Bible Readings for a Service on Work
These Biblical Readings about Work are compiled as part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.
Bible Readings about Work
GENESIS 1: 1-end
Creation, the world and its resources are ordered according to God's will.
God transforms chaos into creation.
GENESIS 1:26-28, 2:15
Human beings appointed managers and stewards of creation.
Human beings spoil creation through greed and jealousy.
Work that is experienced as oppressive runs counter to God's will.
The delegation of power is the right use of authority.
Craft skills are the gift of God's Spirit; all work is to be to the glory of God.
Human beings are fellow workers with God.
Spiritual dangers threaten a nation in times of material prosperity.
Thanks is due to God for all the good things he has given.
1 CHRONICLES 29:1-13
All good things come from God, so natural resources and wealth are to be used to glorify God.
2 CHRONICLES 5:1,13,14
Solomon builds God's temple; all work should be to the glory of God.
To build and create is hard; there are always critics and detractors.
JOB 28:3-6, 9-15,20,23-28
The wise use of resources and technology.
God is to be trusted in all things; self-interest and self-importance have no place in his kingdom.
The requirement of justice in God's vineyard
The prophets tell how human beings in their pride make perverted use of God's creation and of their own talents.
God uses secular agents in his purpose.
God himself is the real satisfier of human need.
Work is to be of benefit to the poor and disadvantaged.
The prophet instructs God's people to play their full part in the life of the world.
The Spirit of God breathes new life into things that are dead.
The importance of justice and fairness in society.
True religion stresses justice for all.
Life is hallowed in the sight of God, and work in all its forms is part of his purpose.
God has shown what is good; he requires justice and love, not abundance of material things.
There should be justice for all; those who work only for themselves and use others are condemned by God.
All must be done in humility.
Jesus shows the right attitude to earthly things; God's priorities are different from our own.
Jesus' attitude to wealth and possessions.
All people are equal before God; petty jealousies are destructive for each has his or her part to play.
The importance of forgiveness. No party has a monpoly of goodness; in any dispute each party has wronged the other.
Entry to God's kingdom is through grace; it is not earned.
Our obligation to use and develop our talents.
The strong should support the weak.
Jesus cares for and loves those whom we would rather not love.
Love is the most important priority in living.
The poverty of wealth. If business is no more than making money, means are substituted for ends.
LUKE 15: 11-end
The prodigal is accepted because he is his father's son; he does not have to earn his acceptance.
God's involvement with his creation is plain to see; the gospel expresses his love and concern for the world.
God can increase the yield on what we offer to him.
Getting earthly things into perspective.
Those in authority are called to serve.
The promise of the Holy Spirit is the promise of new life.
The divine presence in the commonplace.
Important decisions require prayer.
Doing a good job requires a group to work together.
The right priorities in life; material things are never an end in themselves.
ROMANS 8:14-17, 38-39
Through God's love men and women are freed from fear.
The role of Christians in God's transformation of chaos into final creation.
The gifts of all are needs in building up the whole.
Obedience is owed to those in legitimate authority.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:3-9 or 3:5-17
We are fellow workers with God and one another.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-11
All forms of work are inspired by God and so all are important.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27
All have their part to play; co-operation in all forms of work brings out the best in each.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:49-58
Our work is to be transformed and taken up into the life of heaven.
2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-14
Those without wealth show the wealthy riches in non-material things.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-end
To work ungrudgingly is a way of thanking God for his generosity to us.
The whole of life is to be lived in the new way of Christ.
The right attitude to work and relationships. Attacks should be against social evils rather than against any individual.
Jesus' example of humility shows a better way to live and work.
All things come from God and are fulfilled in Jesus.
We should stop being motivated by self-interest and put on God's love.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-28
Peace and justice are essential to the gospel. Each is to work in a spirit of co-operation not confrontation.
Self-interest is not acceptable. Affluence and wealth carry a burden of responsibility.
1 PETER 2:4-12
Self-interest has no place in the new life to which Christ has raised us.
1 JOHN 4:7-21
Love for one another is Jesus' command. In this new way all may work in peace and equality.
The New Jerusalem the goal of God's creative purpose; human work and wealth have contributed to its abundance.