Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19


God created us to work. It was part of His good and perfect design for humanity (Genesis 2:15). However, because of sin, work is now under the curse and is not what God intended it to be. Timothy “TA” Ateek walks us through the effects of the curse on our work in Genesis 3:17-19 and the ways we can still glorify God through our jobs in Colossians 3:22-24.

Timothy "TA" AteekDec 4, 2022

In This Series (17)
Made for a New World | Isaiah 11:1-16
Oren MartinDec 18, 2022
Made to Be Saved | Genesis 3:15, 21-24
John ElmoreDec 11, 2022
Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19
Timothy "TA" AteekDec 4, 2022
Made to Gospel Our Relationships | Genesis 3:12-13
John ElmoreNov 27, 2022
Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11
Timothy "TA" AteekNov 20, 2022
Made for a Different World | Genesis 3:1-7
John ElmoreNov 13, 2022
Made for Relationships: Marriage | Genesis 2:18-25
Timothy "TA" AteekNov 6, 2022
Made for Relationship | Genesis 2:18-20
John ElmoreOct 30, 2022
Made to Rest | Genesis 2:1-3
John ElmoreOct 23, 2022
Made to Flourish | Genesis 2:4-25
Blake HolmesOct 16, 2022
God’s Heart for The Nations | Revelation 7:9-17
Timothy "TA" AteekOct 9, 2022
Made in the Image of God | Genesis 1:26-27
Timothy "TA" AteekOct 2, 2022
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
John Elmore, Cassidy Webber, Brett Bruster, Steven Ateek, Alan BeamSep 25, 2022
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
Timothy "TA" AteekSep 18, 2022
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
John ElmoreSep 11, 2022
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
John ElmoreAug 28, 2022
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
Timothy "TA" AteekAug 21, 2022


We were made to work. God originally designed work to be satisfying, enjoyable, and fulfilling, and it was part of His good and perfect design for humanity (Genesis 2:15). We exist on this earth to be image-bearers of God, and our God is a working God. He sets the example for us in His pattern of working and resting (Genesis 2:2). God created work as one way we could experience His goodness. But because mankind rebelled against God, work is not cursed but is under the curse. Now, work is a mixed bag at best in four main ways:

  1. Work can be painful (Genesis 3:17)
    • Work can be physically, emotionally, and relationally painful.
  2. Work can be exhausting (Genesis 3:18)
    • It takes massive amount of work and effort to keep out whatever hinders health and growth.
  3. Work can be discouraging and disappointing (Genesis 3:18)
    • There will be times when we work hard, but the fruit does not match the effort.
  4. Work can be depressing (Genesis 3:19)
    • What was meant to be eternal is now temporary – we and our work on earth will both pass away.

Thankfully, our work still matters because of Jesus’s work on the cross. He knew the curse of work firsthand – His work on earth was painful, exhausting, discouraging, disappointing, and depressing. But He came to deal with the curse of sin and destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). God still cares deeply about our work and desires for us to glorify Him in our jobs. Because of this, we can find meaning in and glorify God through our work in three key ways:

  1. Work conscientiously (Colossians 3:22-23)
    • Don’t work hard only when your boss sees what you’re doing.
    • With the full force of your being, work as if you are working for the Lord and not for man.
  2. Work reverently (Colossians 3:22)
    • Jesus asks us to do our jobs as an act of worship to Him.
    • God is in complete control of our lives. He never wastes time. So if He has us in a job and hasn’t opened a door to go somewhere else, He is not done accomplishing His purposes in us or through us in that job.
  3. Work expectantly (Colossians 3:23-24)
    • A day is coming when God will take us to be with Him – we will work with Him and for Him for all eternity without the curse (Revelation 22:1-3).

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • In what ways can you work more conscientiously this week as if you are working for God and not man?
  • How can you work more reverently this week and glorify God through your job?
  • If you work expectantly of the day we will work with and for God free of the curse, what will change about your day-to-day job activities?
  • If you are content in your job, how can you thank God for that blessing?
  • If you are struggling in your job, how can you shift your mindset to make it an act of worship?
  • Additional Scripture: Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:19, John 6:29
  • Additional Resources: Careers in Motion