Do your best. Do it with passion. Do it with joy.
Do it with excitement. Recognizing that your real boss, Christian, isn't some guy with a corner office, it's Jesus. And even though the boss with the corner office might only see you sometimes, Jesus is with you all the time. The attitude you bring to your work has the power to bring others closer to Jesus. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip's son, Nate Heitzig, shares how God can use your diligence and devotion in your work to impact the world. But first, did you know that Skip shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media?
Just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest from him and this ministry. That's at Skip Heitzig, at Skip H-E-I-T-Z-I-G. Now, we're in Nehemiah, chapter three, as we dive into today's teaching with Nate Heitzig. Look at verse 12 with me. We see another interesting group of workers. And next to him was Shalom, the son of Helohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem.
He and his daughters made repairs. I love this verse. I love this verse because there's this belief that's popular today among deconstructionists that says that the Bible is misogynistic, that the Bible is sexist, that the Bible oppresses women and holds women down, and that every Christian must be the same.
But let me tell you, that could not be further from the truth. The Bible's not just full of great men. The Bible is full of incredible women that God used to accomplish His mission. The Bible doesn't silence women. The Bible elevates women. The Bible doesn't objectify women. The Bible gives them purpose.
You have to understand how unique this was in this time period. The culture in the rest of the known world in both the Old and New Testament times stripped women of their rights and viewed them more as property rather than as people. But God uses women to do things at times that are even greater than their male counterparts. Miriam in Exodus saves the life of her brother Moses and contains Moses and continues to lead people in worship and then remains at Moses' side throughout most of Exodus doing ministry alongside Moses. Deborah was a judge called by God, a position that was previously only held by men.
But she gets called by God and she confronts Sisera, a cruel Canaanite king. Esther has more courage than most men you read about in Scripture and she saved all of Israel. Jesus had numerous interactions with women and elevated the calling of women throughout His ministry and was seen first by women at His resurrection. Jesus presented women as models of faith to His listeners. In a culture where women were neither seen nor heard, Priscilla and Lydia were both influential leaders in the early church and Acts.
And now here in Nehemiah 3, young women are working with their hands, building the walls alongside the men. When people tell you that the Bible is oppressive or condescending to women, understand that the culture that the Judeo-Christian worldview created for women's rights was a brick through the window of modern-day culture. The Bible elevated the role that women can play, elevated the role that women serve. Women, don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't have a place in the work of God.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that your only place is being a stay-at-home mom or watching the kids or caring for the home. God has a unique plan and a purpose for your life and He wants to use you to do truly incredible things. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. When God wants to do a great work, He gets a hold of a man. When God wants to do an especially great work, He gets a hold of a woman.
And I can testify that in my life. You know, growing up, my dad was very busy, preached a lot, traveled a lot. My mom was the chief one who truly, I would say, taught me the scripture and the word of God through her actions and through what I saw and through the way that she raised me and through the way that she was hands-on.
Yes, my dad was there, but not as much as my mom was. My wife has such a gift for empathy and compassion more than I ever could. She is such a gift to me.
When I see people simply through what they do, she sees them for who they are. God has a unique calling upon a woman's life. He has a unique plan for a woman's life.
He has a unique plan for your life and He wants you to do the work. Look back at verse five. We see another group of people. Verse five says, next to them, the Tekoaites made repairs. These are people who didn't live in Jerusalem, but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of the Lord. Tekoa was a town about 11 miles from Jerusalem.
In that day and age, walking or riding a horse, it was a bit of a distance. They weren't locals. They didn't live in Jerusalem. They weren't responsible to help build the city, but they did. They chose to be a part of it. They wanted to help their neighbors, but we see these nobles. It says the Tekoaites did the work, but the nobles just kind of sat there and watched. They didn't put their shoulders to the task.
Why was that? Why were they lazy? Why were they so lax? I think, perhaps, it could be that they thought the work was beneath them. They see that as manual labor and they think, I don't need to do that. The workers will do that. The people will do that. This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1 26.
It says, for you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. We just need to realize, and one thing we need to have an understanding of as we take our role and our purpose as Christians in the workplace, is that some people, no matter how hard we try or what we do, just won't do anything. Some people just won't work.
And it's frustrating, isn't it? When you have a coworker who just never does their share of the work. You have somebody who you work with and they're just never active. They're never working and they can be frustrating and you can have this inclination to defame them or talk poor about them or to say things to your boss about them or do this or do that.
But remember, our role as believers, first and foremost in the workplace, is to be a reflection of Christ. And you're going to work with people you don't like. You're going to work with people that don't want to work.
It's going to happen. You know, a modern techoite in our day and age, I would view this as a person who wants the benefits of a job but not the work. And we see this a lot in our day and age. They want the benefits. They want the paycheck. They want the paid vacation, the paid time off. They want a break room that has ping pong tables and bean bags. But they don't want to do the work. They don't want to apply themselves.
They don't want to be diligent. I read about a classified ad in San Francisco Chronicle that said this. Wanted. Executive. Age 22 to 80. Job entails sitting with feet on a desk from 10 a.m. to 4 30 p.m. watching other people work. Must be willing to play golf every other afternoon. Salary starts at $2,000 a week. But this footnotes within the end of it, it said, we don't really have this job open.
We just thought you'd like to see in print what everyone else is applying and asking for. Look at verse 9 and 12. There's a word I want to point out in there. Verse 9 that says, and next to them, Rephiah, the son of Hur, leader of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. Go down to verse 12. It says, and next to him was Shalom, the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem.
He and his daughters made repair. We see here two leaders in Jerusalem. Well-established leaders in this community.
Nobles of Tekoa were yawning while the nobles of Jerusalem were sweating. Again, Christian, as ambassadors of Christ, we're to be an example. I don't care if other people at your job aren't working hard, you work hard. You be an example to them. When people look at your life, don't let them look at your life as one of the nobles of Tekoa. Let them look at your life and view one of the nobles of Jerusalem, a hard worker.
No matter how high up you get, no matter what your role is, let it be known that you're a hard worker, that you're willing to get your hands dirty, that you're willing to do the work that is needed. When it comes to the work of the Lord, there is no place for self-appointed work. There is no place for self-appointed critics, but there's always place for workers.
There's always a place for people willing to do the job. I want to point out one more person in this chapter in particular. Look at verse 20 with me.
Go down. Nehemiah chapter 3 verse 20 says, after him, Baruch, the son of Zabai, carefully repaired the other section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. I point this out because it says there that he carefully repaired the outer section. I say this because just as there's some people who no matter what you do won't work, there's some people who will always work harder than others. And this guy, Baruch, is the only worker of whom it is said the work was done carefully.
Now that doesn't mean that everyone else who did the work did a bad job and it had to be repaired or redone, but it does make a point to show that this guy was different and he did his work in a different way. The word in Hebrew for carefully means to burn or to glow. It speaks of passion. It speaks of fervent spirit.
Ecclesiastes 9 10 says, whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Once we find the work that Jesus has called us to, we must do it zealously. We must do it carefully. We must be a glow. We must be bright. We need to learn how to burn and glow in all that we do. And this leads us right into our last point, third and final, we need to work with passion.
Work with purpose, work with people, and finally work with passion. In this passage, there are 38 different workers that are named. And as I said before, you can pick any one of those names if you want to give your kid a terrible time in grade school. And over 42 different groups are identified. It's a massive amount of people. And there's many, many, many other people who aren't named. But each and every worker, whether named or unnamed, was given a specific task and was equally as important. Nehemiah was a leader who had purpose and had passion to fulfill his purpose. This is so important. Once you find your purpose, and as we recognize each and every believer, our purpose in the workplace is to be a reflection and to shine a light to Jesus Christ, it's important that we do it with passion, with excitement, with joy.
Let me frame this for you in a very easy way to understand. I have a son who's 11 years old, and he has a set of chores to do. And oftentimes, I'll ask him to do chores that are above and beyond what his normal chore list is. Now, when I ask him to go out and clean the dog poops, I get one of two responses, either, okay, dad, which never happens, or I get, do I have to? Yes, son, go clean the dog poop. Door's slamming, things breaking.
I see him outside crying as he picks up the dog poops. You can do the work, or you can do the work passionately. We are called to do the work that God has set before us, not just to get it done, not just to get it out of the way and get onto the next thing and get onto more important things that we wanna do, but we are called to do the work that we are in passionately, with joy, with a fervent spirit, a glow, bright. Colossians 3 22 phrases it this way, bond servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service as men pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. The message translation puts it this way, servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by, do your best.
Work from your heart for your real master for God. The principle here is that we are to work with passion from our hearts, not just when your boss is watching. Have you ever noticed when the boss walks down the hall, everyone works 10 times harder? Not always on your toes looking to look the best. Well, I wanna look good when the boss is around, then when he's gone, I can just slack.
That's half service because you're doing it with half a heart. And we all know what that looks like. Can you remember anyone in here back to high school when you would have gym class? You know what I mean?
You know what I mean? Gym class. Anyone remember that gym class? Do they still have gym class?
It's not the same as what it used to be. You used to have to like run multiple miles and do pushups until you threw up. Gym class used to be tough. But I remember back in gym class, whenever you would have to do pushups or jumping jacks or sit ups, every kid did the same thing.
Do you remember what they did? Because the gym teacher would always walk down a line where all the kids were doing pushups and look at the form of each and every kid. And so when the gym teacher walked past you doing pushups, you did.
Touching your nose, you're doing a good job. And then you're looking out of the corner of your eye. When he gets a little further, your knee goes down a little bit.
Just one knee because he can't see as long as this knee is facing him. And then you do like little pumps like that. And then jumping jacks, whenever the gym teacher's there, it's full extension jumping jacks. But when the gym teacher's gone, it's like a little.
I did 20. Or sit ups. Sit ups were the worst.
The gym teacher comes, you're doing a full sit up. But when he's gone, it's like a little. What are you doing? You're not even doing anything. Right? That's half service.
Why? Because your heart's not in it. Or at work, the boss is coming down the hall and you start typing furiously with the studious look on your face. Little does he realize that you're playing a video game, you're playing Candy Crush or you're playing some Facebook game. Or you're working at a grocery store and the manager is walking by and you immediately start stocking the shelves when he leaves, your phone's back out. That's doing it with half a heart.
That's eye service. That's doing the minimum to get by. Do your best. Do it with passion. Do it with joy.
Do it with excitement. Recognizing that your real boss, Christian, isn't some guy with a corner office, it's Jesus. And even though the boss at the corner office might only see you sometimes, Jesus is with you all the time. And you're doing your work for him, not for the guy in the office. You're working for him to please him.
That it could be a reflection of your love and your service and your dedication to him. Philippians 2, verse 13 to 14 says, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do for his good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disrupting. This gets back to why you and I are here in the first place. As I said before, we've been created to bring pleasure to God. Scripture tells us for your pleasure, you have created all things. Not to please ourselves or even to please others primarily, but to please him who has chosen me. And so Paul warns us of those things that can hinder this cultivation. Things that can stop us from bringing pleasure to the Lord.
From bringing pleasure to the one who's done so much for us. He says, do all things without complaining. This is the attitude of the person who's constantly complaining about everything they have to do.
Have you ever met people like this? Doesn't matter what job they have, there's something they hate about it. Oh, how's your new job? Well, the pay's good, but I hate my boss. Or, oh, the boss is great, but I hate the hours. Or, the hours are great, the boss is great, the pay's good, but the customers are the worst. And they're always complaining.
Nothing's ever good enough. Every job is just a series of complaints and frustrations. Rather than just keeping their head down and working with their whole heart, they've chosen to take a path of complaining, griping, and always being dissatisfied. They aren't doing it as unto the Lord, but as unto themselves. See, when you're doing the work as unto yourself, you want to get all your needs met.
You want to be happy. When you're doing your work as unto the Lord, you're sacrificial. You say, look, I don't care if there's things I don't like because I'm doing the work as unto the Lord. I'm doing it to please Him.
I'm doing it to honor Him. And I'm doing it to be a reflection to my co-workers and to my neighbors of the love that I have for Jesus Christ. Philippians 2 15 completes the thought by saying that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights to the world. Christian, this world is crooked.
This world is perverse. And everything, including the work that you do, should shine a light to Jesus. In other words, there should be nothing in our lives of which anyone can take hold and blame us. Your work ethic shouldn't cause people to do that. The things you say when you do that, shouldn't cause people to do that. The things you say when you're at work, the way you treat your co-workers.
No one should be able to take any of that to defame the name of Jesus Christ. In other words, the world, your boss, your co-workers, your friends, your spouse, shouldn't look at you and say they are always complaining. They are always arguing. That Christian, man, they're just causing strife in the office. All they want to do is come in here and argue politics.
All they want to come in here is start a fight, and they just want to argue their points and their rights, and they just want to do all this stuff. We shouldn't be known as rabble-rousers. We should be known as peacemakers, pointing to Jesus Christ, pointing to the passion that He has given us. It doesn't matter how small we feel the work is. If we do it unto the Lord, He's going to bless it. They should be looking at our lives and saying, man, that Christian, they are working so hard, and they're so positive no matter what job they're doing. The people in Jerusalem finished their task because they took passion in the job that they had, not the job they thought they should have.
And this is where I want to close. This is where I want to bring it to a close, because I find every one of us has aspirations. Maybe you're in the job that you've dreamed of since you were a little kid, but chances are maybe not.
Maybe you're striving to that. You're pushing to the job that you want, the job that you think you should have. Each one has a place to fill and a job to do. Can I say something to the younger people in here and those who struggle with contentment in their workplace? Right now, whatever job you have, wherever you work, work as hard in the position you're in now as you would in the dream position that you're striving for. Work just as hard. That means you're sitting in a stable shoveling horse poop.
Shovel that poop just as hard as you would if you were sitting in the corner office with your feet up. Do it just as hard. Work just as diligently. Persevere just as much. Maybe you're begging for more opportunity, platform, or leadership, but God will never give you more if you squander what you already have. Don't focus on what others have. Focus on what you've been given. It's like the parable of the talents. You have the 10 talent guy and the one talent guy, and the one talent guy sees the 10 talents that the master's given him and says, well, he got 10 talents, and so I just hid mine because I only have one. Not recognizing that if we take that one and we work just as hard with that one as that guy with 10, God's gonna honor that and God's gonna then give you more.
But if you squander the one that you have, God's not gonna give an unfaithful servant more. So if you find that you're a complainer and you're always complaining about the jobs that you have and you're always complaining about the role that you have, start recognizing the purpose that you have within that role. Whatever your job is, whether it's pleasant or dull, challenging or easy, I don't care what it is or how long you plan on staying there, do it with a whole heart and do it passionately. Do you know why this is so important? Because our work is a witness, and a hard worker is one of the best witnesses in the workplace. You can pass out tracks, you can invite people to church, but when you passionately and with sincerity do a good job, people will look and people will notice. Charles Dickens was once asked what his secret to success was and he said, whatever I have tried to do in life, I've tried to do it with my whole heart and to do it well. Whatever I've devoted myself to, I've devoted myself completely. If all of this seems overwhelming, remember this, the calling of God is also the enabling. And before God can do a work through you, he has to do a work in you. And so maybe this is defeating or maybe even a bit discouraging for you. You say, man, I've got a lot of work to do. Let God do that work in you.
Let God come into your life and change those things. This principle is seen at work throughout the Bible in lives of men like Moses, David, the apostles and others. God had a special plan and a purpose for each of them to fulfill. It took God 40 years to bring Moses to the place where he could use him. 40 years before he could be used in ministry to lead the children of Israel. And as Moses was shepherding sheep in the desert, God was working in him to lead the children of Israel so he could one day shepherd the Israelites through the wilderness.
Don't despise the days of small beginning. God might have you where you are now to prepare you for where he wants you to be later. If the worker is who they should be, then the work will be what it should be. We live in the midst, church, of a perverse generation.
People have a distorted view of God and a distorted view of Christians. We can waste no time. We must get to work and seize the opportunities that God has set before us. Let's make it our mission. Let's make it our goal when we go into the workplace this week to show the world what a real Christian looks like. To show the world what real purpose looks like.
To show the world what it looks like to work with people that you don't agree with or get along with and to do it with passion so we might win more to Jesus Christ. That wraps up Nate Heitzig's message from the series Hustle and Grind. Now we want to share about a resource that encourages fathers across the nation to step up and fulfill their God-given calling.
Your gift to this teaching program has helped us grow and we want to do more in 2023. This month with your gift of $50 or more, you'll receive a download or DVD of a new critical issues video hosted by Skip, Where's Dad? The problems are clear. Teen crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, abortion, and a host of others. The question is, where's dad? Where's the man of the household when their boys are making life decisions about their treatment of women, their world view, and their morals?
Why are legions of energetic teens channeling their time towards self-destructive and socially destructive behavior? And where's dad to guide them, to correct them, to be in relationship with them? We realize that single parent families are not exclusively a male issue. Fathers who do not take responsibility for their children are the critical problem. Where's Dad?
looks at the problem of missing fathers in the home, tells stories of people who have been impacted by this plague, and looks at the possibilities of reconciliation at any age or stage of life. Get your DVD or download of the full-length video, Where's Dad? hosted by Skip Heitzig and featuring Josh McDowell. Receive your copy of Where's Dad? when you help us expand Skip's teaching with your donation of $50 or more.
Call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com to get your copy of Where's Dad? Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares how you can honor the Lord with a healthy work-life balance. Being a worker is good. Being a workaholic is not good. In fact, it can become an idol. And an idol typically we think of as something made out of stone, some image that people grovel in front of, something from antiquity that was idolatry, but an idol is simply something that gets elevated to an ultimate position. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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