This podcast covers Lesson 11 of Perspective Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Gain the Biblical Perspective on Work Until He Comes-S13Ep12
We humans love figuring out mysteries. And, prophecy is the biggest mystery ever. God alone knows how the puzzle pieces fit together inside the signs He gave us that the time was finally here.
One of the by-products of an excessive interest in prophecy is idleness when it comes to doing the work of the Lord today. Sitting around just waiting for Jesus’ appearing is not pleasing to God. That was happening in Thessalonica. And, it happens today.
Since Paul talks a lot about working in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, we can focus on Christ’s purpose for you in your workplace during this time of waiting for Him to come and gather His own.
Christ’s purpose for you in your workplace
Work in any culture is…well, work. Sometimes enjoyable. Often hard and exhausting. Sometimes challenging because of the people with whom you work rather than the work itself. That can apply to any kind of work—inside or outside of your home. When you’re working with your God-given skills, all work can be an act of worship.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
Your workplace (be it home, office, factory floor, school room, or road construction) is your mission field. Your work environment is where you must intentionally practice letting Jesus live His life through you—in difficult situations, with challenging people, and with integrity that honors the Lord Jesus Christ..
A few truths about any kind of work
Truth #1: Work is God’s idea. God is a worker. God created work in the beginning before sin ever entered into His world. Work is good. Sin corrupted work so it got a lot harder to do. Then, Jesus came along to renew us and restore our approach to work as He lives in us and through us. We are free to work for God’s glory now.
Truth #2: Work is an avenue for accomplishing God’s mission. When Jesus commissioned His followers to make disciples everywhere they went, none of them were on church staff or in mission organizations. They were ordinary people going to work every day. In the same way, we are Jesus’ ambassadors at work—in the conference room, on the factory floor, at the lunch break, on the playground, and in the kitchen. As we do our work with integrity and intentionally build relationships with our coworkers, clients or family members, Jesus is actively involved in that. Work is your mission field and your platform to let Christ live His life through you.
Truth #3: Work is the place where God grows us into maturity. The Spirit of God uses our relationships, successes, failures, and experiences at work as tools in our spiritual growth. He teaches us to have the mind of Christ at work, to treat people as Jesus did, and to grow in our jobs under His guidance. God uses our work to mature us.
Truth #4: Work has purpose beyond ourselves. God designed work for the good of the world—not just for ourselves. Our work impacts the people in our work environment, our clients, and our managers. Work provides jobs, fuels the economy, and allows culture to flourish. When we work, we can taste the goodness of God intended for work in the beginning.
Truth #5: Work is where we practice depending on Jesus more than on ourselves. In Colossians 3:17, we are reminded to do everything we say or do in light of Jesus as Lord.
Truth #6: Work can become an addiction that takes the focus off of Christ and puts it on yourself instead. You know that you have let work become an addiction when you are obsessively thinking about freeing up more time for your work. When you develop health problems because of work-related stress and over work, that’s not working for the Lord. Another clue is when you use your work to maintain your self-worth. The modern term for that is workism. Workism is the belief that your work is the center of your identity. For a Christian, your work is never the center of your identity. Christ is. So, if you recognize this in yourself, go to the Lord and ask Him to free you from the addiction. Talk to a counsellor about this as well.
A few questions about faith in the workplace
- How do you live out your faith in your workplace? As I mentioned before, you do that by being the person described in most of 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. That’s recognizing Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and your behavior. Let Him live His life through you to invite others around you to want to know Him. Ask Jesus to help you do that and trust Him to work in you and through you.
- What is legal to do at work? Go to org to find out what is legal for a Christian to do in any workplace. That’s firstliberty.org. You might be surprised by what you can legally do to live out your faith in the marketplace. And be grateful.
- How do you invest in your co-workers without stealing time from your employer? You use whatever break time or interaction opportunities you have available to get to know your co-workers and minister to them. Ask Jesus to help you be creative and caring. I have several Bible Studies that are short and easy and would fit nicely in a lunch hour time frame.
- What if you hate what you do for work? That’s where you submit yourself to Jesus Christ as Lord over you and even over that job. Let Him teach you how to be thankful for that work or lead you to something else. Whatever He brings into your life that makes you more dependent upon Him is good for you. Work is a great environment to learn that.
Remember this. Your work belongs to Jesus. He will enable you to find purpose in it that brings glory to Him. So, keep working diligently, producing what is needed, providing for yourself and others, and preparing the way for others to see Christ in you.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His perspective on life in the present and in the future. Then, live securely in Him during this time of waiting.
Buy Perspective Bible Study at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.