Brethren, it says get to to work. Brethren, that’s what we’re told here. Lazy people are a curse, we must get to work. Look at what the next thing is in verse 28 that it says. Ephesians 4:28. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor doing honest work with his own hands, or doing work with his hands that is good. He focuses on the hands. Brethren, look at your hands. I mean look at them ask yourself this. Are these hands typically still in bed at 9 am, 10 am ? Are they in bed at noon? Young ladies, you that are looking for a husband, I know a lot of times you look for how handsome the face is, but I’ll tell you this, the Bible says that’s vain. You might do a whole lot better looking at his hands. Finding out are those hands hard at work. Are those hands that go over to that box there and give of what that hard work produces by those hands and puts it in that box, to support missions, and orphans, men in the ministry, widows? Look at the hands, it’s amazing. Men, look at women’s hands, you young men that are looking for a wife. Do you know that when you go look at the excellent wife in Proverbs 31. Do you know how much is said about her hands? Listen to this, Proverbs 31:13 she works with willing hands, Proverbs 31:16 She considers a field and buys it with the fruit of her hands,she plants a vineyard Proverbs 31:17 she dresses herself with strength, and makes her arms you don’t have hands here but arms strong Proverbs 31:19 she puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. Brother what are your hands doing? The hands of the Christian are gonna be different than the hands of the gentile, The hands of the world, the hands like you had that were part of the former manner of life. The hands held by one who possesses the new man, who’s been transformed. They look different brethren, they’re different.
I’ll tell you this, you that are looking for spouses. I told you this before, lazy men and lazy women are a curse in the family. Lazy husbands, lazy fathers. Listen to this, Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes is what? A sluggard. One slothful. Let me ask you this? Is smoke in your eyes a blessing or a curse? Do you like it? Anybody like putting their eyes over a fire and have the smoke billow into them? That’s what a sluggard is like, and you can tell them by their hands. The hands are not hard at work, their hands are not giving hands, whether it’s a man or a woman.
It also says there in proverbs 15:19 the way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns. Now the way I read my Bible thorns is part of the curse. Thorns are a curse. They’re not nice. I try not to plant anything in my yard that has thorns. I hate them, they’re a curse. Doesn’t seem like Texas has all sorts of thorny things. Everything that wants to prick you and stab you and bite you. It’s a curse. And the sluggard is compared to that. The sluggard isn’t compared to a soft pillow or to a beautiful sunset. The sluggard is compared to smoke in your eyes and to a thorny hedge.
Young ladies, you want a cursed marriage? Just marry a lazy man. A man whose hands are always looking for a way out of work. Brethren let me tell you this about work. Work is not part of the curse. A sluggard is a curse. But a working man… listen brethren. Work, the man was given to tending of the garden before sin came in. When God created it all, and he looked at it and said It is good. Work was in that package folks, it’s good. It’s not bad. Work is great.
And let me just stress this to you guys. Most Christians, most Christians are going to work secular jobs. It’s amazing how many people come and they get saved and it’s like they feel they gotta go, I’m going to serve the Lord. Gotta go into the ministry. my job you know it’s over there and it just seems so redundant and mundane. And it seems like, you know, I’m spending my whole life and I’m doing this over here, and it’s just not amounting to anything. The way to be really something in life, and escape futility, the way to do that, I gotta go into ministry.
Brethren, listen to me, 95%, 99% of all Christians are going to live working secular jobs. How are you going to be salt and light unless you get out there in the midst of the world? In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, not removed from it, not cloistered in our little shelter. It’s not like we get saved and now we all withdraw from the world. Brethren, it’s out there. Do you realize that when the soldiers came to John Baptist, what should we do? Quit your jobs and get into the ministry? That is not what he said. He said show integrity as a soldier. Even the tax collectors, they came to John, and he says, be honest. Be upright. Brethren, you will not find in the scriptures that when a person’s saved… Now it says, doing good. If you’re in a workplace that is requiring you to do evil, get out of it. If you’re required to lie, get out of it. There’s obvious jobs that if there’s sin involved you need to get out of it. It says work with your hands to what is good, not what’s evil.
We got some young people that are working a whole lot of Sundays, forsaking the assembly of the church. Brethren that is not good. Quit your job, trust the Lord. Find another job, and work with your hands. …There’s no place for working with your hands to be able to give, if that working with your hands is taking you out of what God commands you to be involved with. That’s no good, that’s bad. Brethren, the truth is, when you come to your New Testaments, you just don’t find people being told to quit their secular jobs. What you find rather is in the midst of those secular jobs, work for your employer as unto the Lord. Not as men pleasers, do it… Brethren. The bible does not set it for as working with your hands to have something to give, is mundane and useless and of no avail. I mean you remember those Philippians, right? Paul in the 4th Chapter of the Philippian letter is commending them. You Philippians, all the way back you’ve been co-laborers with me in the Gospel. You’ve tended to my needs, even at Thessalonica you gave once and again. And you guys, and he goes on, and he gets to the end and he is just praising God and Father and just… Glory to Him!, why? Because you Philippians saved Gentiles, you were working all of your jobs, whatever they were doing, making pottery, plowing the fields, they were doing all of this stuff and they were giving. And the Apostle says This is abounding to your account. Brethren, do you think that is useless and mundane to work a secular job and To be salt and light out there in the midst of a dark world? To be able to earn money so that you can give to missions and give to orphans. And give to those laboring after the gospel. Paul says that abounds to your account. You are storing up treasure in heaven. Is that useless and senseless to live a life like that? Where you’re building up treasure in heaven, it is not! Paul says This is glorious! So press on Brethren.
I’ll tell you something else about work that the bible does not teach. The bible does not say… at all, anywhere, I want to emphasize this, it does not say that you should work with your hands so that you can give, and do this till you’re 65 and then retire. Retirement belongs to the world folks, not to the Word of God. In my bible I read this in Revelation 14:13, I heard a voice from Heaven saying write this blessed are the dead. Not the retired. The dead who die in the Lord from now on blessed indeed says the Spirit, that they may rest from their laborers. You see brethren we rest from our labors when we die, not when we retire. There is nothing about retirement in the bible. You’re not going to find it there.
Brethren we need to work while it is day. The night is coming when no man can work. We need to work as long as we’ve got strength, as long as we’ve got life. We need to do what we can. We need to follow Christ to the end. Retirement is simply trying to make your heaven here. The bible says don’t store up for retirement, store up treasure in heaven! That is where we retire. That is where the eternal rest is.
Then brethren, third. Start sharing. Brethren. The world is full of parasites, don’t be that. We get people who come into the church. And they just want. Well I’ve got a need, I’ve economic hard-times, I’ve got this, …that’s true, sometimes those things happen and they are very valid, and the church should be right there to help and I’m not knocking that at all. But brethren there are some folks, they will take, and take, and take, and take. They’re like a parasite, they just suck, and suck, and suck, but they will not give. Brethren these are two radical extremes. The thief is a man who is selfish and he wants and he will take. The thief that will break into your house will also come into this church and take and take and take. They Are one in the same folks. You don’t want to be like that. Put it off.
Brethren, rather we are to be people who are willing to give. Remember Christ is our example. He had boundless riches. And for our sakes He became poor, that we might become rich. That’s the example that we’re called upon to follow. Christ. The Apostle says let this mind be in you that was also in Christ. We are to esteem others better than ourselves. Here’s Christ, He comes into this world, He humbles Himself. He was equal with God. He comes here, He humbles himself. He becomes obedient, He becomes a servant. a man, He takes His obedience all the way to that Cross. To death, to death… in a way that is indescribable. The crushing under the hand of almighty God, for our sins. Brethren He’s our example. Were to work with these hands.