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  • Writer's pictureRobert Sierk

The Vanity of Toil-Why Work Anyway? You Only Die And Then Your Heirs Get It.

Read what the preacher has to say in Ecclesiastes 2:18-19, "Qoheleth [the preacher] says, "I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!" (NLT)


The preacher, most believe it to be Solomon (as do I), has a problem at this stage of his life. He is looking at everything that is "under the sun" and finds it ALL (Ecc. 1:2) to be vanity, that is, futile and short-lived. He has already come to that conclusion over wisdom, education, all sorts of human pleasures, and now he adds work to it as well. But his problem is that for some reason he has decided to focus on the things of this world and he appears to have forgotten about the One who does give all of His children purpose not only in the future where He promises us an eternity with Him through His Son Jesus but now while He leaves us here on earth.

It is important for everyone to realize that should we look at everything we do through a lens that cannot see any farther than the sky, then it is futile. But, if we include God, as all of us should, then we see through Scripture that we have a great purpose while we live out our days here on earth. And that purpose is to glorify God in all we do, including our work. And WOW! what a difference that makes!

The following audio file is a sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:58 which states, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (ESV)

The sermon below, by Pastor Brian Warner of Greystone Church in Fairport, NY, presents clear examples and walks us through the fact that we not only need to work but in addition to, and more importantly, that our work should bring glory to God. And this very work, which we sometimes dislike because it seems tedious, boring, mundane, and repetitious, will never be for naught: for no labor done in the name of or for the name of Jesus will ever be done in vain. And therefore we must look upon the cyclical tiresome iterations and routines of our day-to-day labors and view our work in a brand new light. The light of being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ in all that we do! What a difference that will make for all of us. So if you've got a few minutes, click below and listen to how the Lord will use your labors to bring Him glory.

Play audio by clicking here: Play Sermon Now

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