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What Makes Our Work 'Christian'?

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2020 9:00 am

What Makes Our Work 'Christian'?

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 26, 2020 9:00 am

Whether you’re working your dream job or are just punching the clock to get a paycheck, we all have days when we feel like just another cog in the machine. We might even start wondering if our work even matters. But as we continue the series Home Wreckers, Pastor J.D. challenges us to take a higher view of our careers.

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Your talks about worshiping your work.

What I really want you to learn is how to serve and follow Jesus ate by Monday to Friday from the majority, are we so here's my question for us today.

What does it look like to be Christian. What is it about a business that makes a business a Christian business. I'm only minute that I'm thankful you doing today you know you're working your dream job or just punching the clock to get a paycheck. We all have days and we feel like just another cog in the machine. We might even start wondering if what were doing, even matters. Or maybe we start to slack off as long as our paycheck stays the same today. Pastor JD challenges us to take a higher view of our careers as needed. That gives meaning and purpose.

No matter what job were working. Pastor JD called this message. What makes our work with us our adult lives. The majority of our adult lives is spent at work and I explained to you that in my opinion the church has done a patently bad job of preparing you to follow Jesus at work. We talk about following Jesus as if it is primarily something that you do after hours something you do when you volunteer the church after your job is done, you get involved on the weekend you get involved in a small group and that's how we talk like that you know what you want to serve Jesus be involved in your church once or Jesus be involved in a small group once or Jesus on a mission trip.

You need to give generously, and of course all those things are important, but really are.

What I really want you to learn is how to serve and follow Jesus. 85 Monday through Friday were used for the majority of your week fight. So here appears to be my question for us today is my question. What does it look like for your work to be Christian, what does it look like for your work to be Christian. What is it about a business that makes a business a Christian business, not first, let me acknowledge that there are a lot of really bad answers to that question. A lot of people think making it a business Christian means that you attach some cheesy Christian bad name to it like you open a restaurant called the garden of Eden near the Garden of Eden. That makes a Christian or having a hair salon called his clips or a cut above or a coffee shop called holy grounds.

One of my favorites. Hebrews Hebrews let your coffee shop. Some people think that it means that a Christian business is one where you force awkward evangelism moments into work situations, inappropriate, socially awkward things like I have an article appear from from the Associated Press February 7, 2004 about an American Airlines pilot's preflight announcements had everybody asked everybody on board.

He said that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, would you raise your hand. But he said everybody else in the flight if you have questions about what will happen to you when you die, or what will happen, you would eternity you should ask the people of their hands raised. Right now I will be walking throughout the cabin in the flight if you have questions. I will be happy to answer them and I'll be available after the flight.

What a freak a lot of people out, rightly uniting your coupon airplane asked me what are you ready to be Jesus or not you can understand that American Airlines fired this guy you got any got in my guys feel right. Like I admire the seal he just got back.

By the way. Article sent from a mission trip that he taken to South America just fired up about mission wanted a plant where you live and you like what I admire that God seal but I couldn't do that either, because I would get fired so that would mean for business to be Christian that you're creating inappropriate awkward evangelism moments. That's what a lot of people think a lot of people just think that work will mentally be in and of itself. Christian work is like a necessary evil that you and I go through to provide money for our family and what God wants from my job is to make enough money to put food on the table to get my kids in the college and then he wants me to give a bunch of weights up to his work dies and you know you know I don't want to discourage those things. Yes, we need volunteers. What we do here is vital in reaching our community and your generous giving toward what goes on here helps us reach that that that the million or so walls. People that live in our city so I'm not trying to start this project. I just try to tell you there is more at work in what you're doing at work, then simply make a bunch of money just to give it away walk is not a necessary evil that you would not put up with the make money so that we can serve Jesus Christ. The rest of our week accepted 40 hours write a metal to what I want to try and give to you this weekend are five different things from Scripture that make your work in and of itself. Christian five things that make your work in and of itself. Christian okay you guys know that my normal my normal approach. Here is one passage of Scripture, camp out in that particular passage, but I'm not to do that this morning. I'm actually going to be jumping all over the Bible and so hope you give me the grace to do that because are some things I want to try to tie together for you because I'm hoping when you come out of this. You can see your work and in your your your calling your vocation entirely different than you give any came in but thought things that make work in and of itself Christian number one creation, fulfilling creation, fulfilling what started Genesis 215 way back at the original creation Genesis 215 said the Lord God, after he had made Adam and Eve made the earth the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. Now you should notice that this is before the curse which means that this is God's original plan for man. God created this beautiful garden and he put up a man and woman in it and before there was sand and before there was a curse. They had a job very important understand work was not a curse like before then they would been lounging around having angels you feed them bonbons and rubber feet. Work was something got put into the original creation.

It was something he designed us to do something he gave us the capacity to enjoy doing that work work.

There is a very interesting and important Hebrew word is the Hebrew word abide. Abide. Abide is a word that means more than just work it needs to prepare.

It needs to develop. It needs to develop something you remember the word that God used over and over again about creation itself. Whenever God created throughout the seven days. He says God made and it was God made and it was good. That's right now.

Good is good, but good is not perfect. Perfect means cannot be improved upon means it's it's absolutely perfect is nothing you can do it. Good means that while the essence of it is good there still some work to be done when you guys see my wife at church, her hair and makeup all exquisite, all dressed up.

She's perfect. She's perfect. You cannot improve upon that when I wake up next to her in the morning. She's good. I all the raw materials of their cultivating to be done.

God put us in a world that was good with me that we were with me to we were to take the raw materials of the earth and develop them for his glory.

The farmer takes the raw materials of soil and seed and cultivates them in the cracks. The architect takes the raw materials of sand and cement and creates buildings for us to live in. The artist takes the raw materials of color or music and arranges them into art pieces that we enjoy the lawyer takes principles of fairness and justice and codifies them into laws that benefit society. The insurance agent helps create systems that protect us when we go through unexpected events in our lives is all part of God's plan. That's how he cares for us through the skills he's given the different ones of us to take his creation and to develop it. God is sovereignly at work in our secular vocation loving one another.

Martin Luther, the great reformer said this and I quote when we pray the Lord's prayer the Lord's prayer we pray the Lord's prayer we ask God to give us this day our daily bread, and it does give us our daily bread.

But how does he do it. How does he do it well he does it by means of the farmer planted and harvested the great Baker who made the flower and the bread the person who prepared our meal got a gene that would be portable recently called God at work and he adds this. He said today at the truck drivers who all produce the factory workers in the food processing plant warehouse man wholesale distributors.

The stock boys and the lady at the checkout counter also play their part were the bankers development investors, advertisers, lawyers, agricultural scientist, mechanical engineers, and every other player in the nation's economic system. All of these were instrumental in enabling you to eat that morning bagel. God could have given it to you directly because right by miraculous provision that he once said that the children of Israel with the man I just brought the bagels on the ground in the morning. Let them pick him up.

They could do that if you wanted, but that's not normally how he chooses to work, he works through human beings who in their different capacities and according to their different talents serve each other. What that means is that God is present in the world through your secular vocation. You're a believer or not, God is at work in that secular vocation that secular talent that he is given to you providentially caring for others through you towards your secular ordinary work of farming or building, or teaching math or making drugs is spiritually significant making drug that is if you're a pharmacist. Okay, if you're a South American drug lord listening to this by podcast, God is not glorified in what you're doing okay. God is at work in all those jobs taking care of his creation. Loving people. Here's a quick example Exodus 31 verse one the Lord said this to Moses. See, I have called my name vessel out and I filled him with the spirit of God, stop this.

What comes next. I won't let you get boldness for witnessing my ability to preach the ability to pray right. God saw him speak in tongues, but I'm to get filled the spirit right. The next race with ability and intelligence, knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs working, gold, silver, bronze, cutting stones for setting the card and woodworking every craft boat I've appointed him him all we have given all evil men ability they may make all that I have commanded you.

God filled with the spirit and gave them abilities, not as preachers, not as songwriters, not even his people prayed in this situation, but the spirit and they expressed that their skill in the secular vocation that they had and they were every bit as the spirit of God and doing that as Moses was in his preaching and leaving some of you felt this had you not have you not felt this you do something at work but you good at and there is something strange is almost supernatural and you don't even really know how to put into words what happening is, whether even some that you've got a believer you are sensing this are sensing the glory of God that is being manifested through you in that secular vocation because he designs you.

That way, and he is working in you that way and you never know how to articulate it, but this is exactly what's going on is a God glorifying himself through that secular vocation.

When you do your job when you were leaving, we are putting together the Corporation you are teaching when you're developing your ability. You have sensed the pleasure of God at work inside of you, and you may not even have known what to call it God gave you that gift or something. Maybe even cooler will probably be doing some form of the job.

Even in heaven.

I love Tim Keller's thoughts on this. He said quote we get to heaven ministers and doctors want to have the job training, whereas architects and arts are an artist will not, why you might hear your body and having somebody yell at you every week till you live right right I have a question I need you all over campus. How many of you are either in the medical profession are headed there or in the ministry, profession, or head of their leisure him rely I got bad news from the looks like a majority of you and I get new job training in heaven.

I'm already bodily lobby lobby lobbying for management a bear when I when I get a new job you got on to be the stunt double for Vin Diesel that's the thing that's got me off you judge your needs. Preach the word of God. You will be in the presence of the word of God himself. Whether others of you that have been given gifts and skills that you will as far as we can see be using on for eternity because God gave work not have to be personal before, which means that a person's reversal to go back to what God originally created that jobs that bring glory to him that benefit one another. See John tell you some of you need to rethink your job fundamentally you think about your job as a gift that is given to you by God to develop creation for the glory of God for the benefit of other human beings. And you need to have the attitude of serving one another, serving other people in that job, not just making money. One of my favorite authors is getting Patrick link Tony favorite business authors for snow not Christian but he wrote a book recently called three signs of a miserable job you want to say that you want to write down three right now I just subscribed my week three signs of a miserable job and what he does is is is he gives you what the signs are in one of them that really got a hold of my attention was. He said that one of the ways that work becomes miserable to you is when you disconnect it mentally from those to whom you're bringing health and happiness to your job you hold book is built around this kind of label this this parable of a guy who retires from corporate America and goes into a little pizza parlor that struggling on the on the on the verge of bankruptcy and takes over this pizza parlor in one of the things that he notices is how bad everybody's attitude is in the pizza parlor on they'll do their jobs poorly and so he teaches them in part how to start seeing how their jobs are making people's lives better. For example, he shows the delivery guy that when he gets people's orders right and he gets them to their homes on time and help those people have a great evening and you can have a choice just in knowing that he's open some and have a great evening teachers. The cashier help smiling as she rings people up at the checkout counter helps people feel like they had a great experience in the money they spent eating out all this he says contributes not only to the success of the restaurant, but to the enjoyment of the employees themselves. When Cody goes on to say that there is a natural joy that we find in serving others.

Here is the secret that link Tony may or may not understand is I don't know if he knows got all here's the secret that he talk about netbook you have that kind of joy because God designed you that way all the secular book that was pulled across some of the Bible been teaching for years.

When you see your work connected to God's creation mandate to develop the earth to his glory and the good of others start to get a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction out of it. So the first way the Christian that work is Christian in and of itself is that it is creation, fulfilling Don with an attitude of service toward others. Here's a second way that work is in and of itself. Christian to excellence pursuing excellence pursuing this is to be found in the book of Colossians chapter 3 the work that we do is Christian. When we do it according to the highest standards of excellence because we are doing it. First and foremost forgot. Colossians 317. Whatever you do whatever you do it in word or deed, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus hears about 110 you attach the name of the Lord Jesus to the quality of your job can you attach the name of the Lord Jesus to the quality of your job.

That's what Paul is getting out here in everything give thanks to God the father.

Can you give thanks in your job.

Yes your bad job. Can you give thanks to him for the work that you're doing in it for 22 slaves obeying everything. Those who are your earthly masters not by way of I services people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart during the Lord your writers are always met with Paul condoning slavery rather know two reasons. One, forcible, that word slave they are willing to be translated something more like what we would think of as an indentured servant right.

That said, the whole indentured servitude think that was a very unjust socioeconomic system also. Anything you guys that are in a very unfortunate place because you are in a unjust economic system you still realize that the work you're doing. You're not doing for that master you not doing that, boss.

You're doing it for God first and foremost is significant about that for you and me, you find yourselves about jobs where you like your boss is that right to your life or my job owns me. Both of these people there boss what we did on them and he same even to video the work that you do is not done for them it's done for God so if that's true for them. Of course it's true for us that those of us whatever situation. However, poorly we are being treated our jobs are done first and foremost, he says for God God. Verse 23 whatever you do work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.

Verse 24 million from the Lord, you will receive the inheritance as your reward you are serving in all things the Lord Christ for the wrongdoer read that slacker. The slacker will be paid back for the wrong done and there is no partiality with that boss in every job I do in every assignment I complete every chore I do at home. Every paper I turn in in school. I am doing it first and foremost for Christ only say why are you working why is your work so diligent why it is so good, regardless of whether or not you get recognized because without you get a raise, say why my motivation is different than yours is not just working for the paycheck I'm working for the master really nasty here for minute.

Some of you your job performance is a terrible testimony to Christ, so you students your academic performance is a terrible testimony to Christ your mouth, your T-shirt for your bracelet might say that Jesus is Lord of the way you conduct yourself at work says I do whatever I feel like doing with this means I am Lord Gmail says Jesus is Lord of the quality of your job says that you were Lord.

The best thing that some of you could do a work is to keep your mouth shut about Jesus because your job performance to support your attitude so bad about the touch of second best thing you could do the first thing you do would be to repent and start obeying this verse and start working so diligently that would bring glory to the God that you're serving in all situations regardless of whether people notice regardless of whether you get reward regardless of the quality of your your boss because the whole thing with the slave masters think it is point there. Paul was so weak into that culture. The seeds that would ultimately undo the entire system of slavery. When people argued by slavery and an indentured servant who was unjust. They use these text right here saying see Paul saying that no person has really right to the Lord over another person speaking to be one of situations and everything you did everything you do is forgot is not for people to the second thing that makes work in and of itself question is that it is excellence pursuing number three. Third, that it makes work Christian holiness reflecting which holiness reflecting.

This is also from Colossians 3 lesson work should make it obvious that we serve a God of justice and got a fairness I got a kindness.

Our work should reflect his character, which means that our work conforms to the highest standards of ethics I do not know honestly all the answers here because each field has its own ethical issues, some of which I don't even know how to pronounce what I do know is that our work is to reflect the equity, justice and kindness of God's character. So Paul says this in Colossians 4 masters treat your servants justly and fairly knowing that you also have a Master in heaven work interaction you have you got a Master in heaven. You will report to you treat somebody unfairly because they either able find out about it or be can't do anything about it both as well. You got a Master in heaven will find out about it will always do something about it.

You might be able to get away with cheating others, but you will never way he says with cheating God. You have this disconnect you cheat and you cut corners work short customers all the while maintaining faithful church attendance as if God is happier with your participation at his house many years with your emulation of his character in your jobs you want from you is not more church attendance.

What he wants for you is to walk in integrity and kindness and generosity and reflect his character in the way that you work time to adjust your perspective you're listening to an author, Jamie Greer, if you join a little late today you can hear this message again free of charge. Jamie Jenny told us how the strength that we need to overcome opposition obstacles down in the light of God's word and in his unchanging purpose is churches all over the country are obstacles that may be keeping them from effectively reaching their communities. Yeah that's exactly right.

I I know a lot of churches that are theologically accurate churches there faithful churches, but is filter stock stuck in the past. Maybe they've lost sight of the unchanging purposes of God for them as I did with our church here.

I would encourage you to look back, not back to when you started to go to church or even the founding of your church public back the purposes of Jesus for that church. Every church is planted is planted with the same purpose as the fulfillment of Jesus promise in Matthew 1618 he said I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. So I'd love to to encourage you with the stories of how that happened in the summer church.

You reach out us.

We would love to put this little book in your hand. Hidden graces eight surprising stories that led to a dying church is revitalization.

Arlene just call 55 online Greer again tomorrow night

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