We love our community and want to show the love of Christ tangibly in our neighborhoods, workplaces and homes. This summer, through weekend sermons, small group curriculum and daily devotionals, we will discover how serving can make a difference in our community, makes an impact for God and grows our faith. Join us as we discover significance through serving.
Today’s post is all about how our work has a part in your serving mindset. The average person will spend around 100,000 hours of their life at work. Work defines, describes and dominates our lives. But surveys tell us that about two-thirds of people say they are not satisfied in their jobs. Some people think work is actually punishment from God, because the Bible says after sin entered the world, God cursed the ground, and said, “Now you’re going to have to work by the sweat of your brow.”
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
The result of sin is not work. The result of sin is harder work. You are going to work in heaven too. In heaven it will be good and fulfilling work. There will be no bad bosses, no gossip, no inner-office politics. Your work in heaven will be fulfilling and fun.
Work is not the enemy of your life. Work is an amazing opportunity of life.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
How do you see the “whatever you do”? How are you going to spend those 100,000 hours of your life? Most people see their job negatively. What if you could see your job as an opportunity to do something in the name of Jesus in freedom and thanksgiving to God, not as a prison?
Is this your work story?
You graduate from high school or college and then comes the prison sentence, 40 years to life. It all starts with, Sunday afternoon when you realize you have to return to prison and you begin the grieving process. You prepare the house and family for you to be away. You eat your last meal and put your last words on social media.
Monday morning you walk into work like it’s Shawshank Redemption. Then, Tuesday rolls around and you hate the idea that you’re starting to get used to your workplace prison. Now Wednesday is hump day and it feels like sort of a break in the middle of your sentence. Thursday, you find yourself the largest cup of coffee known to man just to make it through the day. Then on Friday – you’re released!
Don’t get too excited though, you are only out on parol for the weekend. The office keeps you on a leash and put a shock collar on you called a cell phone.
Does that sound about right for you? We shape our work by how we think about it. If you hate Mondays, you’ll end up hating one seventh of your life. There must be a greater reason for work. There are actually six biblical reasons why work is in our lives.
1. Necessity: We work to meet our needs.
God also says that providing for my family is my spiritual responsibility. We are to take care of our own families as best as possible.
“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Notice the word unwilling. He’s talking to the unwilling, not the unable. Sometimes you can’t work because of a disability or sickness. But if you can work, you need to do your part. God did not put you here on earth just to provide for yourself. God expects you to make a contribution with your life.
“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)
Notice the word prosper. God is not opposed to prosperity. God is opposed to selfishness and greed, but God is not opposed to prosperity. Jesus praised businessmen who used business skills to make a profit. Profit is not the problem.
If necessity is the only reason for work, you’ll see work as a prison.
Your job is a platform. We’re so focused on the prison, we miss the platform we’ve been given from God to give Him glory.
2. Identity: God wants you to work so you can express what He made you to be. He’s given you certain gifts and talents.
“A lazy life is an empty life.” Proverbs 12:27 (MSG)
God doesn’t want you to ignore your gifts and abilities. Work is a place to show your creativity and ingenuity. Work is a place to make a difference and to give back and express your identity. God has wired everyone to do something different so that everything gets done.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
Ask Yourself: How can I personally advance the mission?
Most companies and places of employment have mission statements. Maybe the 2 of 3 of us who are unfulfilled in our jobs can understand and be about the mission of our company. When you don’t know the mission you’re on, you feel imprisoned.
Rock Brook Church
Mission Statement: We exist to bring you to Jesus Christ so you can find and fulfill God’s five purposes for your life. [Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry & Evangelism]
Vision: Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose and Make a Difference
Values: Follow Jesus, Love People, Remember Why and Choose Joy
3. Character: God uses your work to develop your character.
God plants little seeds of character in your heart. Seeds of love, joy, peace and patience. Then He fertilizes those seeds of character, often, in the workplace because you spend so much of your life at work.
God is developing your character here on earth to prepare you for heaven. God is watching you so He can determine what kind of job to give you in eternity.
“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” Luke 16:10-12
While you’re working on the job, God is working on you.
Ask Yourself: Who am I becoming?
4. Credibility: Your work is a witness to others. The quality of the work that you do can open up doors for you to share your faith. Good work is a good witness.
Your work demonstrates what you believe, especially when you’re under pressure. When people are making unreasonable demands on you and you respond to those demands in a Christ-like way, it grows your credibility as a follower of Jesus.
“Mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before. In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (GNT)
Respect is earned and before an unbeliever wants to know if Jesus is credible, they want to know if you’re credible.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Ask Yourself: How Can I Shine?
God scatters us throughout the darkness to shine a light so that when people see that light, the good work we do, they’ll want to know about our faith. They will ask why you are so forgiving? How are you so kind? It’s the fruit of the Spirit of Christ in you shining.
5. Generosity: If you want God’s blessing on your work you’ve got to be generous.
“Use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” Ephesians 4:28 (NLT)
The more generous you are, the more God blesses your work. God wants us to become like Him and He is a generous God. Everything you have in life is due to the generosity of God.
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
Giving unlocks God’s blessing on your life.
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:18
“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Ask Yourself: What more can I give?
If you’re never asking this question, you don’t understand how much God gave for you. God gave Jesus.
6. Eternity: I can use my job to build God’s kingdom.
One way is to tell your co-workers the good news of Jesus. Work becomes your mission field. Another way you can do this is by making money in your business and giving it to Kingdom causes.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20
You can store up for yourselves treasure in heaven. Not treasures for God, He doesn’t need it. God says you can create a bank account in heaven that is eternal, pays the highest dividends and nobody will steal it from you.
God says don’t just be a wealth builder, be a kingdom builder.
Maybe you think that you don’t do anything important at work. Your work has far more significance than you realize, because it wasn’t meant for just necessity. God wants to use your work for identity. God wants you to express your talents through work. God wants to use your work for character building. He wants your work to make you stronger, more mature, more patient. God wants to use your work for credibility. He wants you to use your work as a platform to influence the people for the sake of the Gospel. God wants you to use your work for generosity He wants you to be selfless and generous enough to live on a little bit less so you can give a little bit more. You can waste your life, spend your life or invest your life. The best use of your life is to invest it in the Kingdom of God because it’s the only thing that’s going to last forever.
Ask Yourself: Where is my reward?
One day God is going to do an audit on your work. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. What’s the value? Identity, Character, Credibility, Generosity and Eternity. If the work survives the fire, that person will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.
This has nothing to do with salvation or getting into heaven. You get into heaven by asking Christ to forgive your sins. Your reward is about your position, your job in heaven. God wants to give you a great reward in heaven. The greater your reward, the greater His glory. That’s why your work is so important.
Will you say, God, I’m going to give you my work not just for one reason, but for all six reasons that you planned for my work to be?
Leaders leverage their authority for the benefit of those under their authority. Did you ask anyone last week, “What can I do to help?” Did the principle, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” help in any way?
Hear the Word
Many people see work as a necessary evil. Work is not evil. Before sin entered the world, there was work. We will work in heaven. Work is not a result of sin, hard work is a result of sin.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. — Genesis 2:15
There are six reasons for work in our lives:
- It’s necessary.
- It lets us express our identity.
- It grows our character.
- It increases our credibility.
- It gives us the means to be generous.
- It empowers us to build God’s kingdom which lasts for eternity.
Let’s just work through the five questions in your outline…
- How can you personally advance the mission of your workplace?
- How can your job grow your character?
- How can you let your light shine?
- What more can you give as a result of your job?
- Where is your reward?
Which question and reason for work do you need to focus on most right now?
Tell Someone Else
How could this message impact someone else in your life? Is there someone at your job you need to apologize to for something? Is there someone at your job you need to forgive?