The Duty of Diligence

Of the many legacies of the Protestant Reformation, few have had greater and wider-reaching impact than the rediscovery of the biblical understanding of vocation. Before the Reformation, the only people considered to have a vocation or calling were those who were engaged in full-time church work—monks, nuns, or priests. As Gene Veith writes, “The ordinary occupations of life—being a peasant farmer or kitchen maid, making tools or clothing, being a soldier or even king—were acknowledged as necessary but worldly. Such …

Pursue Your Vocation

Why do we work? For five or six days of every week, most of us spend at least half of our waking hours doing a job. We take time away from our families and away from worldly pleasures to pursue an occupation. It’s simply what humans do. But why? Some say we work so that we don’t have to work. Bestselling books teach us how to “escape the 9 to 5,” to get rich fast and set ourselves up for …

Become a Patron

3 Godly Ambitions for the Christian

Some of my favorite biblical commands are the ones that most counter our culture, and even our little Christian subculture. We find just such a series of commands near the end of 1 Thessalonians. There Paul tells this church to “…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (4:11). The ESV is nicely complemented by the NIV’s slightly different rendering: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind …

The High Calling of Bringing Order From Chaos

There are many things we do in this world that grow wearisome over the course of a lifetime. Near the top of the heap may just be the constant battle to bring order from chaos. This world and everything in it are constantly drifting toward chaos, maybe even full-out hurtling toward chaos. And a million times in a million ways we take little actions to hold it back, to restore just a modicum of order. God knows all about order …

Thank God For Your Job (Doesn’t Matter What Your Job Is!)

Labor Day is one of only a few non-religious holidays that is celebrated on the same day in both Canada and the United States. Today all across North America we are taking a break from our normal labors in order to rest. And as we rest, we do well to remember and to thank. More than anyone else, John Flavel has taught me why and how I ought to express gratitude to God. Today I’m following in his footsteps as …

God Will Take You at Your Word

The kingdom of God is in every way opposite to the kingdom of this world. We see this clearly described in a powerful bit of preaching from an old Wesleyan minister. His text was Matthew 16:24-25: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” If God has called you …

Wait For Payday!

Yesterday I shared a short article about working well–about doing our work in a way that pleases God. We looked at some verses from the book of Ephesians but didn’t quite get through them, so today I want to carry on. Paul began by saying that Christians are to work and followed that by saying Christians are to ensure that they always complete their work with a view to pleasing God. But even that isn’t enough. Paul says that you …

Working Well

It seems appropriate that during a season when so many of us—myself included—are enjoying times of vacation, we should pause to consider matters of work and vocation. I was recently brushing up on some of these things myself, especially as they are laid out in the book of Ephesians. There we find Paul addressing the relationships of slave to master and master to slave and from that point we are but a short step away from drawing applications for all …

Daddy Needs a Vacation

I need a vacation. Over the years I’ve learned to identify the signs. I’ve learned to spot the difficulty in getting out of bed, the lack of creativity I bring to my vocation, the extra cup of coffee I find myself craving in mid-afternoon. I enjoy the blessing of being able to do what I love to do almost all day every day so when I get tired, when I get listless, when I find it almost impossible to sit …

Homemaking in the Light of Eternity

That article about homemaking struck a nerve. Last week I wrote about Aileen and her Counter-Cultural Vocation of Homemaking, and I did so to share my gratitude that she decided to put aside other dreams to focus on caring for the home and children (and of course, for me). In retrospect, there is one more thing I wish I had said in that article, and I aim to say it today: The gospel transforms homemaking. Now I know it’s all …