Browsed by
Category: Culture

Nehemiah Part 6: Your Work Matters to God

Nehemiah Part 6: Your Work Matters to God

 

Continuing from where we left off last week, there are three common wrong or incomplete views of work.

1. Secular View

The primary purpose of work is self-fulfillment. Success in your life means success at your work.

Weaknesses:

  • The promises of fulfillment are fleeting – mirage. Self-fulfillment, like a new car, eventually loses its shine.
  • Work becomes an Idol. Work defines your entire being and worth.

2. Two Storied View: Secular vs. Sacred

The Two-Storied View distinguishes between Secular and Sacred work. Work that “matters to God” and has eternal value & work that “doesn’t really matter” and has little value.

Weaknesses

  • This view disconnects the soul & the body. The soul is the most important and work is diminished.
  • This view creates two classes of workers. There is a hierarchy of “spiritually elite” professions.

I had a discussion with a friend last week and he said, “We are on the Titanic and its sinking. All that matters is getting souls saved. Church doesn’t need to be concerned about work. If I want to learn about work I can go somewhere else.

3. Work as a Pulpit

This view sees the purpose for Christian participation in work primarily to set-up opportunities for evangelism. Work is a bridge or platform for the Gospel.

Weaknesses

  • Work is more than a bridge or platform.   
  • You reduce your work to a soapbox.

We need to understand God’s view of work. The truth is, your work matters to God. No matter what it is.

God is a Worker

The very first thing you find God doing in the Bible is work!

Genesis 1:31-2:3 –And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Work is Not Beneath God

A commentator once said, “It is not by accident that God shows up in the old testament as a Gardener and in the New Testament as a Carpenter.”

Work is Not a Result of the Fall

It’s not like we were created to lounge around in the garden but Adam blew it and now we all have to work. Work is part of God’s good creation. In heaven we will not sit around on clouds but we will work. Work is good and is as much of a basic human need as food, friendship & prayer.

When Jesus came to earth he said he came to work. John 4:34 –  Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me & to finish his work.

 Work is Not a Curse

Work is not a 4 letter word. Work is not a barrier which prevents you from doing the really meaningful things in life. Work is not designed to be the meaning of your life (which is idolatry) but it is designed to bring meaning to your life.   I wonder how many of us think or have thought: “I work, I grind it out 40-50 hours a week but what’s really meaningful in my life is____”

Work Was Designed for Joy

Genesis 1:31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Like a master craftsman, when God completes His work of creation he steps back and enjoys the work of His hands. God finds pleasure and satisfaction in His work. God creates things that are beautiful, just for Joy. Beauty is valuable. Not all work has to be useful. Beauty has it’s own kind of value.

You see, God is a worker and we are made in His image. So when we work, we are exercising God like characteristics….that alone gives work dignity.

Work doesn’t need to be coupled with evangelism to have value.

God created people as workers

We are God’s co-workers. We are made in his image which, includes work.

The First Partnership

Genesis 1:27-28 – God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;  male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:8 & 15The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed….The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

Think about how partnerships with great people, firms, and companies make you feel. They tend to raise your personal stature. Men do this all the time. They tell other men who they are connected to. It gives stature, legitimacy, or value to your work. When I worked for the Atlanta Braves, when Ted Turner walked in, we suddnely began to work harder and look busier. Now, consider you are in partnership with God! That gives your life and work incredible value.

God doesn’t need us in order to accomplish his work, but he chooses us to participate in accomplishing his plans.

Ps 8:4-6 – What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to rule over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.”

Work: The Cultural Mandate

The Cultural Mandate is “to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the whole earth, to subdue, and to rule over the earth…..all of it.”  Notice that every living creature was given the assignment of reproduction, but only man was assigned a job; to subdue, to rule.

God designed our world with enormous resources and possibilities. Some latent, and some dorment. God gave man the assignment to continue discovering and continue God’s work:

  • In Forming and Filling
  • For Procreation and Civilization
  • For taking Chaos and turning it into Culture

So in the Garden of Eden, God left work to be done. The Garden was not designed to be the end, but the beginning of human flourishing.

Your Work Matters: It Has Instrumental Value.

God uses your work is an instrument to meet His purposes.

Matt 22:37-39‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul & with all your mind.’ This is the first & greatest commandment And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Your work has instrumental value in loving your neighbor.

Your Work is God’s Instrument to Love Our Families

I Tim 5:8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Work is God’s Instrument for Giving and Meeting the Needs of Others

Eph 4:28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”

God has a desire to meet human needs and he wants to meet some of those needs through us.

The following video link was played to close our Iron Leadership. It is only available through Right Now Media. If you have a membership, you can access the video here

Questions:

1. Intrinsic Value: How does God being a worker affect your view of work? 

Do you see your work as a gift?

Do you see it as a partnership with God? How? 

Does God endorse every kind of work that man does?

2. Instrumental Value: How does God use the work of a truck driver, artist, jet pilots, or your own work as an instrument to love others and meet their needs?

 3. What’s your biggest challenge in allowing your faith to flow into and inform your work?


Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips

Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

The Particular Temptations of Young Men – Tim Challies

The Particular Temptations of Young Men – Tim Challies

Whether you are raising a young man or you are one , this is an insightful read from Tim Challies. Read the full blog post here. 

 

What God means to accomplish in young men are rarely great deeds that are visible to the public, but the invisible construction of a foundation of godly character that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

-Tim Challies

 

Iron Leader Update – Ron Edmonson, Tim Challies, and Millenials

Iron Leader Update – Ron Edmonson, Tim Challies, and Millenials

Iron Leaders,

Ron Edmondson (ronedmondson.com) has a good website about leadership you might want to add to your favorites list. Below is one of his blog posts about Traits of Courageous Leaders. Tim Challies (challies.com) also has a great website and his article on Sexual Detox is a must-read for men in leadership. On a less serious note, enjoy the video about Millennials.

I look forward to seeing you this Friday, January 20 at 6:30 AM or at 6:00 AM for the Daily Office.

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture
Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

 

New Year’s Resolutions – 2017

New Year’s Resolutions – 2017

Iron Leaders,

It is time to kick-off Iron Leadership for 2017. Our first meeting of the year is this Friday, January 6 at 6:30 AM or at 6:00 AM for the Daily Office. Make it your new year’s resolution to attend this year’s Iron Leadership meetings. Look at the spring schedule below and go ahead and put those in your calendar.

Another one of your new year’s resolution should be to read good books, so I took the liberty of sending you a couple of book of the year lists from World Magazine. The first one is their 2016 books of the year and included in the article are previous years’ winners. Also, for fathers of young children, there is a list of children’s books that I referenced in reading good books to my children.

2016 Books of the Year: Persecution. Cultural Pressure. Death, Marriage, Fun by Marvin Olasky

The Nifty 50: World’s List of 50 Great 20th Century Books for Children by Susan Olasky

….And for those of you who have less lofty goals than reading great books, here is something for you:

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture
Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
paul@cccwnc.com

2017 SPRING SCHEDULE:

-January 6
-January 20
-February 3
-February 17
-March 3
-March 17
-April 7
-April 21
-May 5
-May 19

How I Work: An Interview with Trevin Wax – TGC

How I Work: An Interview with Trevin Wax – TGC

Iron Leaders, for the next few weeks leading up to 2017, I am going to send you some articles on time management or productivity.  The Lord teaches us to number our days and that our days are like a mist so we want to use our time wisely.  I hope you benefit from these articles and prepare to get the most out of 2017. Read How I Work: An Interview with Trevin Wax

Paul Phillips Signiture

Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

Nine Attributes of a Real Man

Nine Attributes of a Real Man

“As a man who has been fatherless almost all my life, I have found that defining masculinity is deceptively difficult. I didn’t have someone around to demonstrate true and healthy manhood. My father’s absence has been a source of grief and regret, but this sense of longing has driven me to God for answers, fulfillment, and sonship. He is my one faithful Father, my heavenly one.” Read the rest here.

America’s Lost Boys

America’s Lost Boys

“Where have America’s young men gone? According to Erik Hurst, an economist from the University of Chicago, they haven’t gone anywhere—they’re just plugged in.” Read the revealing full article about men and technology.

A renovation project brings income to a church nonprofit and vitality to a former tobacco town

A renovation project brings income to a church nonprofit and vitality to a former tobacco town

“An enterprising leader of St. John AME Zion Church pushed his congregation to revive its dormant nonprofit and undertake an ambitious plan to buy and improve seven properties in a historically African-American area of Wilson, North Carolina.” Read the full, incredible story.