Remade to Work

August 27, 2023 | Kyle Bjerga

Today, we will discuss how the gospel changes our approach to work. As Christians, we are called to work for the Lord with respect, sincerity, and integrity. Our work is an opportunity to serve Him and be ambassadors for Christ. Let us do all things as unto Him.


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning, go and grab your Bibles and turn to Ephesians chapter six. We’ll be in verses five through nine. If you use one of the black pew Bibles there in front of you, or on or underneath, it’s on page 950. So how many times have you heard or said in your life? That’s it, I quit. After a day of work, I can’t do this anymore. I’m out. This is my last day. We usually say that not in front of people we work with, we say it in the car, we say to friends or family or just in our own head. But why do we do that? Now over the past week, I researched this question. And I’ve talked to some of you I’ve talked to others in my life, just asking what is the most frustrating part of your job? What has caused you to quit? Or what would cause you to quit? And overwhelmingly the reason is, other people. One of the top one or two reasons why employees quit is because of a boss, a manager, a CEO, a president, somebody in authority over you some direct report, right that you report to this person. People have trouble with their boss, and I can relate. Oh, sorry. Hey, he got me the last two weeks. I get one today. Some of you can relate to this, we have a very good relationship. Okay. employees think their boss isn’t listening. Right? He’s not listening to what we say. He doesn’t care about his employees. She, she’s, I think I know more than this person that’s in charge of me like I could run this company better. I’ve heard people say that actually. And on the flip side, one of the top reasons why employers are frustrated in their work is employees, dealing with conflict, managing people and putting out fires all day, not listening, when they are told to do something, not working hard, having to repeat yourself over and over again. Now in this series, we’re looking at work faith at work. And we’re looking at it from the lens of the whole storyline of scripture from Genesis to Revelation, saying, What does the Bible say in these four major movements in scripture? So the first two weeks were creation, and fall, today, we’re in redemption, then finally, next week, we’ll be consummation, these four major plot movements in Scripture. So just to recap, week one, we talked about the fact that God created us in His image to work, because God is a working God, he creates, and he gives us the responsibility to multiply and fill the earth, to work, and to keep it to rule over the earth. And when we do that, according to His plan, things go well. Things go according to plan, they work the way he’s designed them to work. And yet our experience is one of difficulty and hardship and frustration. Relational conflict, all these different things are a part of our work now. And why is that? Well, last week, we looked at Genesis three, shortly after, when Adam and Eve decided they could do this job better than God chose their own way. And what did that bring, brought strife and blame, and toil, and relational conflict. It devastated God’s creation. It destroyed it, broke it down to where we now aren’t living the way it’s supposed to be. We just experience all the negative stuff, all the bad stuff that drives us not enjoy being with our boss or other employees. And the past two weeks, Brandon has kind of dangle this carrot before us, saying, hey, there’s some good news coming. And the good news is today, because God doesn’t leave us without hope, without change. So today’s the day we move into a movement of redemption, when God the Father sends His Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to redeem us, to save us from our sins and to start making everything right in his kingdom. So what is the good news though? Well, we’re in Ephesians. Today, so I figured if you flip over, he could just look on the screen. Let’s look at what the good news is in Ephesians. What does Paul tell us? So look at Ephesians, two, eight through 10. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, so that not by works that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. That is the good news. We have been saved by God through his Son, Jesus Christ. And the work it says at the end there is not just spiritual thing He’s, that’s not all it is, there’s so much more to the work that God has prepared for us. And Paul spends the first three chapters of Ephesians, describing what the good news is. Here we see it in Ephesians, two, and then chapters four through six, he says, this is now how the gospel works itself out in your life, which by the way, includes our work. So we are not saved from work, work was there at the creation, the fall didn’t bring work as this evil thing. So when God saves us, he doesn’t save us from work. But he saved us writers who work differently now. We work differently than we did before. So knowing that we’ve been saved by God’s grace of no effort of our own, no amount of work can save us. But all of our work matters, all of it. So let’s look at Ephesians six, five through nine, I’m going to read the entire passage, and then we’re going to walk through it. And we’ll come back to some verses a few different times. In Ephesians, six, starting in verse five, Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eyes on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not people. Because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they’re slave or free. And masters treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. So we need to talk real quick, we are in a topical series on work. So we are dropping into the end of the book of Ephesians. So we can’t get into all the questions about why the slave and master language here, we spent more time talking about this when we did a whole series in Ephesians, and a whole series in Colossians. And so I would recommend going back and listening to those because we can handle that a little bit more. But a few things need to be addressed just so we can kind of head into where I want us to go right? Where the Scripture is taking us as far as how does this actually mean anything for us today? The first thing is that slavery then was different than the slavery we think of as soon as we hear that word in our history, it was not racially based. There’s all sorts of ways of how somebody could get into slavery, sometimes they were put there even themselves to pay off a debt, and they would eventually be free. There’s all sorts of reasons for that. Some would even choose to save for their entire life if they had a Master who was good and took care of them. So slavery was different. Okay, so we can’t just automatically think, well, we know of slavery in our history was not the transatlantic slave trade. The second thing is slaves were a part of the household. So this part of Ephesians, and there’s one in Colossians, that talks about the household code, this was something in Roman culture, they would talk about this is how you are to behave in these roles. And so in Ephesians, right before this, we see how the marriage relationship is supposed to work, how parenting is supposed to work. And now we look at our work. And Paul is writing to Ephesus, a church and a culture where probably around 50% of the people would have been slaves. Now he’s writing as a part of this new faith, that people aren’t really sure what’s exactly going on here, what’s happening. And so he’s not writing a political document to the government about slavery. He’s writing to a church that had people who are masters of slaves, who recently came to know Jesus. And he’s writing to a congregation that has slaves who have a master who have recently come to know Jesus. And he’s trying to say, this is the culture, this is the context where you are, this is how you live out the truth of the gospel. This is where you are, and this is what you are to do. So when we think of it that way, again, there’s a lot left unsaid right now, but when we think about it, that way, we start to think, Okay, what’s the closest thing we have to that now? What does that resemble? And that’s where we get the employee-employer relationship. If we’re going to take this and say God’s word is for us. How do we apply it? This is the best place for us to do that. And Tim Keller is very helpful in his book, Every Good Endeavor when he says it this way.”If slave owners are told they must not manage workers and pride and through fear, how much more should this be true of employers today? And if slaves are told it is possible to find satisfaction and meaning in their work, how much more should this be true of workers today?
So we need to be coming from that perspective as we look at this passage today. And the question we need to ask ourselves is How does the gospel impact this relationship of employee and employer and what does that mean for our work? So you’ll see in your notes there the main point to be very clear throughout the text. Is this in all your work? Work for the Lord? In all your work, work for the Lord, we can only do this because of the gospel and the work Jesus has done to undo the effects of the fall that we feel in our work. And so now we see that Jesus actually renews our work in Ephesians six. So we have three renewals, we have a renewed focus, and renewed motivation, and a renewed purpose. So first, let’s look at the renewed focus, which really answers the question, Who am I working for? In verses five through seven, we see that slaves are working ultimately, for the Lord. Look at verse five. It says, as you would obey Christ, verse six, as slaves of Christ, verse seven, as if you were serving the Lord, not people. So all of us have an earthly master, someone in authority over us a boss, CEO, President, Owner, teacher, principal. And that’s important. But ultimately, we don’t serve them. We serve someone beyond them, someone greater than them, you are working for the God who created you in His image to work, and we do the will of God from our hearts. So what it says in verse six, and the will of God, we’re going to talk about more here in a moment. But for now, it’s just to follow the creation mandate to multiply and fill the earth to work and to keep it and to take the good news now and see its spread in our workplace and see go out from our workplace to others as well. So the renewed focus is not so much on what we’re doing. The renewed focus needs to be on who we’re doing it for. So that’s for employees. Now, what about employers look at verse nine. In verse nine, the masters are told something very important that their ultimate master capital M, is in heaven. And he has called them to serve in a role lowercase m, Master. Their authority is given to them by God. He has called them to serve in this role, and the way you worship God. And the way you do that through the gospel, is that you see his leadership as a servant leadership. Because that’s how Jesus served us. Jesus didn’t lord it over us. He came humbly came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. For many, the ultimate master took on the role of servant for us, it looks like Jesus getting down the night before he was killed, and washing the dirty feet of his disciples. That’s what a capital M master looks like. And that’s what lowercase m masters should be about. Now, every employer, can I wash your feet, it’s like finding out when you walk into work that the person who cleaned your toilets that morning was your boss. That’s what Jesus did for us. That’s what he shows us. He shows us what kind of leader he is. And he leaves us an example to follow for anyone in authority. And as a boss, you are representing someone greater than you always someone who has called you to that leadership role. And the expectation is you live, just like he would live. You live that out, because he’s watching you. He is ultimately your master in heaven. Now, when we think about our work now, most of the work that we do, is based on our performance. Is that Is that true for you? Do you get performance reviews, assessments, evaluations, tests, whatever that might look like in your work? But someone is trying to figure out how are you doing? Are you meeting the expectations and the requirements or not? And so work these days in a fallen world helps us unfortunately, to base our worth on those outcomes to base our worth on whether or not we perform. So did I close the deal? Or did the competitor get the contract? Did I aced the test? Or did I fail the test? Does my child behave around other people? Did we make money or lose money this month? Well, people like the sermon or not. You see everything is performance in our mind. That’s where we go and all these scenarios and many more like it put whatever your profession is whatever your work is. These are things we do not have absolute control over. Okay? We don’t have absolute control, meaning you could do everything right and still not get the result you want. So what do we have control over? Listen to what John Stott says. He says it is possible for the housewife to cook a meal as if Jesus were going to eat it. Or to spring clean the houses of Jesus were to be the honored guests. It is possible for teachers to educate children, for doctors to treat patients and nurses to care for them, for solicitors to help clients shop assistants to serve customers, accountants to audit books and secretaries to type letters, as if in each case, they were serving Jesus Christ. That’s who we’re serving. Because of the gospel, we actually have control of our attitude in work, how we actually go into work each and every day, and are we using that as an opportunity to worship. Worship isn’t what we do when we aren’t working. And work is not getting in the way of worship. God sees our work as our worship. If you’re not doing that for six days, and coming on Sunday, then you are missing a huge opportunity to worship God with all of your life, with the work that you spent probably more time in than anything else other than sleep. So humanity, though all of us have been giving a calling this has given to all people, and all of us have been affected by the fall, all of us. And there is goodness in our work. And people can know that whether knew Jesus or not, they can see the good that their work is doing. And they can see the frustrations that work brings as well. So what does it matter? If you believe Jesus or not? How does the gospel actually change the way a Christian would work compared to someone else, maybe a co worker that doesn’t believe what’s different about you. What it means is you can have a bad day at work. You may not perform up to the standards of others, you may try something and fail, you may get fired, you may get untreated fairly. And God can still be glorified through all that because the outcome isn’t what he’s after. That’s not what he says go to work. And I’m just paying attention to the outcome. A good earthly outcome in work could come from doing the wrong things. Is that right? And doing the right things could lead to a bad outcome in your job. And some of you have experience that all God wants to know is are you doing it for him? That’s what he wants. So as a Christian, no matter what the outcome is, in your calling that day, you can feel confident that the Lord is pleased with your work. So earthly standards are not what God compares us to. He compares us to a perfect standard, which by the way we can’t meet, which is why He sent Jesus. And so for the rest of our life, we just say I want to walk like Jesus. And so therefore, I’m gonna put everything in to my work. And God’s gonna see that he’s gonna see Jesus perfection, and he’s gonna see my progress of looking more and more and more like Jesus. But if we weren’t for the outcome, it’s gonna lead to depression, it’s gonna lead to feel like I need a new job. It’s gonna lead to all sorts of things. So that’s a renewed focus. Let’s move on to the second thing, we also need a renewed motivation through the Gospel. And this is answering the question, Why am I working? If our work is ultimately for Jesus, then one of our greatest motivations is love for him. Because we appreciate what he has done for us. We see Ephesians two, and we say, okay, by grace, I’ve been saved through faith, nothing I did. It’s everything that he did. And so I’m going to do this work. He’s called me to do out of love for him and appreciation of the gospel. And of course, that’s how most of the New Testament tells us to live. Now, here in Ephesians, six, we see two big motivations for our work. Look at verse six. It says, we are to do the will of God, from your heart. And then in verse eight, it says, The Lord rewards those for the good they do. So our motivations are I’m going to do the will of God, from my heart. What does this look like? It means wherever God has you in the moment you are working for him. It isn’t working for some future plan or future will of God. It is His will right now that we be faithful in our calling, wherever he has us.
Many of the slaves at this time would work for a certain amount of time, and then they could get their freedom after working off a debt. And it wasn’t that they could only do God’s will once they left that Master. What this is saying is you could do God’s will in this situation. And if you do it now, you’re gonna probably be more faithful in the future. But it isn’t just looking ahead. It’s looking at what’s If God had for me now, a great example of this is the people of Israel. When the people of Israel were carried off in exile in Babylon, what did God say to them, when they got there? Just hunker down, just try to get through this, do your very best and just scrape by, just punch the clock and go home. Now listen to what he says in Jeremiah 29. Seven. He tells the people as they are in a foreign place, he says, also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I’ve carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it. Because if it prospers, you too will prosper. You’re in a foreign land, you’re gonna be there for a while. So make it home, get to work, do the work that you’re supposed to do. Because if the city prospers, you will prosper. So be about the city and ultimately be about me, work for me, that’s who you’re working for. Because God is still there, God. And they should serve Him and do their best. I don’t know if you know that that verse is one of the reasons kind of influence our name Cityview. Because we want to be a place we want to be a people that are faithful in our workplace, a faithful presence in our workplace and in our city. So you may not be in the job or the career that you’re going to have one day. But the will of God for you now is to work hard as if you are serving Christ until that day comes until the next position comes. And then we see in verse six, that the Masters eyes won’t always be on you, meaning your boss, the earthly master. But Jesus’s eyes are always on us. He watches our work, and our attitude and our effort and our integrity. So is the gospel changing us? Is it changing us? And then the second motivation is the Lord’s reward in verse eight, what is to come Colossians three, and a parallel passage talks about our inheritance. And here’s what I hope is very clear, that are the earthly motivations that we can have, what’s right in front of us, it cannot be what drives us. Okay, the earthly outcome cannot be the motivation for us to work. So it cannot be that tip that’s left on the table, after you’re done serving, it cannot be the direct deposit every couple of weeks in your bank account, it cannot be the short term gain or closing a deal. It cannot be on whether or not you like your boss, or whether or not you like your employees, if the motivation is any of those things. That means our day will control us all the time. Because what if I don’t get the tip that I think I deserve? Then I’m not going to serve that person as well next time. What if I don’t get the paycheck that I think I deserve? Well, I’m gonna quit and go find another job that pays more until that one doesn’t pay as much as I think what happens if you don’t close that deal? I don’t want to talk to my coworkers, because I didn’t get it done. You see, if the earthly motivation is that then it starts to control us. And work starts to control us. My boss isn’t around, I’ll work hard when they are and I will work hard when they’re not here. Now of a sudden, all of that is controlling us. So knowing who you’re working for, helps us to serve everyone, regardless of how we are treated. Whether we get along with people or not because our motivation is not earthly, it’s eternal. It’s eternal. And there’s an inheritance for us already. So the fact of the matter is, you may never get the earthly recognition you want for your job. You may never gotta get a great job from someone. You may never get the promotion, you may never get the race. You may never, ever have someone make you feel like you contributed to something. But heaven, and God is our reward. And that’s there and it’s sure. And God will not let anything we do for him in this world the wasted. It won’t. Because he’s given the work for us to do. And we could do it through the gospel and what he has done for us. So what do you ever hear from anyone on this earth? Great job well done. For faithful to Lord, we will hear well done good and faithful servant. Because he’s always watching. He knows that we did the right thing and the wrong outcome happen. He knows that. And he’s pleased by that in the sense that he gets to be worshipped, because you did what Jesus would do in that moment. But if we get the outcome We want we did all the wrong things to get there and did it the wrong way? That how was that pleasing to the Lord? Even if everybody else says, Great job? Who are we working for work for Jesus? What is our motivation, the inheritance we have in Him, nothing on this earth is wasted, if we’re doing it for him, so in all your work, work for the Lord. And then finally, let’s move on to our last point, there’s renewed purpose, and renewed purpose answers the question, how do I work? And here’s the amazing thing as Christians, this creation and this fall and how it’s affected work is we now as redeemed individuals in Jesus Christ as a church, get to help put the broken pieces back together. That’s what we get to do at work. So Second Corinthians five, what you heard read for us, and you’re gonna see on the screen, I want us to sit here for a second, and see what is this new creation? that were a part of it? And then how does it impact our work? So here’s Second Corinthians 517, through 20. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here. All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us a ministry of reconciliation, that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. In our work, whatever that work looks like, we are ambassadors for Christ. God has reconciled us, he’s brought us back into a relationship with him. If he does that, how can he not reconcile work? How can he not reconcile work relationships? He changes things, and he changes the way we work. So now we are ambassadors in Christ with a message and a ministry of reconciliation. So through our words and our actions, we get to show people how we have been reconciled to God and how they can be as well. And this is not just your spiritual life. It’s not just your Sunday life. It’s all of life. He doesn’t just reconcile us to Himself in different parts of our life. He reconciles all of it, he shows us how he can bring everything back. He’s making everything new. Yes, it starts with our hearts. But for the rest of our lives, we see how this impacts every single other area of our life. And Ephesians. He’s just done marriage, parenting, and now work. The three biggest areas we have. So how do we work? Look at these four different descriptions in our passage on how we should work in verse five. It says we should work with respect and fear. So respect of your this can be done no matter who your boss is. Because the respect and fear we have for earthly masters can only happen if we have a healthy respect and fear of God. And what does that fear and respect for God and our work look like? It means understanding the purpose for which he created us, and the role that he has placed us in. So when you’re like, you don’t know my boss. You’re right, I don’t. But this is generally how we approach those relationships. Right? That’s how we approach them,
we go into them with this mindset. So you may not work for a great boss here on Earth, but you still fear and respect them enough to obey and follow them. Because you recognize the God’s word and the authority hit has given them in your life to dishonor them is to dishonor him. Kids, you dishonor your parents, you dishonor God, all of us, we dishonor the government, we dishonor God, you see the authority structures that he’s put into place are there for a reason. And now your question is, I have a bad boss, and all these other relationships are terrible. I said, Generally, this is our mindset of how we go into these relationships. If someone ever tells you to do anything illegal or goes against God’s commands, of course, we have to do something about that, and it’s gonna look different. But I don’t think we really have a problem with that. I think we have more of a problem of a mindset of going in saying I’m gonna obey and respect this person. That’s what I think the bigger problem is in our culture, not so much that we’re willing to speak our minds when somebody does something wrong. So bosses, it says you’re supposed to treat slaves then in the same way. Look at verse nine. And masters treat your slaves in the same way well, what way with respect and fear? So this goes back to like the idea of like, okay, slavery then was different than slavery now in slavery. In the church was definitely different than slavery than any slavery now. Because in the household code, no one would ever read these words, that a master was to treat their slaves the way the slaves were supposed to treat the master. But that’s what we have here, Paul is saying you treat them the exact same way they’re treating you. respect and fear. Why? Because they are brothers and sisters in Christ, they are no longer just slaves, brothers and sisters in Christ, so to so to not treat them in that way to be harsh with them, to threaten them, you would be dishonoring them and therefore as a boss, you would be dishonoring God Ephesians five makes it very clear submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. That’s all of us, regardless of our role. So no one no other religion, no other system at that time was telling them to do this was totally mastered. You treat them with respect, and fear. And so what Paul is actually doing is dismantling slavery from the inside out. That’s what he’s doing. He said, Okay, there’s masters and slaves in the church, and how do you relate to one another? How do you relate to those outside, when they see you, they’re going to see the shell of slavery. But it’s going to look like a brother-and-sister relationship. And eventually, we know that that would take over and be something that everybody was all the Christians were known for is their love for one another in dismantling slavery in the church. The second thing way to work is sincerity. Look at Verse five, again, with respect and fear and with sincerity, of heart. So we need to have a great work ethic. That’s like the singleness of our hearts, a great work ethic. We are at work, we do the best of our ability, not just to punch the clock, but because we know Jesus is watching. One of my favorite stories, this is a guy that I worked with at Aurora, Christian, he was the Bible teacher, before he’s the Bible teacher for 10 years, he had been a pastor. And it didn’t end great at his church. So between being a pastor and being a Bible teacher had three other jobs. And those jobs were a janitor and a school, a landscaper, and a truck driver. And when he did a devotional with the teachers back when I was teaching, he talks about his experience of thinking, Oh, my goodness, I’m going from being a pastor to non clean the school in the middle of the night when nobody’s here. And it struck him that he wasn’t working, ultimately, for anybody in that school. He was working for Jesus. And so in his mind, he said, God is making all things right in this world. And so I can make all things right in this school. I can clean the school in such a way that people see the goodness of it, what it was created to look like. That’s a good attitude. Then he was a landscaper, he said, You know what, this is God’s creation, I get to make something very beautiful for this person to enjoy. And hopefully, when they see that they see their Creator. That’s a good attitude. And when he’s a truck driver, other than the fact he said he saw everybody in the world texting as he was driving, because he was up above. He said, I get to transport things that are of super big importance for like millions of people across the country. And I get to be a part of that work. And if I fail, they don’t get it. And how does that dismantle things? Like he saw his purpose was there. He says, I’m going to talk all the time. So who else am I going to talk to you but God then became a Bible teacher.
He got to tell a bunch of students that no matter what they do in life, they can work for the Lord. And he said, If he lost his job, tomorrow, whatever else he did, he’s going to do it for Jesus. That changes our perspective, the Gospel changes our perspective. The third way we work is with integrity. That’s verse six. Obey them not only with to win favor, win their eyes on you. We do this work all the time. Don’t get caught in the old bosses here. Let’s work really hard. And then when they leave, let’s just relax. Nobody do too much work. Don’t do too hard work. We don’t want to do that. And bosses, we don’t threaten you don’t show favoritism. Instead, you give your employees the benefit of the doubt. You care for them. You encourage them, you help and you support them with integrity. And finally, verse seven, we do this wholeheartedly – serve wholeheartedly – as if you were serving the Lord, not people. So we don’t go into work begrudgingly. Thinking that this is a necessary evil. I have to do this. I’m just punching the clock. I’m working for the weekend. But instead, it’s joy in our heart knowing you are fulfilling God’s mandate from the very beginning to all mankind to do the work he is called to do to work And to keep the garden to work and to keep what whatever profession, whatever your calling is, we could do this for His glory and for the good of everyone around us. And bosses, managers, owners, the employees that you have are not a means to an end. They are souls. They are people who need to be treated as such, with fear, and respect, get to know them get excited for a job well done. The way a master treats his slaves, the way manager treats his employees reflects how you view your relationship with God. God is not harsh with you. So don’t be harsh with your employees. God does not threaten you. So don’t threaten your employees. So I’m just getting to this point. How do we work? We work like Jesus. We work like Jesus. Look at any of these areas of life. And you can point to positive example, after example, after example, in the Gospels of how Jesus lived this out in his life. This is who he was, this is who he is. And thankfully, he did this because not only did he live out his calling to perfection, which we needed in order for the cross to matter for us. But he can also empathize with us. His ministry was frustrating. Have you ever ever read the gospels? His ministry was frustrating. And why was it frustrating? Because of people, his own followers, the crowds, the religious people, people disagreed with him. They didn’t get it. They harassed him, they questioned him, and they eventually killed him. By all earthly standards, Jesus failed at his job. You’re not going to write a book on his success at that time, when he’s in a grave. But never once did Jesus disappoint or fail his father. Never once he fulfilled his calling. He fulfilled it perfectly. Even when the world would say he’s a failure, he’s gone, he’s dead. What are the Fathers say, This is my Son, whom I love with him, I am well pleased. Not because he lived up to the earthly standards of people, but because he lived up to his father’s standards, and did everything perfectly for Him for His glory, His Father’s glory. And by the way, he defeated sin and death. So he won. If you are a Christian employer and a create and have Christian employees, or you’re a Christian employee, you have a Christian employer, we should be living this out. And it should be very evident in our life, and in our work, that this is true of us. But not every employer will have Christian employees. So if that’s you, that doesn’t change your responsibility. Now, the way that you work, and the way that you lead can be a witness, you are an ambassador, with a message and ministry of reconciliation, as a boss before your employees, so be the type of boss that others want to work for, regardless of whether they believe the same things as you or not. And not every employee is gonna have a Christian employer. But that doesn’t change your responsibility. You have the message and ministry of reconciliation. And so you bring that into your workplace for your boss, be the type of employee that others want to hire, regardless of whether or not they believe the same way you do. So before we close here, just a few groups that I want to address. First, if you are unpaid, we talked about the fact work is not just getting paid, getting a check. So your stay at home parent, you’re retired, you’re unemployed, you’re a volunteer, you are working. You are you are working and keeping this Earth that doesn’t require pay. So all that we talked about this morning can be applied to your calling, you may need to struggle through what exactly that looks like. But we’re here to help you. You can do that in community groups, too. And my example of this is when Jack and I got back from Colombia, feeling called to the mission field and having to come back early. I struggle a lot with what what does the Lord have for me? Why did we go and I remember sitting every day just looking for teaching jobs, like just constantly the computer like something was going to change every five minutes. And I remember sitting there like I’m just wasting my unemployment. And I read a book called just do something. Sometimes the advice is just as simple as that. Just do something like I had to be told by God to get up and move and do something. And so I said I what am I going to do about I’ll just volunteer, so me and every other retired person as I’m in my mid 20s Is sir At a bunch of these different places, and guess what, like, I wasn’t looking for a job at that time, but I was fulfilling my calling because I was helping I was I was doing something. And it was as simple as that. I’m just saying, like, no, the Lord always has something for us to do some way for us to be involved. He’s always calling us to do the ministry of reconciliation. So where can I do that? If what I think I’m supposed to be doing isn’t happening. So asking that question, Where can I serve? What can I do? students of all ages, school is not evil. It’s not, it isn’t an interruption in your life. It isn’t something to skip so that you could get to the real stuff. It is preparing you for the future. But didn’t you say you could do something now Yes, you are a student. That is your calling. Your calling is to take what God has given you, in your mind, and your understanding your knowledge and your wisdom and to grow in that and have other people feeding that and telling you, so you don’t have to figure everything out for yourself. So take it seriously. The Lord does have something for you in the future. But the best way to do that job well. And that calling well is to take your calling now seriously. And be faithful presence at school. Parents, how do you talk about work, your employer, your co workers, when your kids are around?
I’ve heard a lot of things from students over the years. And the way they approach work is so negative. So we as a church, and as parents need to do better. They’re already in a fallen world. But we know Jesus, and hopefully they do as well. So we need to show them there’s something better in their work. How do you talk about these things? Do they go in expecting that there’s a difference between their work and what they do on Sunday, because if they do, then we are failing them. Don’t tell your kids, you need to get a job. So you can pay for things. Don’t. Because that means what school is important. In order for to be important, I have to make money, I have to go do something to support myself, No, first and foremost, you got to get into the calling God has given you and do that. Well. Regardless of whether you get paid or not. We need to do a better job of getting them prepared for what work is and what their calling is now. And that’s on us. The final group is really all of us. I can fall into this just like I think all of us the negativity trap at work. Everyone expects us to talk negatively about our job. Because what’s the easier thing to complain and grumble about our job or to say how great our job is? I’ve been in far too many conversations where I hear all the negative and never once what’s good about it. There is good and there is somebody we are serving. And we can do this? Well, if we do that if we’re talking negatively about work all the time in front of others. We are not ambassadors for Christ anymore. Because all we’re doing then is showing people Yeah, we’re in the Genesis three world without any hope. No, Jesus died and he’s risen from the grave. And he’s changed the way we work. So as Christians, we need to be the ones to stand up and make sure people see the goodness of work. And be honest about the frustrations. Yes, we’re not putting it down saying it doesn’t exist. But we have a ministry and message of reconciliation to say how these things can be made right again through Jesus. So maybe verbal verbalizing it, maybe just being that example at work that people see. And say there’s something different about the way they approach work. All your work. Are you working for the Lord? And I’ve heard many times before, people say to me, Well, you’re doing the Lord’s work. We’re all doing the Lord’s work. We all have the message and ministry of reconciliation. There isn’t a difference. You guys can open this book and tell someone about Jesus to that’s what we’re all called to do by our life by what we say the way we think. So listen to this quote and we’ll close this from AW Tozer at the end the very last page of his book pursuit of God. Listen to what he says to all of you this morning. The layman need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister. Let every man abide in the calling, wherein he is called and his work will be sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular. It is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary This is our life. This is what we’re called to. Everything we do in our calling is done before the Lord. Others are watching so be an ambassador. Be an ambassador. It’s an all your work work for the Lord. Let’s pray. Lord, we thank you for the work that you have called us to do. We thank you for the message and the ministry of reconciliation that we have. That your gospel message has so changed our lives it changes every single aspect of our life. It makes us new. Every new renews our work and our commitment to Jesus, we thank you for your life for your death, for the way you change us. We love you. We pray this in Your name, amen.

© 2020 Cityview Community Church