfare because so much of what they did was planning, strategy and use of wisdom. What does it take to run a godly business? planning, strategy and use of wisdom. Taking things God gives us and using it for his honor.
Exodus 21-30 and most of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy: Much of these are laws that are to be practiced in a godly society. This is where the vocation of lawyers comes from and our systems of fair practice.
Exodus 28:15, Exodus 35:30-36:38 and Exodus 39 See the use of the word skill and where it came from. Ordinary things given special place and use by God.
The Book of Numbers is essentially the use of mathematics
Deuteronomy 4: This tells that as you enter the land, you will prosper if you obey God and will lose prosperity if you turn to false gods. Look at the ways in which you will prosper and interpret that not just as a nation giving out resources, but the families and business that make up a nation.
Psalm 68: God’s workings in the normal life
Matthew 13:55: Jesus born to a carpenter.
Matthew 4: Calling of the Disciples from ordinary jobs
Paul’s journeys are often to meet up and talk with people for encouragement.
Acts 2:42-47: To meet day to day is to mean someone is cooking, cleaning, preparing etc. These meetings cant happen without those tasks being accomplished.
Mark 1:29-31: Jesus is there for fellowship and does ministry in the ordinary. The disciples may have left all to follow Jesus, but they still had homes and families.
Mark 2: Jesus is in mans home. Ordinary things happening.
Romans 16:1-2: Help in any way she needs.
Romans 16:3-5: They risked their necks by owning a home and having worship services there
Romans 16:6: Hard work. Doesn’t say how
Romans 16:7-16: The greetings there are for church members who work hard and their families. Not the popular pastors, but the members.
Romans 16:23: Normal jobs
1 Corinthians is a book about normal life and problems: greed, arrogance, disobedience, sexuality, lawsuits, marriage, children, food, humility, clothing, etc.
1 Corinthians 16:1-4
1 Corinthians 16: 5-11: Paul talking about friendships
2 Corinthians 13:11: Work out your arguments and get along
Ephesians 4: See how normal the new life looks. No radicalness in this passage.
Ephesians 6:22: Tychius is sent to tell others news.
Philippians 4:2-9: Women arguing and need to get along.
Philippians 4:10-20: Thanks for the kind hospitality
Colossians 4:12: praying long and often for a single church. God cares about every fabric and church.
1 Thessalonians 5:12: show respect
1 Thessalonians 5:13: Get along with others
1 Thessalonians 5:14: Encourage others around you
Read 1 Thessalonians 5 as if it were instructions for you in your local church. Very simple stuff
1 Timothy 2:1-7: Pray for your governmental leaders
1 Timothy 5: the day to day care of church life
Philemon as a book: Forgive someone who messed up.
Hebrews 13:4: God says sexual acts are wonderful and he delights when they are within marriage.
James is the best book for normal life
1 Peter 3: In the midst of a painful persecution, he stops to talk about husbands tone towards their wives, so much that he says it could hinder your prayers. How you talk to your wife is of equal value to being dispersed for the faith.
2 John: Written to an individual in a small church that we never know about loving people