Theology of Work (TOW) 1: Purpose Of Work (Traditional/P&P)

January 7, 2024 | Traditional and Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Raymond Fong
Theology of Work (TOW) 1: Purpose Of Work (Traditional/P&P)

January 7, 2024 | Traditional and Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Raymond Fong
Scripture Passage: Genesis 1:26-28, 31; 2:1-3 (NIV)

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Summary l Continuing the direction of Intentional Discipleship, we will focus on discipleship in the workplace in 2024. Work is a gift from God. We are His disciples in whatever place God has stationed us. It may be in an office, home, school or a place where we volunteer in. In this series on the Theology of Work, we will focus on the purpose of work, rest from work, challenges of work, character for work, witness at work and the calling for work. As part of this year’s theme, a marketplace support group has been started and a survey regarding workplace discipleship has been launched.

The purpose of work is clearly shown in Genesis 1. God worked to bring creation into reality. He created each of us in His image. Therefore, when we work, we must reflect His image in whatever we do. This entails:

1. Create and Cultivate

God created the universe in an orderly manner. God created realms on the first three days (night and day; sky and sea; land and vegetation) and subsequently, filled each realm on the following three days (lights; birds and marine life; animals and humans). Amazingly, God continues His creation through us. Gen. 1:28 commands us to be fruitful. This refers not only to procreation but also about civilizing society. As we are called to subdue the earth, our duty is to steward what God has created and to fulfil the work He has assigned us. Adam and Eve were tasked to name the animals and cultivate the garden. We too are tasked to create a godly culture, standards, values and products in whatever environment we are working in and regardless of what season of life we are in.

2. Work in relationship with others

God created community. Gen. 2:18 describes how Eve was created to be a ‘helper’ (ezer in Hebrew). The term ‘helper’ described God Himself. “Surely God is my help” (Ps. 54:4). We are called to love and nurture others whom we work with. Whether as a boss or a subordinate, do we serve and honour those around us?

3. Trust in His provision

Gen. 1:29 tells us that God provides for our every need. He who feeds the birds in the air will surely care for us too. Therefore, surrender our remuneration and rewards to His gracious provision. In these days of rising costs and work challenges, recall God’s Word in Matt. 6:31-32. Do not worry, for He knows what we need. Trust in Him who provides.

4. Honour the limits

Gen. 2:2-3 describes how God rested after He finished creation. He did not rest because of exhaustion but He gives us a model to follow. Rest sets a limit, reminding us that work does not define us. Rest expresses our humble dependency on God. We stop and surrender all the work done to God. These limits help us review what is important in life.

Three discipleship lessons:

A. Be thankful

Regardless of what type of workplace we are in, there are opportunities to represent God and to reflect His image. Be grateful for such opportunities. Faith arises from gratitude, for we know that God has blessed and provided for us.

B. Engage God in our workplace

There is no secular-sacred divide, for God works in every sphere of life. In Gen. 2:15, God placed man in the Garden of Eden to work (avad) and keep (shamar). These two words are used for the worship of God. Our work is as sacred as our worship. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23). Excel in work as a form of worship to Him.

C. Establish sacred rhythms

Create margins in life and not rush along. These buffer times help us to start and end the day with prayer. Throughout the day, we set time to remember that God is our source of strength. We set aside moments to praise God and to be thankful and surrender all our challenges to Him. Fill our minds with God’s perspective throughout the day.

As we start the new year, let us honour God through our work, trusting in His provision and reflecting His image in all that we do.

(Sermon notes by Angela Goh)


  1. What does Genesis 1 reveal about God as a worker? How was He creative?
  2. God calls us to subdue, be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28). How did the sermon clarify what this means?
  3. What godly culture can you create and cultivate at your workplace?
  4. How can you strengthen the relationships you have at your workplace?
  5. How can we trust that God provides us for us as we do our best in our work?
  6. There is no sacred and secular divide. How will you apply this truth?
  7. What is a sacred rhythm you can put in place for your daily work?
  8. What are the hopes you have for your workplace? 
  9. Pray for each other to be salt and light wherever God has placed us.
Wesley Communications Team
Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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