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Work

A Sacred Calling

Series Introduction

August 20, 2016

Work. Is it suffering or sacred? We frequently conceptualize work in two ways: it’s either a form of toil - a means to make an income, or it becomes an idol - an endless pursuit we ultimately worship. As a result of the fall, our work has become frustrated. Escaping from life’s difficulties into our job will not fulfill us, and escaping into hobbies will only distract us from real life work that must be done. God is in the business of redeeming our understanding of work, to see it as a set of responsibilities entrusted to us in order to develop our faith and make our fallen world better. Work is not limited to our jobs; it includes energy we expend to every avenue of life. Let’s join together to discuss our sacred calling to work with excellence for God’s kingdom in our new series: A Theology of Work.

Work Defined

Matt Williams • August 20, 2016

Creation began with work. Therefore, it only makes sense that God would call His creation to work in many different ways to bring glory to His name. When most of us think of “work” we think of a job that we go to and leave each day. But, there are many areas outside of our jobs that we “work” in each day: marriage, parenting, relationships, serving, spiritual growth, etc. Finding balance in our different areas of work is important, as is remembering that all work is done for God and not for the approval of man.

Work in a Fallen World

Bill White • August 27, 2016

In Genesis 3, we see that Adam and Eve’s sin leads to God’s curse on humanity and a broken relationship with God. This curse affects both men and women as it brings frustration to where God had meant for them to be most fruitful. This means that although our work will produce results and fruit, it will be a constant source of frustration for us. We also have to recognize the “futility of impermanence,” as very little of our work on Earth will matter in eternity. Although we are designed for work, our fallen world and the curse of humanity keeps us from reaping the benefits of work on Earth. Genesis 3 hints at what Romans 8 explains more fully— that God’s curse is in fact His mercy at work, and through His work there is hope in a future day of permanence and renewal.

Work: A Biblical Perspective

Chris Curtis • September 3, 2016

Genesis 1:1 shows us that work is an activity of God, before anything else. His work ethic from the beginning, an example given to us through creation, sets the stage for a life of work. However, as humans, we recognize the challenge of working in a healthy way. The fall of man has made work a confusing undertaking in many ways. We have difficulty connecting our work to how we serve others, making our work feel meaningless and frustrating. We struggle to properly identify and accept who God tells us we are, and oftentimes we attempt to define ourselves through what we do, and how we do it. But, if we are willing to take our time, listen to God’s direction, and embrace our identity as sons and daughters through Christ, the opportunity to work well is attainable.

Escape: Energy Corrupted

Bill White • September 10, 2016

Work was created by God and is ultimately good, but it has been corrupted from God’s original design. This corruptions leads us to seek escape in one of two ways: escaping into work or from work, both motivated by proud unbelief and selfishness. Either direction leads to destruction as we seek significance or comfort instead of seeking God. We should use the energy that God has uniquely given to us to work in such a way to accomplish the responsibilities He has given us. We all have work to do in many areas of our lives, so we must focus on keeping the things in our “work bucket” equally glorifying to God and ultimately trust Him rather than ourselves.

Raising Workers

Matt Williams • September 18, 2016

Work has been corrupted by our fallen world.. As parents, we have a responsibility to prepare our children for work. We are called to invest in and disciple them to prepare them for their future. This task pushes us to wrestle with the character issues of laziness and arrogance and keep them from invading our homes. Whether this means setting a better example of work ethic in our families, encouraging our child to work in a less affirming environment, or holding them accountable to reality and God’s calling for them, we have to be aware of the dangers of laziness and hold our families to God’s standard of work.

Rest

Bill White • September 25, 2016

Today’s culture holds a different standard of rest and recreation than the Bible. If we don’t arm ourselves with the truth of rest in Scripture, we will chase after hopeless things and attempt to control what is not ours to start with. Rest is built into our lives to teach us to stop and trust that God is sovereign and in control. Recreation is diverting energy into something that is not work but expends energy , in a way that allows us to feel refreshed and invigorated. Rest and recreation are both contrary to the concept of escape. Jesus waits with open arms to take on our burdens and let us peacefully rest in Him.