|CU: Talks: 26/9/96||Back to the Past Talks listing|
Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - Romans 12:1
Ineffective Christians.. compartmentalisation.. seperation of the secular and spiritual.. How do we think wrongly about work?
We think work has nothing to do with God. "Most of us are atheists when it comes to our work. We don't think God is looking" - Michael Green. Often we see work as a necessary evil to be avoided at all costs. We act as if God has left us to it - unless of course we're doing religious work which God is really interested in - everything else is a waste of time. It would be good to erase the phrase "full time Christian service" from the English language - every Christian should be in fulltime service to his Lord. We need a godly attitude to work.
God didn't create man to mess around in the garden. Work was part of Gods purpose from the beginning to establish His Kingdom onto the earth. With the fall mans work and Gods work were torn apart. Jesus restores the possibility of us joining in all Gods work. In Jesus, everything we do becomes involved in the building of the Kingdom (Col 3.23-24) Work that we found meaningless and uncompelling becomes work building up Christs Kingdom on earth.
Even the work of slaves became work to God's glory. Perhaps it was hard for the slaves to discern what part their work had in Gods master plan but Paul claims that it had its part to play. What we do all day every day is ministry - whether we like it or not - and whether or not we are successful makes no difference. We need to become big picture people who see the place of the mundane in the fantastic.
We think work is the key to personal significance. Our personal worth doesn't lie in what we achieve. Personal significance can only come from one place - the fact that we are in Christ. Our security and significance can never come from what we do, but only and always from who we are in Christ.
We think work is the key to success. What is success? How far up the ladder we make? Who do we see as being the top people?
God provided a safety catch. The Sabbath - so that we can stop and look at everything else that has significance in life. A constant drive for success through work is a dead end. Seek the kingdom first - we're involved and caught up in something bigger that involves all we are and all we do.
When we realise that work isn't the "be all and end all" it is a blow to our pride. We have to see the connection between work and grace - not everything has to be earned. First God gives us grace which enables us to work - Christ gives us the strength we need. Don't let work blind us to grace. There is grace for workaholics and the lazy alike - to find worth not in work but in Christ.
We find our meaning and purpose in our work by doing it before and for the Lord