Our Work Brings Glory to God (workLife series #3)
Jason White



Practical ways that our work brings glory to God. Work is a big part of our lives, but is work our life? How do we handle the pressures of comparing ourselves to others, proving ourselves through our work, and earning our identity through achievement?






*This transcript was auto-generated by a transcription service and may differ from the originally spoken content*

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Last week during our family service, we took a break from our work life message series that we've been in. But today we're coming back to that this is, this is week three. And I've actually heard from a few of you, after the first two messages, you've taken time to either email me or catch me in the hall and say a few things to give some feedback and encouragement. And, and a lot of it's been great. You know, a lot of you have been saying, Hey, I'm really appreciating how we're talking about the biblical perspective of work. And it's helping me see my work in a little bit of a different way. But I've also heard from some of you that you're having a hard time with understanding and seeing maybe how that really plays out in a real practical way. It's kind of nice to see the biblical perspective of, of work. And as we talked about last week, even though it's important and works a big part of our life, it's not our life that Jesus says our life, and then it's an expression of his life in and through us. But I think a lot of us wonder, what what does that really look like, though, on Monday morning? I mean, I gotta wake up tomorrow and go to work. So what does it really look like for Jesus to bring glory and honor to God and to worship God through the work that I'm going to be doing in a practical way, tomorrow morning? And if you've been wondering that, that's the question that we're going to answer. Today, we're going to dive into God's word. And I hope by the end of this, you'll be leaving with some practical ways that you see this plays out in your everyday work or your school life, or whatever it is that you are involved in right now. But I want to make sure that we know where we've been, because I don't want to dive into this and just start talking about here's what we're going to do. And here's how it's going to work without laying the foundation, again, of what it is that we've talked about, and where this practical work really does flow from. And so because we took a week off, and because some of you weren't really here, I just want to quickly remind you of a few things that we've already said about the biblical perspective of work. And the first thing that we said was this, that, that God created us to work that work is good, this was a part of his original design, before sin ever entered into the world for for us to be able to take the raw materials and, and and bring them under control to produce things and invent things and, and create things and to care for and advance the world that God had created. And so as we would enter into those things with God being our source for guiding us into that work, and empowering us to actually carry out that work, then he would take the talents that He's given us, he would take the gifts that He's given us the personality, He's given us the passions that he's put inside of us, and channel that in a way that really does speak of him that brings him glory, it brings him honor that brings him worship. That was the second thing we talked about that this work that God created for us to do, which is good, is an expression of worship, we talked about how when God put Adam in the garden to work it that word work is the same from the same root word as a worship that God meant for our work to be an expression of worship to Him. We also know that God is a worker for six days he spent creating and inventing and molding and shaping and putting form to this particular world that we live in. And so since God is a worker, and we are made in His image, then our work that he's guiding us into and empowering us to do speaks of him, it's an expression of worship for him. Of course, we did talk about how sin messed all that up. I mean that when the fall came, and sin entered into the world that we talked about how that was going to make our work a lot more difficult. It's going to make it hard, we're going to have to really grind it out on some days. But the other thing we know is that was Satan being in this world and sin being in this world. And him being the ruler of this world that bid Satan has a tendency to take good things, to take good things that God created in one way, and to twist them and make them into maybe the ultimate thing, not exactly what it is that they were meant to be. And there's no doubt that Satan has done the same thing when it comes to work. Work is a good thing created by handle with sin in the world. He takes God's good thing in he shows us that it should be the ultimate thing. Our work should define us by how much it is that we get done or the titles that we earn or the roles that we have. We even use it in our language all the time we ask our kids what do you want to be when you grow up and not that there's anything wrong with that question person Say, but a lot of times we're kind of saying, hey, but what it is that you're going to do one day defines who it is that you are a lot of times when we're trying to get to know people, what's the first thing that we did tell other people tell me about yourself? Well, we go to what it is that we do, I work in law enforcement, or I'm a stay at home mom, or I'm a teacher, I'm a coach, or I'm a lawyer, whatever it is, we define ourselves by what it is that we do. Satan has convinced us that the life is found in our work, and in the titles and roles that we have in the work that we enter into each and every single day. But again, while work is a big part of our life, it's was never meant to be our life. And so that's why when we enter into work, trying to define ourselves by it, it can cause all kinds of problems. That's where the stress comes in, the anxiety comes in to, to try to get that title or if we have the title to try to have to maintain and keep the title, which is defining who we are, and giving us our meaning and purpose. And so these are the things that Satan uses with sin in the world to take God's good thing of work. And to make it into something different than God created it to be to be the ultimate thing. Scripture, of course, tells us that the life was never meant to be found in our work that Jesus is the life he himself said that a number of times, he's the only one who will really satisfy us, he's the only one who's gonna bring us ultimate meaning and fulfillment and purpose. And so he came 2000 years ago to of course, deal with our sin problem, and to put his life in us that we were missing due to sin. And now, if we receive His free gift of forgiveness in his life, through faith based on his finished work on the cross, then the biblical perspective of work is that he begins to redeem our work the way it was meant to be in the garden. And so now with Jesus in our lives, after filling us with his life, and his meaning, and purpose, and the life that was always meant to be there, we don't have to go into work, to try to earn a title to bring us meaning and satisfaction and fulfillment, we don't have to go into work to try to be satisfied, we can be satisfied in the life that we have in Christ, and just simply being God's child, first and foremost. And then we can enter into the jobs that we have, without the trap of it being used to, again, try to define ourselves. And so with him in our lives, he can now guide us into the work that He created us to do, he can now empower us to carry out the work that he's created for us to do in such a way that it is an expression of his life through us, brings him worship and glory, and honor. But again, the question is, what does that practically look like? This is the foundation. This is the biblical perspective of work. But now, let's get our hands dirty, right? And say, alright, so So what does this really look like when I wake up tomorrow morning with all of that in mind, that we just talked about? Or was a reminder of the things we talked about the first two weeks? Here's the first thing I'm gonna give you three general ways that I think Jesus will express himself through births, if he put his life in us, to give us his life and to rest in Him and who we are in Him, but then to be an expression of him, his life through us, then how does he do that to bring God glory in and honor and use our work as worship the first way is simply this through the product that you produce, or the service that you provide tomorrow morning, it's really an eye start there. Because I think a lot of our minds go to this place, that if I'm really going to worship God at my work, that means that I have to start a Bible study at work. That means that I have to share my faith with someone at work. And while God may lead us to do those things, and we'll talk about some of those things here in a little bit. I want to make sure you do not miss that if God created us to work. And if He created us to work to develop the world that he created, to add value to it to play a role in taking where he wants it to go, then we need to see that if God genuinely led you into the job that you're doing right now, to produce a certain product or to provide a certain service in this world that is Jesus at work in you for His purposes, and for His glory in his honor. And it speaks of him. It's so by simply waking up tomorrow morning and doing the thing that you're supposed to do at work to produce that product or provide that service that is worshiping Him that is adding value into His kingdom and expression of his work in you and through you. Martin Luther, the great reformer in the 1500s preached a sermon one time on Psalm 147 verses 13 and 14, just those two verses. And those two verses say this, for he referring to God strengthens the bars of your gates, he blesses your children within you he makes peace in your borders, he fills you with the finest of wheat. And then Martin Luther asked the question How? How does God do that? How does God strengthen the bars of your gates and bless your children within you and make peace in your borders and fill you with the finest of weed? And then he answered those questions this way? How does God strengthen the bars of the city gates, through city planners and architects and by politicians who pass good laws to protect the city? How does God bless our children within our midst through the work of parents to the work of teachers through the work of pediatricians and counselors and all who work with kids? How does God make peace within our borders through good lawyers and policemen and police women? And who those who work in law enforcement? How does God fill us with the finest of wheat through farmers and factory workers and restaurant owners and workers. In other words, the actual products that you produce or the services you provide, if they're guided and empowered by the Spirit living in you are ways that God has that the work to provide for those in our world. And so if that is God's way of providing for our world, then to add value and to impact culture and bring order into it, then he of course, is going to be glorified and honored as he does that work in you and through you. It's going to speak of him, he will be worshipped in that particular way. The thing I also want you to see is why we talked about this, and Martin Luther answered this question on some ways, you know, on high levels and jobs and we go city planners are doing all this work that's impacting things out there, and you go, Well, I'm the person who cleans the city planners office, how is my work really going to worship him and add any real value into this world and what God is really doing, but what we need to see is that if God designed us with certain gifts, and thinks to be used in certain roles, even if it's within a supporting role, that God is at work in all of those individual little things, to do the thing that he's doing, and they all come together. And so we've got to get this idea out of our head that some jobs are less than others, that there are some jobs that God has really been worship through. And he's really doing big things for His kingdom in there, and other jobs that will, maybe he's doing a little something through but it's just kind of menial, it doesn't really matter, right? Whatever the work is that God's called you into, he is the one who's doing it in you and through you, it speaks of him, brings honor and glory to his name. And this is one of the practical ways we just wake up on Monday morning, we go into our jobs. And we do the work to produce the product or provide the service. And to do it well. And he's worshipped. And he's glorified. And his honor and and what it is that he's doing in and through it. Here's the second way that God uses your work as worship, through the way that you perform that work to produce that product or produce that service. Let me give you three ways that I think the Lord will be at work in us and through us to perform our work. The first one is with character and integrity. I mean, if Jesus is everything that is good, and right and holy, and perfect, he's the very definition of character and integrity. If Jesus puts his life in you to express his life through you, he's going to lead you to do your work with character and with integrity. Proverbs 11, one says, a false balance is an abomination to the Lord. But a just wait is his delight, you're going what in the world does that have to do with my work today? Right? Well, in ancient cultures, they, of course, use scales and business transactions. And it wasn't an uncommon practice, for some or many to you have two different sets of weights on these scales, a lighter set of stones and a heavier set of stones. And they would kind of use whichever one was going to benefit them the most in that business transaction. And the Lord is saying, this is an abomination. It doesn't speak. It doesn't speak of my integrity and my my character, when we enter into work to cheat someone else, right. And so when we're entering into the work, guided and empowered by the Lord, that he's going to lead us to do it with the highest of character and integrity. This means that Jesus will lead us to work when we're supposed to be working. Right? mean don't mean that there's never a time to be silly and goof off and relax a little bit, but I'm just saying overall, it means that if we're going to work with character and integrity, he's going to lead us to work when we're supposed to be working. We're not going to spend all day scrolling through social media and going and I'm getting a paycheck. I'm just doing the very bare minimum. You know that it is that I can do. I mean, if I've got to take a delivery somewhere, and it could only, it's only gonna take me an hour to do it, it means I don't take two hours to do it on purpose and just drag it all the traffic was horrible out there, y'all. I mean, it was really bad. But I was sitting in Starbucks and just enjoying an hour off and getting paid for it, right? I mean, it just character and integrity means that we're going to enter into the work, and we're gonna work when we're supposed to be working means that we're gonna report actual numbers on mileage reports, we're gonna report correct hours on time cards, we're gonna report correct income on tax returns. Several years ago, I heard of a story of a woman named Anne, who worked in the tax department for a pretty large corporation, very successful Corporation. And she was approached by her bosses one day, and said, We don't want you to report the numbers as they actually are, we want you to fudge the numbers a little bit, to make the company look a little bit better than we actually are in an was a Christian. She began to sense something in her spirit saying I, I shouldn't do what it is that they're asking me to do. But they're my bosses. They're an authority over me. They've asked me to do it. I get paid to do this work. And I have kids at home. And she began to pray about it, Jesus, what do I do, and she couldn't get away from the fact that Jesus saying, I work in you and through you to do your work with the highest of integrity and character. And so you were to go to them, and you are to tell them that you cannot do what they're asking you to do in good faith. And, and walked in, totally prepared to lose her job on that day and said, I can't in good faith, do what you are asking me to do. Her bosses were completely stunned that they stood up to her. But the way and describes the story is they were actually impressed that she stood up to them. And in the long run, they ended up actually doing the right thing and and got to keep her job because the Lord was working in her and through her to lead her in this way. Now, listen, I don't I didn't really say that in the way I meant to say it just now. And it may have come out a little bit wrong. I didn't mean to imply that, in all times that Jesus is leading us to lead with character and integrity and decisions that we make that that means it's going to work out just like it did in a situation. It was a great thing for her and a blessing to be able to keep it but sometimes the Lord is going to lead us to act with integrity and character in a situation. And we may get fired for standing up and doing the right thing. But if the Lord is truly leading us to do that thing, then he's ultimately going to provide for us no matter what the consequences will be, of course, in that job. And so with Jesus living in us and through us, when you wake up tomorrow morning, one of the practical ways that work leads to worship, is when we do it with character and integrity as Jesus guides and empowers us to be able to do so. The other way that he will perform us to do our work, I think is that he will lead us to sometimes do things that we don't have to do. We all have a job description at our jobs, there's a bullet point list of the things that we are expected to do. And those are the things that we're going to get paid to do. And I believe that again, the Lord will call us into doing those things. But if the Jesus is living in us and through us, one of the things I think that he'll lead us to do every now and then is to sometimes do things outside of our normal job description, whether we're going to get paid for them or not, whether they benefit us or not, because they might be a blessing to the person that we do it for or to the overall company, even though we didn't have to do it, that Jesus this was kind of similar to what he did for us in second Corinthians chapter eight, verse nine, Paul says, For you know, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that through his poverty, you might become rich. In other words, Jesus had everything in heaven, and he gave it up for a time period, to come rescue us and to save us from our sins. And he did not have to do that. It was not in his job description, if you will. But he chose to do it out of love for you and I so that we could have our sins forgiven, and we could be adopted into his family and receive His life and be with Him forever. And if this was part of who Jesus is, in the way it led out in his life, and he again lives in us, then I think we can make the case that we should expect Jesus to lead us to sometimes do things that we aren't necessarily called to do. Maybe that means helping someone else do their job to get caught up because they're behind. And maybe that's because they just had a lot on their plate and they really couldn't help that and so Sometimes it may be because they were just lazy and they didn't really do it, but the Lord is calling us to step in and get them caught up to be a blessing to them, because it speaks of him. And for the company that we work for, maybe it's jumping in the assembly line, even if you're a manager or a supervisor, instead of sitting back there going, well, that's not my job, they have to get down there and actually make the product, you guys just need to work harder, and he's going well, maybe they are working pretty hard. And I just need to jump in to get this thing done right here, and I'm not gonna get any paid any extra, but I'm gonna roll up my sleeves, and I'm gonna get to work with everyone else, because Jesus is leading me in this way, maybe it's means taking on a part of a project that technically doesn't fall into a part of anyone's job description, but it just has to be done, right? I mean, we've all come to the table where there's a certain project that maybe we're going to enter into and our company's leading us in and, and sometimes there's very clear things that have to be done in that project that line up with the job descriptions that other people at the table have, well, you're gonna do this, and you're gonna do this part of it, you're gonna do this and you look and go, Yeah, but there's still three things that have to be done. And it doesn't really clearly fall into any of our job descriptions. And we're not really getting paid to do those things. Is anybody willing to take on those things so that we can make sure this thing is successful? No, no, no, no, no, I'm not paid to do those things. You kidding me? Not doing anything like that. Except Jesus will lead us into those things to go above and beyond and do such things that we may not be called to do some times. Now, that doesn't mean that we always do things that we're getting taken advantage advantage of. And, and you know, you can just go man, I mean, they really are just, you know, taking advantage of the here and once it kind of crosses a line, but I'm just saying in general, we should all expect Jesus to lead us in ways sometimes, that we just go above and beyond things that we're asked to do, and even things that we get paid to do. For the sake of others. It's how he'll lead out in our lives. The third way that I think we can make an argument from scripture that Jesus is going to lead out in our lives to bring worship and glory and honor to him through our work is to persevere through tough times. I mean, let's face it, our jobs sometimes are just hard. Sometimes you're gonna go through stuff at your job that's just physically demanding and tough and you suffer at those times. Sometimes there's stuff going on at home, that I mean, you, you ultimately just really can't separate that stuff from your work life. I mean, it's with you. Whenever you walk in there and you're suffering and you know that there's things there's things that you work on with different projects that you have that sometimes just fall completely apart, and there is nothing that you can do about those things. Paul says in Romans five that we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit has been given to us. One of the things that we see over and over again, throughout Scripture is that God uses even suffering for our good and for His glory, that he's not absent, whenever we're walking through hard things. And they're, whenever things are going great in our lives, Jesus himself suffered me not to look any further than the cross to understand this, I mean, the humiliation and the torture and the pain that he went through. But Jesus persevered, because God was at work for something greater for something good in our lives. And so, you know, when it when it comes to, to work, I see a lot of people quit, sometimes, because the work just gets really hard. The works just supposed to always be fun, never supposed to be really hard. And now it's really difficult. And we see a lot of times that we just quit when the work gets hard. And while they're certainly appropriate times to quit because of a job. I think, in general, we should expect work to be difficult from times, especially with sin in the world, like we talked about earlier. But as we look to Jesus, to give us strength and empower us in those times of suffering. Listen, not only is he going to just give us what we need to get through those times, he's going to allow us to make it and push through those times and still experience Him as our very life because we understand that our joy and our peace and our ultimate life are not found in our situations and circumstances, but in Jesus Himself. And so when we go through these times of suffering at work, and we still experience His peace, and we still experience his life, and we still experience His joy, then we're going to learn more about who he is. Is and all that we have in him as he does that through us. And God is going to use it to get the attention of the people around us that we work with. They're going to be asking the question, How in the world are you going through this at work? How in the world are you going through this at home? How in the world are you making it through this and still have joy and still have life and you still have peace, and we're able to share with them because of Jesus, He is my life, he is my peace. So God will be at work and the way that we perform our work to lead us to do it with the highest of character and integrity, to go above and beyond sometimes things that aren't lined up with our job description, and to persevere through tough times, and he will be worshipped. And he will be glorified. And he will be honored. The last thing I'll bring up again, in a general way is that God is going to use our work as worship through relationally serving others at your job while your work. Most of us have jobs where we're around other people. We have a boss, we have co workers, we have customers, we have employees. And and here's the deal. If you look at the Gospels, and you just scan the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they're telling us all about Jesus, over and over and over again, you're going to see Jesus selflessly serving other people. And if Jesus once again, lives in us to express his life through us, what should we expect him to lead us to selflessly serve others that we work with? The apostle Paul even says this in Galatians 513, he says, serve one another humbly in love for the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your neighbor as yourself. And so maybe that looks like us walking into our jobs this week. And each and every single day, just asking Jesus, Jesus, will you reveal to me the needs of the people around me, and show me how you want to use me to selflessly serve people as I do my work. This was the story of Bob Bob was actually a pastor, he felt called to be a pastor and the Lord opened up a door for him to step into vocational ministry. And he spent a lot of years doing ministry inside a church. But one day, he eventually felt like the Lord was revealing to him that that was just for a season, that he actually wanted to use him and was calling him to work outside of the walls of the church and to get a secular job, if you will. And the reason that he was doing that was because the Lord was showing him that really 99% of the time, his work in the church was well with church people, and with saved people. And while that's good, and we have a calling to do unto equip, and to, to serve and declare the gospel, even amongst those in this midst, that he didn't really have the opportunity to share the gospel with too many people because he spent the majority of his day inside the church walls with other Christians. And so he felt the Lord was calling him to step down from his position as a pastor, and get a job out in the secular world. And that's what he did. He got a job, he became the director of purchasing at a company. And the way he tells the story is he began to walk in every single day, Lord Jesus, show me the needs of the people around me, and how you want to use me to selflessly serve the others that I am working with. And all of a sudden, the Lord just opens up his eyes to see need all around him, there was one lady that began to work for him who had just lost her, her son and her mom in a tragic accident. And I mean, it was just broken inside. And it was noticeable and, and it affected her and her her work and, and the Lord used Bob to get her into some Christian counseling and make sure that it was funded and found a support group at his church where she could talk to others who understood what it is that she was going through and point her to Jesus. And it took time. But eventually, she began to take some steps and find healing in that Bob also found another guy that he worked with who needed some major dental work done was having some severe pain because of something that was wrong with his tooth didn't have anywhere near the money to be able to pay for the procedure that needed to be done. And so Bob rallied the rest of the people that were at the company to pull together their resources and the money to be able to provide for him to be able to go and have this procedure done. And now he's pain free. And again, see how the work that God called them into even provided through the payment of that work, to be able to meet this man's need to be a blessing to him. This is another practical way that the Lord's just doing His work in us and through this Bob eventually even started lunchtime Bible study and he didn't say hey, This is just for those of you who know Jesus, we're gonna go really deep in the word and make sure we all understand everything a little bit more. And if you don't, then you're not included. It was, Hey, anybody want to come? You just want to sit and listen, you don't have to say a word. You can ask as many questions as you want to, you can fire back and say, I don't think that's right, or I don't agree with it. You can oppose, you can just come to the Bible study. And because he approached it that way, and allow people to ask questions, and answered as best as he could. Then he saw a number of those people come to know Jesus, they were baptized and have their lives transformed and changed forever because of by a guy named Bob since the Lord calling him into a job where he could selflessly serve other people around them, and open up doors to point them to Jesus. And he wants to do this same thing in through you. This is what Jesus does. This was what it looks like to practically worship with our work on Monday. Jesus will be at work in you to produce excellent products, and excellent services to others. He's going to be at work and you'd perform that work to make those products and produce those services with the highest of character and integrity, with selflessness that goes above and beyond your job description, to persevere through the tough times at work and to use you to relationally serve other people around you. Will you be open to what it is that he wants to do, in and through you. I hope that you will do