The Biblical Purpose and Story Behind Work

Work Has Always Been Part of God's Plan


Mark Russell is President of Elevate publishing and author of several books including Work as Worship. In this post, he first gives the biblical story behind work, citing God's very design of us as His image bearers. Then he will teach us how to avoid a worldly misconception of purpose and worship God in our jobs.


Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

27So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Genesis 2:3 (ESV)

3So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Genesis 2:15 (ESV)

15The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


What does your identity as God's image bearer teach you about your role as a created worker? How will this change the way you approach your work?
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What do you believe work will be like for you in heaven? Does the idea of continuing to work in eternity excite or depress you? Why?
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So often, workers look for the perfect job that will give a significant purpose to their labor. Mark argues, however, that the correct fix is not in finding the right vocation, but in finding God's purpose where you are. Listen to him explain this concept in the next video.


How is your current job sometimes unsatisfying? Why are these things a problem?
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Do you struggle with this expectation that you should have a job exactly how you want it? How have you been taught that a perfect job exists specifically for you?
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Based on your talents and skills and disposition, what are two or three jobs that would be a very good (though not perfect) fit for you?
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What do you believe is God's purpose for you in your work? Why might He have you at your present job?
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Work is good and ordained by God for all of us. If you are unsatisfied with your job, it is fine to explore other options, but don't do so to the neglect of asking God to use you for His purpose wherever you are. He might have a great mission for you exactly where you already are.