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May 14, 2021 12:00 am
What would happen in our world. If everyone began to work with this of honest what happened in our world. If Christian began the work honest to Christianity makes that cubicle that that home that office.
That board room and nothing less then all holy of holy where God touches our gods called you to the Christian doesn't come with the mandate to revolutionize the place where you work, however following Christ does have implications for what kind of employee you will be in the place where you work, how can you approach work for the glory of God. How can you live out your faith in the workplace.
This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi Stevens in a series from Titus called family talk today he has a word for those who work called the sacred calling of work.
Apollo actually puts together a string of participles that describe what it means. Be well pleasing power first to complicity not argumentative tightly well pleasing and he keeps raising the bargaining with each one of these areas of our slave and because they had to be submissive. That was the way it was but now is 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 gonna do it. I get paid to do it. I showed up did not all do it but I don't like it at all. He says don't be that way. Don't be argumentative and effectively shuts down most of the interoffice conversation we would've the will to get to talk about of the water goes again on the Boston to talk about your supervisor and how bad the corporation is in the low wages and the unfair treatment for lunch is over the back door work will be nearly as fun if you can do that to Paul is getting under the skin of work to the very spirit of the worker.
I can remember when our children were young and their chores, which had all mapped out, and on one occasion, getting older, she said in a hunting week we get a deal with hearts and not just hands and so she informed them that from now on. They not only had to do their chores in order to get their allowance but they had to do their chores with a good attitude. It was six months before I got my allowance taken out the trash in a whole new dimension to this is the idea here, by the way, in case you're wondering, this characteristic doesn't mean that you can't express a grievance through legitimate means. It doesn't mean your boss can be wrong. It doesn't mean that management is to be complied with.
If it means you commit sin in so obeying he's not telling them and us to do something unethical or immoral because your boss the man a guy come up to me if you we should be done. I lost my job because I told my boss I would not any longer lie for him. She may mean you do have to find another job in order to keep your conscience clean.
Paul is referring here to employee that isn't being asked to do something immoral. He's just being asked to do something and want to do and he says okay I want to do it because I got to do it but I want you to know I don't like one that at least talking and easy for that Christian with that kind of spirit. He's forgotten these on a sacred assignment. This vocation you is calling from God. No matter how distasteful it is where you are and where you are is calling of God is sovereign.
We will work through you, to fulfill his purposes. She Paul is dealing with the will, humility he's dealing with the heart reliability he's dealing with the spirit, complicity deals with the hands notice.
The fourth characteristic is this mark of honesty at the beginning of verse 10 he throws this in not pilfering.
It's a word used in the Greek world for embezzlement, literally laying on one's side.
In other words, it means to put something aside for yourself that doesn't belong to you. The Greek word also referred to someone who was light fingered like fingers stealing from his employer necessarily big stuff slot a little so supplies, equipment, padded expense accounts in an hour later out in our earlier not showing up not doing what you said you do taking a day's work and turning it into three all of those things that none of us are guilty of in here is exactly what Paul is referring to according to the US Department of Commerce by the way employee dishonesty alone cost American businesses over $50 billion a year.
The US Chamber of Commerce. I read reports that one out of every three I found this rather shocking, but the US Chamber of Commerce reported that one out of every three businesses that closed down failed because of the direct result from the direct result of employee theft.
All the security cameras. The companies have are not for people like us that shop there. The people who work there. And again it is necessarily big stuff just a lot of little stuff. What would happen in our world. If everyone began to work with this mark of honesty.
What happened in our world. If Christians began to work honestly. Let me tell you about one country that experienced a Reformation was a revivalist went through Wales in the early 1900s, and over 100,000 people responded to the gospel and came to faith and begin to make restitution. That was the interesting part, which by the way, happens to be one of the marks of genuine conversion over the years, along the coast in the shipyards, which was a major industry still is workers had pilfered all kinds of things stolen everything from wheelbarrows to hammers, equipment. However, this article wrote as people sought to be right with God. They started return with they take it with the result that soon the shipyards of Wales were overwhelmed with return property such huge amounts of tools and machinery being returned at several of the art actually put up signs asking them in the stop. One sign read. If you've been led by God to return when you've stolen, please know that management forgives you and wishes you to keep what you took. It didn't nor did not handle it.
Titus you want to impact the island of Crete.
Start by having all those who serve another stop stealing and return what they'd stolen. Do we work with the characteristic of humility we all get all bothered with. And rightly so.
With the institution of slavery. Paul tells the slave, would you start working honestly for your employer and he tells everyone of us in this free culture you want to impact your world shop with the distinction of reliability shop with the attitude of complicity in the mark of honesty adds to the list. Another the demeanor of loyalty, he writes, but showing all good faith you can translate this and who helped expand and show yourself completely faithful in goodness.
Show yourself completely faithful.
And here's another show and tell by the way towards showing here means to show for the purpose of proving a point.
What's the point you belong to Jesus Christ. Okay prove it.
How to improve it tells them to show this demeanor of loyalty or faithfulness.
In other words prove to your employer that you have the best of intentions for him her the place where you were. Isn't that a distinguishing mark of any employee show you the best of intentions.
They are not there just for a paycheck you're actually there to promote the best interests of that corporation. One commentator wrote it this way, the Christian employee should not leave his loyalty and doubt. But to give ample evidence of it.
Tragically good faith loyalty to one's employer and the one's fellow employees is a common casualty of the modern work ethic even among Christians that they having pastor for many years. Hearing all sorts of disputes I can tell you one of the chief violations in this is when Christians work for Christian Anna Christie my boss of the greats and I get away with this.
I want to do that they they just, you know, understand, were brothers loyalty is something that is waning as the Protestant work ethic. Wayne where you actually show up with the intention of helping to advance this business. By the way that market loyalty is the very characteristic that sent Daniel a part of the Old Testament remember him and took him from middle management to a senior position in the kingdom of Babylon.
The king appointed Daniel. Overall, these political leaders so that the Bible reads the king would not suffer loss. That's a nice lives.
They said the king wouldn't get robbed blind.
He needed an honest man who would be loyal to the crown loyal to the kingdom loyal to the K himself.
He can't help but wonder what would Daniel Everett care about the gay let the kingdom of Babylon.did as a teenager he been unwillingly castrated, even made a you to be single.
The rest of his life isn't drafted into that the political system of education to be used by the government because he was bright, so eventually you find them as you read his biography is about a 90-year-old man so remarkable with the kingdoms of income and got a now purser rules and Darius's new boss promotes him. Why, because he knows that man will have my best interest at heart. He won't steal from me and keep all these other politicians clean may have only one record Vanessa try to bump them off. Daniel belongs imagine is that he's an exiled Jewish man forced to learn a new language. Strange place a different kingdom that is taken to the core and he shows up to advance and for the betterment of this kingdom raise it even harder. Then on everyone home..
But it was because of Daniel's loyalty to the king in the king's assignment that God was glorified. In fact, Daniel's legacy of integrity would so set him apart. He would eventually become the leader over all the other magi who served with him in that office and Danny would use his position to teach the gospel through Old Testament prophecies he had at his disposal. Like the prophecies of I say so effectively that 600 years later the legacy HEB can in Babylon will be seen in that entourage of magi who traveled from Persia with her gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. Arriving in Jerusalem and posing a question to King Herod, where is a who's just been born the King of the Jews today trace of that legacy all the way back to this unit. Good every reason to be better every reason to set mine so that he could he could just explode the kingdom of Babylon in person instead worked out of loyalty why he understood he was on assignment. He was the ambassador of God see before you tell your world with the gospel mean make sure they can see the difference. The gospel makes in your life one more the perspective of eternity. Paul adds this final purpose statement verse 10, so that, in other words, do all the above so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior and every respect, the word adorn is the word Cosmo which gives us our word cosmetic.
Their lives serve as a beautiful cosmetic which enhances the truth of God our Savior like that word Cosmo was used in the ancient world of Paul for the setting of jewels in such a way that their beauty would be highlighted. The setting had everything to do with that today you go to the mall you walk in a jewelry store and all the setting is magnificent. In fact, they have different lights in there than in the mall. Those jewels are going to shine in their actually more than those who never sign out there in there they sparkle your living as one commentator writes a life that adds luster to the gospel of God. What kind of setting our our lives to the gospel of God our Savior and in fact you you you read into that this this highest of motives live a life that that sparkle to the gospel of God our Savior.
Why because your boss needs the Savior you work for an employer with the thought that your boss and your coworkers and your friends are dead. All live forever. One day, but there are only two options according to the Bible have been, which is a literal place and how which is equally a literal place, and because of that you show up just to get a paycheck but to make it through another week to the weekend to get to retirement because you're the light you're there to live in such a way that you add luster to the gospel. They see you and I think man was a guy or gal work that way. What is it about you. Let me tell you I really don't work for you. I work for God you to tell me about this God because I hate this job. Justin Martyr wrote in the second century that those around believers should be ready to hear the gospel by either watching the Christians lives were by doing business with wonder how many people would be receptive to the gospel. After doing business with wonder. Jonathan Edwards though puts this perspective into a wonderful quote when he says he prays that God would stamp eternity on his eyes so that he would view everything in the context of its eternal consequences. She determines work and worship. That doesn't mean you go out and do something amazing or famous or big Paul is basically in this family talk to single good. Do your job show up work hard, smile often stay out of trouble, stay out of the way of troublemakers don't talk back. Tell the truth.
Don't steal stuff because you're living for something greater than the weekend or age 65 you're there on assignment to point people to God that you are Savior. There are a lot of Christians willing to do great things for God. Paul said, would you just go back and do a lot of little things for God and according to Paul's letters even little things are events where God through you, touches her a close with the willingness of the young girl to serve in whatever useful way she could for God's glory. She she was taught a lesson and became a lesson for us.
I came across this recently.
The pediatrician by the name of David Sir Kiera wrote this in a Christian Journal published just a couple years ago you wrote about a little girl five or six years of age name Sarah. He said it all started with my wife Sunday school class. She prepared a lesson on being useful to the Lord. She taught the children that everyone can be useful in that usefulness was actually serving God effectively on that level what I taught on this level. The same principle. He writes the kids quietly listen to my wife's words and as the lesson ended there was a short moment of silence and a little girl named Sarah spoke up and said, Mrs. Sir Kiera. What can I do. I don't know how to do many useful things about anticipating that that ready response. My wife quickly looked looked around and spotted an empty flower vase on the windowsill there in the Sunday school classroom. She said Sir I know what you could do to be useful. You can bring in a flower and put it in that vase God would be pleased with the difference that would make in this room for everyone who sees it. Sarah frowned and said, but that's not important.
My wife replied well if you do it to please the Lord, and it will show people the creative glory of God. Even in this small way, it will indeed be useful. Sure enough, the next Sunday, Sarah brought in a dandelion.
She picked and she placed it in the vase. She continued to do so each week without reminders or help. She made sure the vase was filled with some bright flower Sunday after Sunday after Sunday when my wife told our pastor about Sarah's faithfulness to the small task. He actually took the vase upstairs in the main sanctuary and put it next to the pulpit and use that that morning is an illustration for being useful for God's glory. Just a few days later I got a call from Sarah's mother. She was worried that Sarah seemed to have less energy and didn't have any appetite, and so I made room in my schedule for to come to the office and since I was there pediatrician. I saw Sarah the following day after Sarah had been put through a battery of tests and then several days of examinations. I set numbly in my office with Sarah's paperwork on my lap.
The results were in. Sarah had advanced Kenya on the way home I stopped to see Sarah's parents so that I can personally give them the news. Sarah's genetics in the leukemia that was attacking her little body were a horrible mix sitting at the kitchen table.
I explained that there was nothing we could really do to save her life. I've only ever had a more difficult conversation. The one that nine time pressed on quickly. Sir became confined to bed to the visits that many people gave her then came another telephone call from Sarah's mother asking me to come see her. I dropped everything and rushed to their home after short examination. I knew that Sarah did not have long to live.
That was Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning church started as usual, singing sermon for me. Great sadness near the end of the sermon.
The pastor suddenly stopped speaking as he stared in the back of the auditorium. Everyone in our church turned to see what is looking at.
It was Sarah her parents and brought her for one last visit. She was bundled in a blanket. They carried her to the front and she carried in her hand. A bright flower she placed it in the vase. It was still perched on the side of my pulpit and she also dropped next to the vase a piece of paper that was folded, the service let out and everyone gathered around trying offers much encouragement and love and support as they could. This doctor writes the following Thursday.
Sarah passed away.
Pastor asked me to stay behind after the funeral service and we stood together at the cemetery as everyone walked back to the cars. He said Dave I've got something you need to see people from his pocket. The piece of paper that Sarah had left by the vase. He held it out to me and he said you and your wife need to keep this. I opened the folded paper to read and pink crayon. But Sarah had written with help and was simply this, dear God, this vase has been the biggest on her of my life. Sarah she got it she a simple task would become in her little mind at that stage, the greatest honor of her life. Can I ask you to retrace history of your life or just a moment and what is it what accomplishment would you consider your greatest honor convinced that they're going to be a lot of surprised first century bond slaves standing the presence of the Redeemer rewarded and honored for the simplest task convinced there will be many surprised 21st century Christians as well. I'm convinced are a thousand things in the thousand more wheat we never imagined would be considered an honorable thing is because we've gotten away from this idea vocation you and even the milking of the cow as worship. See, this is the we were to live and to tackle the tasks assigned to us, and in so doing, displaying beauty of the gospel and the treasure found in God our Savior, we are far too many Christians who believe that Christianity is doing something big something great for God.
We need more Christians willing to do something a little forgot something simple, something mundane, something ordinary like putting a bright flower in a flower vase on a windowsill in a classroom for someone to see something, anything done for him is useful where the glory of God through a willing servant actually touches earth you know no matter where you work or what kind of work you do every one of us has the opportunity to reflect God's glory in our work. I hope today's time in God's word has helped you think biblically about your work today.
This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. You can learn more about our ministry by visiting us firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to listen to this message again or share it with a friend. You can do that from our website. The message is called the sacred calling of work. It comes from a series out of Titus two called family talk. Our phone number is 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253 when you call, ask how you can get three complementary issues of our monthly magazine heart-to-heart.
We'd love to tell you about it how you express God's grace in your life. What words did you use tomorrow. Stephen has a lesson called learning to say the right words. I hope you be able to join us for that right here on this for the