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He said, “It is finished” John 19:30

     Dear Lord Jesus, on this Labor Day, our hearts are filled with gratitude. We’re thankful for our jobs—for the good gift of work, by which we provide for our families and others; participate in the creation mandate—to steward your resources, make culture, and reveal your glory; and though which we celebrate being made in your image.

We praise you for the dignity and privilege of work, as exasperating and exhausting as it is, at times; and we praise you that throughout eternity—in the perfections of life in the new heaven and new earth, we’ll live lives of creativity, engagement and meaningful work.

But even more so, on the Labor Day, we’re grateful for your finished work, Lord Jesus—for your labor of love offered for us once and for all. Everything changed when you cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” We praise you for the once-and-for-all-ness of your redeeming work on our behalf.

As our substitute in life, you worked hard to do what we could never do for ourselves—you fulfilled all the demands of the law for us perfectly. We praise and bless you! And as our substitute in death, you accepted the just and holy consequences of both our failure to keep God’s law and our flat-out disobedience to everything the law requires. We worship and adore you!

Lord Jesus, because your labors are complete—because your “It is finished!” continues to reverberate in the courts of heaven and eternity, we are now declared by God to be guiltless and righteous; greatly loved and delighted in fully; seated in the heavenlies, rooted in love and standing in grace; totally and eternally accepted in you—the Beloved… and that’s just for starters!

And because of your “It is finished!”, the assumed pressure to impress you is eradicated; the arrogance of performance-based-acceptability has taken an eternal beat-down; legalism and pragmatism have been exposed and “trashed.” Now OUR labors have become labors of love as well. We obey you because you loved us and gave yourself for us as a sacrifice for our sins. We now work with you, not for you, in your commitment to make all things new. What a joy, privilege and honor!

We now work from a place of rest, not restlessness; not to get anything, but because we’ve received everything; not to build a little fiefdom for ourselves, but to expand your kingdom in our communities; not to get crowns, but to throw crowns at your feet.

Lord Jesus, it feels SO good to be free—so good to know we matter, but also to realize we’re not the point. Indeed, on this Labor Day, we are so very grateful. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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