I grew up in a home that had a strong Germanic work ethic. In our family, work was God like because God was a worker.
It’s interesting that the bible speaks about work in the first three chapters.
In Genesis 1 we find God AT WORK manifesting His skills, showing His creativity, and demonstrating His love for humanity as Creator, and He built this wonderful world we enjoy.
That’s how work is. People work and others are the recipients of the blessings of their work.
When you really think about it, we are the recipients of God’s good work – Genesis 1:31-2:3.
We are the recipients of God’s good work and God wants us to recognize that others are the recipients of our good work. Our work is to BE A BLESSING to others.
So God immediately gave man a job – Genesis 2:15.
When Adam fell into sin he brought a curse on us that affects us to this very day!
One part of Adam’s curse impacted our work. Work itself is NOT A CURSE, but God said that as a result of the fall and the brokenness of humanity our work would often be difficult and may even at times be discouraging.
I want to read this next part from The Message Paraphrase:
Genesis 3 (MSG) 17- The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you’ll be working in pain all your life long. 18-The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, 19 sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”
In my family we were taught that if you work hard you’ll always have food to eat and the basics.
It was INGRAINED in us at an early age, everyone in my family of 9 (Screen) has to work/earn
So I had a paper route by the time I was 8 years old and ran routes until I was 14.
We shoveled snow in the winter, mowed grass in the summer, raked leaves in the fall (I guess that’s why I still love the spring: there wasn’t much to do!).
How many of you remember ‘World’s Finest Chocolate Bars’? This company was started in 1949 and has sold 5 billion almond bars-we sold 1 billion of them ourselves!
My mother ordered cases of them in July for fall school clothes and Oct for Christmas
It taught us more than a work ethic, it taught us people skills, the power of persuasion, how to not be afraid but get out there and make it happen
I worked 45 hours a week at the Dairy Queen in Sullivan, Indiana all through HS
After graduation I worked at the step truck factory in Union City, Indiana for one year
Looking back that year was prep for ministry/I respect factory workers
Upholstery shop all through college/housekeeping Zion Lutheran Church Mpls
Listen young people, during your formative years through your work you are picking up LIFE skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life!
This series is NOT about hard work. It’s about understanding that God has put us IN our work to accomplish MORE THAN our work.
Through our work God works IN US. And at our work God works THROUGH us.
The basic question we’re asking in this series is, “How do you see God AT work IN your work?”
How should we see God AT work IN our work?
#1 Everywhere We Work We’ll Find People Who Are Hurting
As a Christ-follower our job is far more than making a living and earning money. It IS THAT, but it’s far more than that.
Here’s what I believe. (Screen) Work is not just about performance, it’s also about people.
Every day I must understand God has strategically placed me that day in that spot to help that person. So I need to keep my eyes open and my ears attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes it’s a coworker. At other times it’s a customer. It may even be the boss or the owner of the company.
As Christ-followers our job is to keep our eyes and our heart open and allow God to gently use us to point others to His goodness and grace.
Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG) “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14-Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15-If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 16-Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand — shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Some of you have heard me talk about Mrs. Barnett….my watch….describe the conditions….the work….the times sitting on her front porch talking as she’d tell stories.
I’m convinced God put me there at just the right time in her life to give her a little comfort and joy before she exited this world
You are the light of the world and God has carefully placed you to be a light in that dark spot.
See a bigger purpose. Shine! Radiate! Bless! Encourage! Lift!
#2 At Times We May Be The One Hurting At Work
This TOO is often from God. God sometimes places us in jobs we don’t necessarily want to be at, but God is at work with His own purposes and we must seek that out diligently.
The number one reason we hurt at work is job dissatisfaction. (Screen)
70% of Americans say they hate their jobs
Which means only 30% of workers are inspired and engaged in their work
Gallup poll says 52% of workers have a perpetual case of Monday blues
18% of workers are disengaged and spend their days seeking to avoid work!
As a follower of Jesus Christ, what should you do if you’re in a job that you hate?
Ask God if that’s where He put you
Ask God why He put you there and what He wants from you
If not, it’s okay to look for a better job
Wherever you work, be a great worker
Ask God to change your attitude
On Friday, our day off, my wife and I went to see the movie Noah.
That’s a job that couldn’t have been very pleasant. His job took forever to finish. He was constantly harassed. He never felt appreciated for the work he did. And his work all got WASHED AWAY!
I have always told our children that they are not at a job to earn what they get paid. They are there to earn MORE than they get paid. They are there to bless the company.
I believe Christians ought to be the best workers every company! If we aren’t then we are not representing our King very well.
Our job is from God, and that’s true even if we don’t like our job!
A lot of people have fond memories of a job they once had, a job they thought they hated!
Here’s what helps me when I’m struggling with my job. I overcome the difficulties of my work when I place my job on a SPIRITUAL LEVEL.
How do we put our job on a spiritual level?
We do it when we realize we don’t work JUST for our boss, we work for God!
We do it when we realize we don’t get paid from our company, we get paid from God!
In closing let’s read about it in – Colossians 3:22-25.
Ecclesiastes 2 (NLT) 22-What do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? 23-Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. 24-So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. 25-For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?