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2012-02-19 Why do we work

Time: 2012-02-22 Click:

By Gloria
19 Feb 2012 Sunday

 

 

 

 

Worship song: Shout to the Lord

Verse 1 My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord, there is none like You
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love
Verse 2 My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You
Chorus Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing
Power and majesty Praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever, I'll love You,
Forever, I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You
How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great! How great is our God
Name above all names,
Worthy of all praise,
My heart will sing~
How great is our God.

 
 

 

Scripture Reading: Gensis1:26-28,31; 2:15
1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
1:28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.“
1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.
2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

 

Presider Cathy:

Merciful God, we come together again to your temple to be embraced by your love and mercy. Lord, we are going to start a series of studies and reflections on your teaching on work, so that we may bear good witnesses for your glory in our daily work. We pray that you will send us your Spirit and fill our hearts with your Spirit. With your Spirit in us, please also help us see ourselves as you see us; help us see our neighbors as you see them; help us see our friends as you see them; help us see our enemies who are also created in your image. Lord, facing this world of wars, battles, murders, killers and disasters, we pray that you will help us understand that your will is to heal and bless, and that nothing stands in your way of receiving your gift of holiness and healing. Remove the expectations and pride in us so that we may come to you and open ourselves to all the possibilities you have dreamed for us. Lord, we also pray for each of us here, for the worship service, for the choir, and for anyone who come today to you for any mysterious reasons. We pray that we do not boast all more gladly of our own selves and of our own strength, but we will gladly boast our weakness so that the power of Christ may dwell in us. Teach us be confident, even in our weakness, in our sorrow, in our shortcomings, and in our imperfectness. Knowing that even in the middle of all these, you are with us, and your power remains with us. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

Good morning, 

Romans 8:28-39  We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who had been called according to His purpose. If God is for us, who can be against us. Christ Jesus who died, who is raised to life at the right hand of God, is also interceding for us.

 

That means Jesus is praying for you. Jesus is praying for Daniel. Jesus is praying for me. Wow, Jesus is praying for us. He is interceding. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sward? No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors. Conqueror is a winner. We are winners. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am convinced neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. You know sometimes, when the battle is long and hard, we can feel like giving up. And this week I have been so encouraged by the passage in Romans 8. We are more than conquerors; we are winners through Christ Jesus, our Lord. So we are going to try to teach you a new song that is based on this passage, Romans 8. So for a few seconds, I am going to become a singing teacher. Just to teach you the first verse. It does have a lot of words, but the words are from the Bible. And they are good and they will help us when we face our battles the week.

 

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we pray, and as we read His Word, and as we pray His Word back to him: “God, your Word says my God shall satisfy all my needs through Christ Jesus. As we pray the Word back, we become more than conquerors. So strength will arise as we wait upon the Lord,

  

Father, God, we thank you for sending Jesus. We thank you that we are more than conquerors; we are winners through Christ Jesus, our Lord. We praise you Lord, you are so worthy to be praised. Thank you for everything you are doing for us, will do for us, have done for us. Through Jesus, Amen.

 

Serving for today, we are going to have a series of reflections and studies mainly on the theme of work, and Christians and citizens of this world. And we are going to do it in pairs, so we have one speaker reflecting on the Scriptures and then we will have another one bearing good witnesses and telling us how, what and why they do it.

 
 

 

Sermon:

Good morning, everyone. Could you please join me in a short prayer.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of today’s service. Lord, thank you for making us your children. Thank you for sending us your Word deliverers. Lord, I want to lift up today’s preacher into your hands. Hope you will strengthen me, and you will deliver your truly Word for each of us here. And may your Word be glorified, and may your name be glorified. You know some of us here.We may have some sorrows. We may have some chains, but hope you may comfort us through your words, release us, and give us a light to know how we should act in the daily life. And hope your Holy Spirit can come to this service right now. Hope your Holy Spirit can lead us into your Word, and can lead us only to glory yourself. Hope you will be our center in our service. Hope your name be exalted by our worship. We pray in your name. Amen.

  
 

First, I want to ask you to think about a question for a moment: Why do you work? Hope you will think about this, why do you work? I think some of you here have already started work in different jobs. So why do you work? There are many people in this world working very hard, but for the wrong reasons. I have listed four reasons why most people work so hard in this world.

Number one is money. Many people work very hard for they want to make a lot of money, to be rich or to live a better life. They think if they have enough money, they can do everything they want, they can buy everything they need, and they can go everywhere they want. Money means power for them. They feel their life will be more comfortable if they have more money. Do you think you work because you want to make a lot of money, and you want to make your life more comfortable?

Number two is identity. Many people work very hard to get a better job, to get a better position in a company. In their perspective, some jobs are more important than others. For example, if you are a senior manager, you will feel you are more important than someone who is a cleaner. You will think if your job is important, then you are important. You feel your job represents your identity.

 

Reason number three is respect. If you have a successful job, where success is defined by worldly standard, you will be respected by many people, and also you will respect yourself. Like if you are the manager of iPhone (Apple, Inc.). We know many people are very proud of using iPhone 4s. Can you imagine if you are the manager of iPhone, you have a high position in making iPhone, you will be very proud of your job. But if you are sweeping streets or cleaning buildings, maybe you will be ashamed to tell others what kind of job you have. You may think others will look down on you if you tell them your job. 

 

Reason number 4 is power. You think if you are in the high position, you will possess more power, you will control many things and many people, and you can control your personal situation as well. You can order someone to go there, go here, and do this, do that. When you do this, when you control some people’s life, you will feel very self-comforted.

Dear brothers and sisters, if we have those reasons to work hard in this world, work itself is just a means to an end. So basically, for those reasons, we just work for ourselves or for our own benefits. Our will of work is very different from what we see in creation. So let’s see what God’s will of work, what’s the true meaning of work according to the Bible, why do we work?

 

Reason number one is He works. From reading Scripture Genesis 1:26-28, we know, God had already been working before we started to work. In Genesis 1, God created all the things in this universe. He created all the things in 6 days. Everyday, at the end of the day, what did God say? Did God say, “oh, I am glad it’s over. It’s quitting time, yeah! ” “I can’t wait for Friday.” Did God say this? No. What did God say after the work at the end of the day? He looked at His work and said:” It’s good.” Why? Because of money, respect, identity, comfort, power, control, nicer clothes, bigger house, bigger cars? No. Because He felt that work itself was a good thing, work itself was deeply satisfying. So on the sixth day, when everything was complete, God looked at the work which He had made and said, “It’s very good. It’s very very good.” Deep satisfaction from work itself. So in God’s will, work itself is a good thing, work itself is good in God’s eyes.

As we just read, we are created in God’s image. So we know we are God’s image bearers. So He works and we work. Because He works, we should work. God made us for work. We work because we are created in God’s image and through work, we can reflect God and His character. The Bible teaches us that God has always been at work, and when Jesus came to the world, Jesus said to the heavenly Father, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.”(John 5:17) And the Bible also teaches us that the Holy Spirit is at work within us to do His will, to do God’s will. So this is why we work, because God works, we work.

 


 

Reason number two is He calls. You know, dear brothers and sisters, work is also a calling from God. God calls us to work. Work is a special gift from our God and it is our privilege to be a part of God’s work. Can you imagine your identity in God’s eyes? This is the calling from God.

God said it very directly, “Let them rule  over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the living creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:27)

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)

Look at here in our reading Scripture, who took the man to the Garden of Eden? God! Who gave this man the responsibility to take care of it? Who took the man into the work place? God! So you know why I want you to answer this question. We should remember who took us into the work place? It’s our God. Our God is our real boss at work.

 

 

 

So we turn to the reason number three – He is honored. I am working for His glory. I can find joy through work. As I just said, our God is our real boss at work. So we should understand and remember this point. Our God is in control in every situation; our God is sovereign over all things. We were designed to work, so we can take pleasure from work. We are God’s children, we are God’s stewards. Work is our God’s original plan for all the human beings. So we are God’s stewards. Our God is our real boss. We are not others’ stewards; we are God’s stewards. God is our boss, so we should work for God.

 

Colossian 3: 23-24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

 

Work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, because our God is our boss at work. How can we work for Him? The only answer is to give all the glory and honor to God through work. Our God works as we just see in the creation and He enjoys work. We can find joy in work when we do it for our God. God does not need us to work for Him. We should know this. God likes nothing. He has everything. He calls us to work not because He needs our work. He does not need our work to satisfy Himself. He invites us to join Him with work for our sake. He invites us to join Him with work because we need to work, because it is He who gives us an opportunity to be a part of reflecting His character and ,Himself in our work. It is not because He needs us, but because God wants us to be a part of His work. This is an opportunity for you and me. So we should enjoy work and we love work. We do this for God’s glory and we can find joy from our work.

 

But some people may think: I do not like my job, how can I enjoy it? My job is not suitable for me, how can I glorify God through my work? My job is so simple and so boring, how can I find joy from my work? And also these people may say, if I have the job I really love, if I have a job that suits my talents and my gifts very much, if I have a job that is very interesting, I will try my best to work hard. I will try my best to bring God glory. I will work with all of my heart. I will work for God. I will work with all of my passion.

 

But dear brothers and sisters, let us think about where did Apostle Paul work when he wrote the Book of Philippians? In his office? No! Where was he? In the jail. When he wrote the book of Philippians, he was in jail! How did he feel when he we in jail? Angry? Sad? Fearful? Hopeless? Or Joyful? The Bible told us he was full of joy and also he could encourage others. He could encourage the believers in Philippians “Rejoices in the Lord always”! I will say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Why? Because Paul knew he worked for God. No matter what circumstance he was in, he was able to glorify God’s name. He was able to find joy in his work. Do you think Paul liked the jail? I do not think so. Absolutely not. He did not like being jailed. Why could Paul find joy in his work even when the circumstances were so bad? Because he did not think about himself. In his eyes, he himself was not important. To Paul, God had the ultimate importance. He only cared about God in his life. He only lived for God in his life. Dear brothers and sisters, do you think your work place is worse than jail? Even in jail, Paul could spread gospel to others. How about us? If we can have a heart to serve God, no matter what kind of job we have, we will bring God glory. We can honor God regardless of our situation.

 

So I want to have a quiz. Let us go over the three reasons why the Bible says we work. Can you answer me? Number one reason is He works. Number two is  He calls. Number three is He is honored. I really hope you can remember this. Why we work? He works, He calls and He is honored. He is the center at our work place.

 

So dear brothers and sisters, I want you to think about tomorrow when you go to work.Maybe you need to make some phone calls, maybe you need to connect with some people, and maybe you need to teach some students>Whatever it is, think about how can you do it for God’s glory? How can you work for God? How can you apply the teaching that God is working so we work? God is calling us to work so we work. God is honored in our work, so we work for Him. We should remember it is all about Him. It is not about us, it is not about ourselves, and it is not about our own benefits. It is not because of money, power, control or identity, or respect. It is only because of Him, the Lord in the universe. The Lord is our all in all.

 

So dear brothers and sisters, today and the following two weeks we will focus on how to work for God and how to go from seeing work as a burden to be avoided to minimizing our working hard for wrong reasons. Our working for God and experiencing the joy we see in Genesis 1.

 

And now I would like to invite Gary to come up and share how he applies working for God in his work. Gary has more than thirteen years of experience in his working and he has a consulting business here in Beijing and has been living in Beijing since 2004. Since moving in Beijing in 2006, Gary and his wife Lisa have been a part of our English fellowship. Now we welcome Gary.

 Gary

 

I do not know about you, but I wish she’d go for another twenty minutes. Really good thoughts. How do those apply to our life? I am going to talk a little bit about that. But first I would like to thank pastor Wu and Jessica for the opportunity to share in our home church. Gloria mentioned that my wife Lisa is here, our older son, Ben is also attending church here. Hope you know Lisa from talk time. Some of you might know Ben. It is a real privilege to be here.

 

In sharing with you today, I want to emphasize that these are things I have been learning in work, but I think I have been only half way there. I will discuss how we move from this working for the wrong reasons, even trying to avoid work and getting out of work, trying to retire,  or even becoming independently wealthy, so that I can get rid of work. I will then turn to where I am really looking forward to working because I am working for the right reason. I am working for Him.

 

I do not know how far and long I am in this path. I can measure it in years, but only God knows how far I am and maybe half way. I do not want that to be a discouragement to young people.

 

Ok, I think God told me I am a kind of slow learner, so you might pick this up a lot faster. You may have heard it in a much earlier age than I heard it. But God wants us to enjoy work. He wants us to take what we are going to spend more of our waking hours doing than anything else, to take that and do it for His glory.

 

We did a great job on the test. Three things, right? Remember what the three things were? He works, He calls, and He is honored. Let us take a few minutes to look at that.

 

The first one is He works. He created a special in His image. When we work, we can reflect who He is. I really like what the Bible says there. I just do not understand it. I do not understand why a perfect God who created a perfect world who is at work would ask me to do workthat frankly sometimes is incredibly frustrating and frankly sometimes is boring. And sometimes, I experience what He talks about in Genesis 1 at the end of the first day. He looked at His work and He said “it is good” and at the end of the sixth day, He looked at all the creation that He did, He said “it is very good”. Have you ever had those feelings? Have you had that feeling of frustration? Or you just cannot wait for the day to be over? Do you ever have the feeling of looking at your work and saying wow, that is good. There is a lot of satisfaction in that. It is all inside of work and why is it? Why is it like that? Why is that all of that?

 

The Bible tells us that it was supposed to be like that. In fact, in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, we see that God created a perfect world and we see God gave Adam and Eve a job. But in Genesis 3:17, we pickit up after the fall, after Adam and Eve have disobeyed God and there we see it says: To Adam, He said “because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, you must not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you, through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of you brow, you will eat your food.

 

When sin entered this world, it made a huge impact. The Bible says that the ground is cursed. Working in the sinful world becomes burdensome and that’s what we experienced. We experienced that God gave us gift of work and satisfied, and we experienced that burden.

 

There are some Chinese words that I really like. My Chinese is not very good. I should tell you. 麻烦(trouble) is just one of the great words. Work is full of 麻烦 (trouble).You noticed that? One of my Chinese friends gives a better description as 忍受痛苦 (to endure pain).Sounds good too, doesn’t it? It is burdensome sometimesIf you are a farmer, you know that the ground is hard. You know as soon as you plant the seeds, a battle begins. The weeds start to grow up and they want to choke the plant. The insects and the animals come in and they want to eat the plant. Your entire crop can be wiped out by a disease and there is the weather. It may get too much rain, and it may not get enough rain. Cold may come too early. All of those things that are wars going on to a farmer who just is trying to raise his crops.

 

The ground is cursed and not many of us are farmers., but at least in my work, I found that the ground is cursed. What is it in your job? I work in the United Parcel Service (UPS), the biggest logistic company and I was there for eighteen years. I had numbers of different jobs, but one job I had, it might have been the very best job that I ever had in eighteen years and it was absolutely the worst job I have ever had. Really, I was conflicted in it.

 

OK, UPS is fifty-billion-dollar company. It has four hundred thousand employees and I was working on a team doing strategic planning. We were helping the top executives of the company think about the next five years and think about what we need to do with the technology, what we need to do with the supply chains. And for me, the work really played to my strength. I enjoyed it. I found it incredibly interesting. It was one of the best jobs I have ever had.

 

So what happened? The problem was I was working on a team that was full of people just like Adam and Eve and maybe like you and me, who are working for themselves. They were working for the wrong reasons. They were people who were working for money. They were people who were working for feeling important. They were people who were trying to do as little as possible. Misunderstandings led to hidden and sometimes wide-open conflicts,pride, jealousy, and envy. All these were affecting our ability to work together as a team and to be able to deliver something that in the end of the day, you can look at it and say it is good. It was so frustrating. The ground is cursed. Sin brings burden to the whole area of work.

 

So as the ground is cursed, how did working for God change my job? Think about that. Well, the first difference that I found with working for His glory instead of mine reminded me that I am working on something that is eternal, something that’s far bigger than myself, something that’s very very important and it’s worth going through whatever burdens and processes that I have to go through, because it has eternal value. After more than thirty years in the work place, I can tell you that I personally have ongoing joy whenever it is that I worked for His glory.

 

One of the fun things about being here in my home church is, we’ve got people here in the congregation today who I worked with. And the first thing that I mentioned at the beginning is I’ve still got ways to go with this, when I started to work for Him. When I started to think about His glory, it changed things., It helped me get through that hard time. I still had to go through the effect of sin in the work place; I still had to work with that team in strategic planning, but I could experience joy.

 

The second difference is that today, the ground is cursed, but Romans 8: 18-21 tells me that it is a temporary condition; “creation was subjected to frustration” , but the creation waits eager    expectation that it will be liberated from its bondage. I know that someday I’ll experience the freedom of doing work with absolutely none of the burden; I’ll experience what God created there   in the Garden. And each one of you as a believer has the same hope. We will someday be going to enjoy them. So the first principle is when I work for God, the ground may be cursed but I can have joy today and I have great hope for the future.

 

The second reason why we work is because He calls us. And when we read it, we know that God tells Adam to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air over every creature that moves on the ground. Have you ever thought about that? I mean what if your boss called you today and said: well we are going to change your job description a little bit today. Today I want you to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

 

Here is another Chinese word yalihenda (压力很大). Wow, you got to be kidding me! I’ve got so much to do! I am not capable of doing that, it is so big and I am so small, I don’t know how to do it…things like these just go on and on and on… No wonder people look at their jobs often and say I cannot wait for the weekend; I cannot wait for the Spring Festival; I cannot wait till I can retire… There is pressure! We are called to serve Him, but there’s pressure! There certain parts of work that is burdensome; it’s hard work and we rely on ourselves, we get stretched…all these things are going on. In Genesis1, God calls us to work, but then in Genesis 2, at the end of the sixth day and the beginning of the seventh day, God says “By the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”(Genesis 2:2-3)

 

 

 

So after six days of the incredibly created work, it says that God sanctified it. “To sanctify” means to set it apart. Let’s step back just a minute. It does say “created the days and rested. You need to ask yourself a question: Did God need to rest? I mean did God say: Oh man those were tough six days. I am really tired and I need to put my feet above and watch movies.I need to get some extra sleep this weekend. I am just going to take a day off. What we know from the Bible that God doesn’t get tired, so what is about “rest” really? He sanctified the day; He set it apart and He told us that we need to celebrate that’s Sabbath every week, and we need a Sabbath rest. He didn’t do it for Himself but He did it for us. Why do we need Sabbath rest? We need rest everyday, right? If I don’t get my sleep, I am pretty cranky. I am not good for much. What is the difference from Sabbath rest? The difference is we need to move from focusing on what we are doing to focus on what God the Father has done and what He is doing. He created all things and He sustained all things. We need to focus on what God the Son has done for us, and on how today He is before the Father pleading for us. We need to focus on how the Holy Spirit comes to give us wisdom and to give us strength to live for God. We need a day to focus off what we are doing and focus on who He is and what He is doing.

 

Now why it is so difficult? Maybe you don’t have a hard time but I do. Sometimes I just have a hard time turning off the work. Well sometimes the reason is because I am doing work for the wrong reasons. For instance, if I do some extra work I can make some extra money, or my work becomes so important to me that I begin to think that without me right there managing it,all will fall apart because I am so important. But even if I am not working for myself like that, I really am working for God, there are times when I am worried that I cannot get everything done, does anyone else feel like that? If you ever come to a Saturday and it is just like” I don’t know if I go to church tomorrow, maybe I will squeeze in the church but then immediately I’ve got to do  all of sort of stuff because I just… why did God just give us 24 hours a day? And then it tells us to celebrate the Sabbath! Why didn’t He give us 28 or 30 hours? When that’s the case, it takes faith to trust God that within six days, we can get everything that we need. Jesus encourages us to have our faith in God. He is our provider.

 

Matthew 6:25-33: “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear… Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? So do not worry, saying “what shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” or “what shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

It’s a step of faith to take a Sabbath rest. The Bible says that God is my provider and He is the one who will take care of me; I can trust Him enough to always take a Sabbath rest. It is an act of faith.

 

So the second principle is: When I work for God, I can take a Sabbath rest and that makes difference when it comes to work also.

 

 

 

The third reason why we work is He is honored. As a Christian, naturally I would want to have all of my work honor God. If that’s the case, why is it that for so many years, I felt like 80%of my job didn’t apply? Just didn’t apply! When I looked into the Bible and when I went to church, I was told that in my work life, I should share my faith. Ok, it is an opportunity to share my faith. Secondly, I should work ethically. My ethics should be very high. I should be honest, I should speak the truth. OK,  ethically, I could be salt and light. Third, I could earn money and with that money, I should be generous. OK,  so work is good because it helps me earn money so I could be generous. And then the fourth area, it’s kind of an indirect message, but make sure that your work hours are as short as possible so that you can go to do sacred work.Have you ever heard the term “sacred and secular”? Sacred work would be with God, secular work would be what? Without God, right? OK,  so in my mind, I had sacred and I had secular and my job had those two dimensions The problem was that if I did all those things that only took about 20% of my time, the other 80% of my time, I felt like I was over  there  doing things without honoring God. At that time, I was working in UPS as I mentioned and I was doing marketing, I was doing strategic planning, I was involved in the international expansion.I really enjoyed the parts of my work, but my problem was that I didn’t see a purpose in it; I didn’t see an eternal purpose in it and I didn’t see a long-term value in it. As a Christian, why would I want to spend 80% of my working hours in something that did not honor God? That was not important in a long term.

 

The Bible has good news, it says that I can honor God with 100% of my job. What did we see in Genesis1? Gloria mentioned it: God is the one who gave Adam his job, right? Did God say to him I want you to lead Bible studies? That’s sacred work, right? I want you to preach sermons. That’s sacred work; I want you to lead the prayer time. That is sacred work; He said that I want you to go in and manage and I am going to make you a manager; I am going to make you a steward; I am going to make you over farming. God doesn’t have this separation of sacred and secular; God sees all work as sacred. Remember what Colossians 3 said: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. In these verses, that pastor Paul’s telling all workers and in this case even slaves, to work is onto the Lord, The Bible teaches us that even most simple unimportant task can be sacred when they are done for His glory. Another way of saying this is: All work is holy, when it is done wholly for Him.

 

So the third principle is when I work for God, every part of my work can glorify God. So why do you work? Is it for money? Is it for identity? Respect? Power? If you think this morning that those are primary reasons, you know who you are working for. I know who I am working for when I do that. I am working for myself!

 

There are many in China today who are in the process of finding out that automatically they will never satisfy the hole in their hearts. A wise person once was asked: what is the greatest failure in life? Would it be attempting to climb the ladder of success and then failing to reach your goal? The wise person answered: it is absolutely not. The greatest failure in life would be that given  everything to climb that ladder of success all the way to the top, only to find out it was a leaning against the wrong wall.

 

If you are not a Christian this morning, your ladder of success is leaning against the wrong wall; you will never find what you are looking for apart from Jesus. I would like to encourage you today to make a decision to follow Jesus, I would encourage you that after this service, there is a prayer team up here, come up and talk to them.

 

You cannot glorify God and live for Him unless you know Him. If you are a Christian and you are still working for the wrong reasons, ask the Lord to show you this morning what they are. Lord, show me where it is that I am working for myself instead of working for you; I want to live for your glory. If you are a Christian, you want to go deeper working for His glory. Remember the three things we talked about here, the application: the ground may be cursed but I can experience joy today and I have a great hope for the future; I can have the faith to take a Sabbath rest; every part of my work can be done in His glory no matter how small it is, no matter how difficult it is, how unnoticed it is.

 

Let me close with this story: When I was in UPS, we lived in Europe for several years, and a friend of mine took me to see a very old and very beautiful church (showing the pictures of the church}. The church’s over a hundred meters tall and it actually took 70 years to build. It was actually completed by the grandsons of the man who started the church. So for three generations, they worked on this. It is a gorgeous building and I noticed that over the doorway, there’s incredible stone work. My friend pointed at the stone work over the entrance to the very top of the building and he said: you cannot see it from here, but a hundred meters up, the stone work is just as detailed and just as high quality. He said but few people had ever seen it before. And I asked myself: well, if very few people could see it, why did the  wormen do that? He simply said: They were working for God! You and I have that privilege to work for God for His glory. Let’s encourage each other to settle for absolutely nothing less. Thank you.

  
 

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: Why Do We Work? video 
doc
audio ppt1 
ppt2
Worship song: Everlasting God video audio lyric
Worship song: My Life Is In You Lord video audio lyric
Worship song: Shout to the Lord video audio lyric
Worship song: We Know That All Things video audio lyric

 

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