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Finding Dignity Among the Thorns (Grace at Work 2/5)

Healthy plants have deep roots and strong pillars have solid foundations. If we are to be Christians who are deeply rooted in Christ and built on the solid Rock, then we need more than mere sound bites. One means that the Lord has used throughout church history to strengthen His people’s faith and witness is reading good books. This book review series is identifying books that can serve as shovels that help you dig deeper in your Christian life.

Book: GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell. 


Another indication of the dignity of work is that God Himself works. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had made” (Gen. 2:2). God working also means that labor is not bad or evil or only a means to an end as many seem to think.

True, the Fall has made work a struggle and drudgery. But God had given mankind a mission by working. We can see this in Genesis (chapters 3-11), which is interspersed with brief snippets of how man worked to develop civilization. Man was a farmer, bred livestock, forged bronze and iron tools, made musical instruments, built an enormous ship, and used architectural knowledge to build cities. Our work “itself is an instrument of God, pushing back the corruption of the fall. God is mowing down the weeds of the world with our work” (p. 28).

It is right for Christians to work to provide for loved ones, church, and society. But work can also be a witness to unbelievers, although usually we are not hired to be Christian witnesses at work, but to put in a good day’s work (Col. 3:23). Yet, “our work is itself intended to extend the influence of God’s kingdom to every corner of creation.” “That is the message —our work is a channel of God’s grace. By work we both receive and dispense the blessing of our Lord” (p. 35). These are loaded statements, and Chapell uses the rest of the book to show how this is worked out in Scripture, including many interesting examples in the lives of believers.

In the next post, we will look at some of the ways he does this. But for now, we’ve noted that work is a good means to gloryify God by providing for others and witnessing to the world. How does this other-oriented focus help bring meaning to your work?


GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell.  Published by Crossway, 1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, Illinois, 60187, 2022. Softcover, 233 pages.

Buy this book by clicking here.

-       This is adapted from Mrs. Ricky (Frederika) Pronk’s book reviews in The Messenger. She is a member of Grace Free Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario and, together with her husband Rev. C. Pronk, is involved in Reformed Book Services


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