Here is a sermon I gave the on the purpose and value of work, from Fellowship Bible Church in Batesville AR. I gave two points from Genesis 1:26-31:
Work is imitation — God created us in his image, and calls us to be and act like him. Part of what it means to be like God is to work. The Genesis creation narrative presents God working 6 days, and taking a sabbath day. He calls us to imitate him in that
Work is participation — When God created mankind, he gave us the earth to tend. The animals, plants, everything therein. What this meant, was that God wanted to include mankind in his creation project. He didn’t want to do all the work himself. He wants to bless his creation through mankind. Through farmers, cooks, artists, musicians, gardeners, et al. God wants to use every profession for the flourishing of his creation!