Cover Image: The Word Before Work

The Word Before Work

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Member Reviews

Work is very much a way of life. God ordained it thus making work a gift for mankind. Unfortunately, due to the entry of sin into the world, work has become corrupted in many dimensions, so much so that for some people, work is best described as some kind of a necessary evil. You hate it but you cannot live without it. In a stressful highly charged work environment, I have also heard working people tell me that their jobs suck. Yet, they needed the job to pay their mortgages, bills, and other essential expenses. The popular phrase, "Thank God it's Friday" describes how society views the notion of work. People look forward to the weekend as a way to escape the mundane toil of work. The question remains: Is work really a bad thing? What can we do to make work more bearable? Can work be more than mere survival? How can we redeem work? The simple answer from this book is this: Let the Word of God guide us before we commence each workday. Written like a devotional over a period of 52 work weeks, author Jordan Raynor gives us a daily reflection on Scripture followed by a short exhortation to help us embrace the day with faith and hope. The first four weeks comprise foundational material to anchor readers on the biblical narrative and purpose of work. Mondays and Thursdays contain reflections on Old Testament passages. Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved for New Testament passages. Wednesdays are filled with mid-point interjections with Wisdom Literature. The book is inspired by positive feedback from the author's popular weekly devotional "The Word Before Work." This book extends the project to cover a whole year's workweek. Each week contains devotionals from Monday to Friday. Weekends are excluded. The premise behind this book is to let our faith shine as we venture into the world of work. Not just one day per week but every day of a typical five-day workweek. 

My Thoughts
This is a great resource for helping us get a sense of God's purpose before starting the day. In a fast-paced busy society, it is tempting for people to just rush off without pondering upon why how to begin the day. People drink coffee as a habit. They eat breakfast as a routine. They take transit or drive their cars to work as a normal activity. Some Christians swear by a daily Quiet Time before they begin their day. Others do so at different times of the day, like lunchtime, break time, or even at the end of the day. Raynor does not insist that we must begin at the start of the day. In fact, the chapters are quite open for anyone to read at any time of the day. I like the way the book makes me pause to reflect upon the significance of work in the light of God's Word. The uninitiated should find this book a gift to help them in their devotional life. Older believers who already have a devotional routine like Bible reading or using some other classical devotionals can adopt this book as a supplement. Whatever it is, having this book is one thing. The discipline to use it is another. The way to benefit from this book is to actually take time to reflect on the content on a daily basis. Perhaps, after several weeks, we get a hang of the framework and would be ready to come up with our own creative devotionals. 

What I appreciate about this devotional is how the author has prepared himself to reflect not just on individual passages but on the whole Bible. He had combed the whole Bible a few times prior to the writing of this book. Readers should feel more assured that Raynor has a pretty good idea of the biblical thrusts as he looks at individual passages. While he is not a biblical theologian, his efforts would make biblical scholars proud.

Our work matters to us. They also matter to God. I loved the way Raynor entitles the book, putting the Word first prior to any forms of work. It reminds us that a good start provides a helpful impetus for the rest of the day. Of course, some might say that the chapters are too brief to really create any impact. My answer would be to see this book as a conversation partner. That way, we let the questions guide our thoughts of God so that in prayer, we can get inspired for whatever work laid before us.

Bestselling author Jordan Raynor helps Christians respond to the radical, biblical truth that their work matters for eternity. He does this through his books (The Creator in You, Redeeming Your Time, Master of One, and Called to Create), podcast (Mere Christians), and weekly devotional (The Word Before Work)—content that has served millions of Christ-followers in every country on earth. In addition to his writing, Jordan serves as the executive chairman of Threshold 360, a venture-backed tech startup which he previously ran as CEO following a string of successful ventures of his own. Jordan has twice been selected as a Google Fellow and served in the White House under President George W. Bush. A sixth-generation Floridian, Jordan lives in Tampa with his wife and their three young daughters.
Rating: 4 stars of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of Waterbrook and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
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This book is a year-long devotional on the topic of work, viewed from a Biblical perspective. It is obvious that the author and his team (which he specifically mentions in one of the chapters) have done a huge amount of research and put a lot of thought into the format. The writer illustrates his points with Scripture from both the Old and the New Testament. The book is very structured and divided into different themes. Daily devotionals are provided for the work week and are just long enough to read, even when you’re in a rush to get to work. So much wisdom and truth has been packed within the pages that one actually just might need a whole weekend to digest what has been read in the previous week. What the author writes rings true and corresponds with my own experience. When you’ve finished reading, you’ll want to start over again. Very well done!

Thank you Waterbrook and NetGalley for making an ARC available to me, I was not required to leave a positive review (but gladly did!)
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Jordan Raynor has been one of my favorite nonfiction writers for over two years. Everything he releases, I am excited to read — Redeeming Your Time is a GAME-CHANGING book I highly recommend everyone reads. In his latest release, Word Before Work, Jordan has complied his weekly email devotions into book form. Hoping to encourage Christians to start their day in God’s word, Jordan opens the scriptures to explain why our work matters. 

We will never love 100% of what our favorite authors release, and that’s okay. As much as I respect Jordan and the products he’s putting out to inspire believers to stop coasting through life and treating their callings like hobbies, I don’t love everything he does or always agree with his theology. While it was an interesting concept to do one topic throughout the week, I found the daily entries too short and stop-start. For me, the subject would’ve been more received if it had been written in one day rather than five. Nevertheless, I tried to persevere and managed to read the first six weeks, but I couldn’t push myself to go further. I still love Jordan Raynor, but this book wasn’t for me. 

*Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing me with a pre-release copy. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*
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This is the devotional I didn't know I needed until I read! It is hands down, one of the best devotionals I have read all my life! The narrative is so clear, well structured  and extremely relevant for believers of Christ about Our daily mission here on earth. It was delightful , inspiring and a blessing to the days I was invested in the reading. Good Job, guys!

Thanks To netgalley for the gift of this ARC. It was a true appreciation!
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Jordan Raynor does a wonderful job in "The Word Before Work". He is a committed writer and has a great system which he describes in a different title. His system may not be for everyone but he definitely shows it works for him as he continues to release new titles.
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Have already dove straight into this one.  Love the format of this book and have been really enjoying reading this each morning before work.  Highly recommend it for those looking for a morning devotion to help get your heart centered on the tasks ahead each day.
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