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The Sacred Calling of Work, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2021 12:00 am

The Sacred Calling of Work, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 13, 2021 12:00 am

It’s easy to go on mission trips and evangelistic outings and serve God in diverse ministries at our local churches, then forget that what we do at work is also worship. We don’t clock in and clock out of the Great Commission. Today Stephen teaches us how to worship God, even in the mundane.

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God saves us and makes us his child.

The Reformation of our lives begins to impact the institutions were part of the New Testament did not write about how to rebel against or even how to reform the human institution, but it did introduce all that was necessary to reform the human heart and the reformed, spiritually redeemed human hearts will impact and reform human incident. One of the places where that happens is the workplace. Your job is more than just a means to support yourself and your family where you work is an opportunity for you to live out God's mission for your life. It's easy to go on missions trips to serve God in your local church but forget that what you do at work is also part of your service to God. Welcome to wisdom for the heart.

Today Stephen Devi has a message from God's word called the sacred calling of the Latin word which gave us a wonderful English word while over time, losing its meaning to the English world is the Latin word vocation Geo means calling as early as the 1500s.

The word was used to refer to every occupation, every kind of work as a sacred calling from God, Martin Luther, the reformer, the converted monk who would begin unknowingly, unwittingly, the Protestant Reformation wrote God could populate the earth by creating each new generation of babies from the dust, but instead he ordained the offices of husband and wife and parent as sacred vocations. All our work in the field in the garden in the city in the home in government.

These are the masks of God, behind which he is hidden through which he does all things, even wrote this, God himself is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid. Every vocation was a sacred calling, through which God fulfilled his divine purposes, so behind that word vocation Geo was the idea that every legitimate kind of work or social function was in fact a distinct calling from God the reformer and theologian John Calvin wrote around 450 years ago that the work place was to be considered a place of worship see what these reformers did was wrestle. The idea of a sacred calling, away from the clergy alone, and given equally to the tradesmen, the mother, the milkmaid in the dairy barn where it belongs.

Every Christian has a sacred calling from that whether you're a student or a teacher and artist housewife, a farmer, so doesn't matter if you're cheap, surgeon, or the chief of police or Chief Executive Officer or the chief custodian all of you have been given a sacred duty of the case, Geo calling from God and for the believer. Of course this is revolutionary application. Out of this wood, we would call the Protestant work ethic, which is now waning, because we lost the meaning. It is this truth that any status, any occupation is the work of God. Nothing is wasted. Even the mundane act of milking a cow can be touched with magnificent meaning. So we have the attitude told are described in the proverbial event were three men in the Middle Ages were on the grounds of the building site where for decades, a cathedral of been under construction in all three of them were chipping away at rocket.

All three were asked by the visitor what you doing the first man replied on chipping rock.

The second man replied on earning a living as a stonemason third man replied, building a great cathedral for God's you reformers are going to flesh out what the apostle Paul is already written nearly 2000 years ago the encourage Christians in whatever you do, work with all your heart. As for the Lord and not for men, for it is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Colossians 323 and 24 now unfortunately the word vocation Geo has become commonplace, it has become separated again from that which is sacred and that which is now secular owns the word which is tragic. We talk about our locations are vocational training, independently of the idea of sacred or calling from God see today than the work or the motive for work is a paycheck and the incentive for the workweek is the weekend and the ultimate goal for work is retirement when you don't have to do it anymore. To the average American dream is to be done with work, never having to serve anybody ever again. But the apostle Paul is about to clarify for the family what it means to work it's going to be in fact the common ordinary family member known as the household servant is going to be given this clarification to be the slaves that Paul is going to give the dignity of work as worship and mandate through them the Christ can be seen and honored and exalted even a servant is endowed with the calling from God's would you take a copy of the inspired Scripture and turn to the letter of Paul to Titus. If you're not there already to chapter 2 and let's pick up the last member of the family that Paul speaks to in this family talk at verse nine. Urge bond slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering but showing all good faith by, so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect that would Paul wrote this letter to Titus, there were an estimated 50 million slaves in the Roman Empire fact estimates were that about every third person you met on the street was a bondservant belonging to somebody else they could become slaves through being taken as prisoners of war as punishment for certain crimes because of debt kidnapped and sold into slavery voluntarily becoming what we would think of today. Indentured servants, farm laborers, clerks, craftsmen, leaders, teachers even doctors in the first century were bondservant they could be treated without mercy because they were viewed as not a citizen, therefore not having rights or they can be treated with great mercy.

Aristotle call a slave a living tool, a kind of possession that possessed of soul.

It will be the gospel, by the way, that will topple the tyranny of slavery and to this day. It is the gospel in every generation and in every culture and the cultures of our world have embedded within them. Slavery is the gospel that topples it all so that man treats other man, mankind with equal dignity and justice. Paul did not call for an end to slavery nor did he call for an open rebellion of slaves for which the liberals by the way have made hay out of that in discrediting the apostle Paul, but what they miss is the patient's of God's revelation delivered to this culture. In the first century were every third person belong to somebody else and what Paul does do is lay the groundwork for the elimination of slavery. He plants the truth of the gospel which will eventually bear the fruit of freedom in any country and in every generation.

To this day, any right such a radical thing that don't sound that radical of, but they did back then and in other cultures, even today. He writes that slaves and their Christian masters are actually brothers for 76 to he writes that in the sight of God, there is neither Gentile nor Jew slaves or Freeman but they are all one in Christ, see that's going to ripple out and change everything and eventually even topple institutions built upon slavery relationship with reverse 28 when Paul meets and eventually leads to faith in Christ. The runaway slave named on the estimates. He writes a letter. The letter we call Philemon civil because I was, to whom Paul was writing. Philemon was the owner of that slave and he tells Philemon whatever SMS stole from you put that on my account and welcome him back because I'm sending them back to you not as a servant, but as a fellow brother. When the Roman Empire disintegrated and eventually collapsed in that world and in the generation that system of slavery collapsed with it doing great measure to the influence of Christianity.

In fact, before its collapse. You learn from your history books and so many slaves were being set free the Roman Emperor introduce legal restrictions to try and curb the trend the gospel will make the difference.

The New Testament did not write about how to rebel against or even how to reform the human institution that along with others like government but it did introduce all that was necessary to reform the human heart because it's a matter of heart and the reformed, spiritually redeemed human hearts will impact and reform human institution and what I find really fascinating in this paragraph apologize. I just read is that Paul is challenging a change of heart, not for the master but for the slaves. Paul will effectively tell the servant that his station in life is a divinely ordained vocation. You even that life is not a wasted life. It's a sacred calling because God behind the scenes will work through the hands and the life of that servant and impact his world for the glory of God from this text. For those of us who live in a free world. Now come six characteristics that revolutionize your own personal vocation.

You may not be a slave but you might feel like you're living to get out of debt.

You may consider your life something of an indentured servant to the bank or to the Corporation will in this culture, and of course I'm going to make immediate application to us in this free culture. What is Paul telling us to do.

How should we approach Monday morning and a world system at least our world driven by about eight or nine hours as you're heading off to that sacred calling, or remaining at home, which is your sacred calling wherever your station of life is that is your vocation. You how you handle that: maybe six things. First of all we enter our world of work with the characteristic of humility.

Verse nine again. He said urge bond slaves to be subject that word subject was used by the military to designate a soldier's relationship to his superior officer. It carried the idea of aligning up in rank and file in order urge bond servants or bond slaves to make sure they're in order that sounds redundant done. Why tell a bondslave the lineup behind his master.

He already was. In fact, he did have a choice. That's the point is going to make because Paul uses the passive voice in the original language indicating that servants then and employees today are to willingly voluntarily accept their position in the rank-and-file of their world to voluntarily come under the. The authority of their supervisor. You see this in a matter that of being bullied into submission and only a vague twist my arm will I cry uncle notes a matter of being willing, no matter how difficult the matter how unfair the matter how oppressive the faithful believer perseveres with humility and self-sacrifice. As long as he is employed in that job with the others where you're going to show up. Perhaps tomorrow morning community they live the rest the management right.

I mean they live to talk down the boss to run down the company.

The Christian stays in place willingly, graciously doing the hard task even if he's never thanked by his supervisor or paid what he believes he's worth.

In fact, Paul uses the word for master here. It gives us another English word is the word desk pates gives us the word desperate that that man is a tyrannical arbitrary ruler with absolute authority. Too often in his authority asked with unkindness and unreasonableness and an overbearing spirit. So what Paul is doing is he's painting the worst possible picture isn't saying cement at your job and to your supervisor because he loves you, or because she has your best interests at heart or because over there that company.

They just love and appreciate you. They can tell you enough ways how important you are. No, it's just the opposite, which might be the majority of your impressions willingly submit. Even when you're working for a desperate. Why would anybody willingly graciously work for someone like that nobody out there submits willingly to a boss like that and that's his point. The world doesn't that tell a Christian stands out as soon as they show up like a candle burning in a very dark room. Believers understand their supervisor really is of the final authority that her job just so happens to be a sacred calling from a living God who will work through them to fulfill his purposes and reflect his glory by their own gracious perseverance and by that they're able to carry on even when it means going out to the dairy barn at 5 o'clock in the morning to milk the cow, like Paul begins with the categorical characteristic that makes this employee absolutely unique and outstanding. He showing up with with a characteristic of humility is accepting his or her place.

In this role while everybody else is clawing over everyone else to get one more rung up. Paul refers secondly to the distinction of reliability is another way to show for work, Paul adds in verse nine to be well pleasing his word well pleasing was Illinois using the New Testament for being well pleasing to God. Paul uses that and he's hinting then for the believer knows his word is Scripture is hinting at a greater higher vision for any employee. Paul wrote it was his ambition to be pleasing to Christ. Acronyms five. Not say more here.

He, Christ is our ultimate supervisor.

So being an employee has to do with your status, but being well pleasing has to do with your spirit so Christian employee is no excuse for halfhearted work for cutting corners for laziness, for lack of initiative for only doing the bare minimum, and even that because my boss is watching. Jefferson will never pleases boss bosses figure that out fairly quickly. Many of you are supervisors in your world. What Paul wants us to know is that is it pleasing the Lord who happens to be watching 24 seven. Do what you do to the best of your ability for the glory of God, Martin Luther, the reformer, again, was once approached by a cobbler wanted to know how we can best pleases Savior now.

When you become a Christian.

So yes, Luther. How can I serve God. Luther asked him what is your work demands that Anna Shoemaker, much to the cobbler surprise, Luther replied, then make good shoes and sell them at a fair price. Would Paul is doing is what the Reformation attempted to reignite. This is a higher motive for word. It's a standard of excellence because of the person you ultimately represent one author put it this way, it is impossible for the housewife to cook a meal is of Jesus Christ were going to read it or to clean the houses of Christ were to be the honored guest is possible for teachers to educate children for doctors to treat patients. Nurses to care for them for salesman help clients shop assistants to serve customers, accountants to audiobooks and secretaries to type letters as if in each case they were serving Jesus Christ, which we all are 20 Christian does the hard work I try to stay after show up early this way to go the extra mile is why they're the one that someone says that's the person we can ask to help someone else out to Christianity makes that cubicle that desk that that home that shop that office that boardroom. Nothing lasts then all holy of holies where God touches our buses. If you want to revolutionize the island of Crete. It will be through a series of sermons that most of them will never come to hear it will be a reliable employee who shows up that everyone around him happens to see in action he's driving toward his purpose statement, but there's more characteristics still being delivered. This characteristic of humility.

This distinction of reliability. Thirdly, an attitude of complicity.

This might be the hardest one yet.

By the way. Verse 90 adds to be well pleasing not argumentative.

Paul actually puts together a string of participles that describe what it means to be well pleasing for the sake of her study of a separate them individual.

Paul refers to complicity not argumentative site to be well pleasing and he keeps raising the bar, then the with each one of these you raise the bar slave and because they had to be submissive. That was the way it was but now he's totally reliable that's even harder and now is told and every employee to this generation is told.argue back. Don't grumble, don't complain, don't voice displeasure.

Okay, I'm going to do it. I get paid to do it.

I showed up deny, I'll do it but I don't like it at all. He says don't be them. Don't be argumentative and effectively shuts down most of the interoffice conversation we would've the will to give a talk about in the water going to get on the Bostonians on the Metro supervisor and how bad the corporation is in the low wages and the unfair treatment, no lunch is overmedicated about your work will be nearly as fun if you can do that. Paul actually uses a burden means you translated to speak against in our vocabulary would be to talk back. Don't talk back carries the idea of mouthing off to the idea. Now you fulfill a task or or or that you do it, or that you plan to do it with excellence. But you don't complain about Paul is getting under the skin. The various of the worker.

Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the heart. This is the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. Today's message is called the sacred calling of work. It's not complete but will end here for today and bring you the conclusion on tomorrow's broadcast between now and then you can learn more about us. If you visit our website which is wisdom We also post each day's broadcast.

So if you ever miss one of these lessons, you can go to our website to keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons. We also have a magazine. It includes articles written by Stephen to help you dive deeper into various topics related to the Christian life. That magazine also has a daily devotional guide. Many of our listeners use it to guide their daily time in God's word, the magazine is called heart to heart and we send heart-to-heart magazine to all of our wisdom partners, we be happy to send you the next three issues. If you'd like to see it for yourself. You can sign up on our website or you can call us today here in our Cary, North Carolina office number is 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 here's another opportunity.

I want you to be aware of how would your life be impacted if you set aside one year to study God's word experience authentic community growing discipleship study in Israel and even earned your masters degree in theological studies. Stephen is the founder and president of shepherds, theological seminary, and he invites you to consider joining us for the shepherds Institute. This unique one year program offers a life changing opportunity to all believers no matter your vocation, shepherds Institute invites you to invest one year of your life to equip yourself for the rest of your life. Learn more about that@shepherds.ed you if you have a comment or question for us. Or if you'd like more information you can send us an email if you address it to once again that email address is We'd really enjoy hearing from you and learning how God is using this ministry to build you up in the faith.

Please take a few moments and drop us a note or mailing address is wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627 and by the way, please consider including a gift when you write Stephen often reminds us that our ministry is empowered by your prayer and enabled by your support, your partnership is vital to us and were thankful for it will.

Thanks again for joining us today are so glad that you were with us and I hope to be with us for our next Bible message tomorrow on wisdom for the heart is

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