Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chrisian Work Ethic - Pt. 2

A moral view of work (right and wrong) - based on Scripture.

#1. God is a working God. - John 5:17

#2. We are created in His (working) image. Gen. 2:15

#3. Work is not part of the curse or a result of the fall. The fall id these to our labors: toil, frustration, drudgery, grind. Gen. 3:17-19 (a)

Definition - Work (as used in this series):
A. the task
B. the effort
C. the product

A. The task, duty, responsibility - that is yours to do. This is more than a paid vocation.
Example: job of spouse, parent, student, neighbor
Note: for the Christian this is more than a duty.... it is a calling. Eph. 4:1

B. The Effort - necessary energy expended to fulfill duty, do the job. Maybe physical, intellectual, emotional... Example: the effort required to be a good spouse, parent, etc.

C. The product - outcome, what's produced by your efforts.
On one hand, it is often beyond your control - example: farmer, cattleman, teacher, doctor.
But, product must be considered as we assess our work. We need to examine the product, and asked ourselves if the product is a result of our efforts, or is it not in our control.

So...to examine the work ethic, we must consider:
1. attitude - toward duty, obligation, responsibility..... our calling
2. effort -
to fulfill the obligation, do the job.
3. outcome
- ie. when it's within my control.

So.......... who work well? Why apply myself to my duties?

6 Biblical Reasons:

1. To provide for family.
1 Tim. 5:8
A. Your family is your responsibility. contrast the 'entitlement' attitude.
B. their needs are more than physical.

2. to provide for community in a broad sense. Working to assist (give/help)
Acts 20:34-35 Eph. 4:28
when I produce more than I consume which leads to excess for blessing

#3. for personal satisfaction - Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 3:12-13
It may be hard to find satisfaction in some work, but it's easier to find satisfaction when you attempt to do it well!

#4. to earn respect - 1 Thess. 4:11-12
the point is to gain a platform to share Christ when are diligent in duty.

#5. to set an example - 2 Thess. 3:7-9 Acts. 20:35

#6. To honor Christ. Col. 3:23-24.
Point being: Who is your Lord? How do you honor Him? (obedience)
Which is why the Puritans said "all work is a form of worship".

1. labor alone does not commend you to God. (you are not going to Heaven because you work hard). Eph. 2:8-9

2. working well is not all of the Christian life (only part of it!!)

your labor (in the Lord) does M.A.D. - (make a difference.)
1 Cor. 15:58 Rev. 14:13

Monday, September 12, 2011

Observations on 9-11; A Christian Perspective

I. We live in a fallen world - a Christian perspective. Many non-Christians don't know this.
A. life is uncertain
- for all of us. (9-11 - normal people going about a normal day)
B. evil is present - Christian view - real evil, not just bad stuff - example: hurricane, flooding, extreme dry conditions - these are bad things but are not evil.
C. our faith does not insulate us - (ie: from uncertainty, evil, etc.) Our faith should carry us through. Can happen any time and any where.
D. ignoring and denying evil in the hearts of people does not help - so many people think if we just ignore it, it will go away.
Example: the failure of Europe and North America to take seriously the German/Imperial Japanese threat in WWII. Jer. 4:5-9, 6:13-14
E. Remembering the past can help. Reminds us of the scope of the situation, the suffering, the sacrifice
F. honoring our "responders" is in order. - So, it is appropriate to observe Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, services for 9-11 responders, etc.

I. We live in a fallen world.
II. God is with us in this fallen world. God doesn't only come in majesty and power, but also in humility in the midst of our agony and suffering in the pits.

(Picture of the iron cross at the bottom of the rubble (pit) of the towers.) The Christian view - "He is here". John 1:1,14 (a) Psalm 23:4

Therefore: we can worship Him amidst tragedy, and we should worship Him amidst tragedy.

III. We are not destined for (doomed to) a fallen world.
A. Christ has overcome. The cross: the greatest tragedy led to ultimate blessing.
B. We can Make a Difference - Matt. 5:13-16 - strive to prevent pain, minister amidst pain, heal pain, etc.
C. God will make it all right! Rev. 21:1-5

We can never fix anything, but should be fighting the battle all the time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day originated in 1882 with a NYC parade of workers with the purpose of recognizing the American workman and his (her) contribution to our society and nation. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday.

On one hand, Labor Day is not a religious holiday, but it is easy to find Biblical themes here.
1: the Christian Work Ethic - this week's message
2. the Christian Pay Ethic - upcoming
3. the Christian Rest Ethic - upcoming

Definition: the Christian Work Ethic is more than a belief or a philosophy of work.
It is: 1. a moral view of work - what is right/wrong concerning work.
2. It is based on Scripture (Revelation)
3. Applicable to Christian life - practice.
God has revealed to us His will for our life, and work is a big part of it.

Some Basics .... Scripture teaches.....
#1. God is a working God. Gen. 2:2-3 Ps. 19:1
He's woven "work" into the fabric of creation. Col. 1:16-17 John 5:16-17 - the working goes on and on.

#2. He created us in His (working) image.
Before the fall, Adam had a task - Gen. 2:15 After the fall: Gen. 3:17-19 (a)
Note: work is not the curse. The curse put 'toil' into work!

#3. These truths are clearly presented in Old Testament scriptures.
Ex. 20:9 Prov. 12:11, 14:23, 18:9
Hard work was expected and applauded. Prov. 31:13,17

#4. These truths were embraced by New Testament Christians.
Example: 2 Thess. 3:6-15 - keep away from brother who is idle...

Why work well? hard? outcome? purpose?
(some reasons.... Listed this week, will explore them next week.)

Work well......
#1. To honor God. (example: obedience. Puritans considered work a form of worship)

#2. To provide for family - Work is the means. Family is your responsibility.

#3. To provide for community. (with a broad application!!)
example: when production exceeds consumption have a very good economy.

#4. To set an example - an outstanding worker ...... stands out.

#5. For personal satisfaction and fulfillment - "job well done"

#6. To earn respect (as ambassador for Christ, platform for gospel)

#7. To expand the Kingdom. "make an eternal difference"

1. A Biblical understanding will not remove the toil from your work!! - we live in a fallen world!
But, it helps knowing the reason, purpose, positive outcome (resurrection)

2. Labor alone does not commend you to God. It honors him but doesn't insure salvation. Eph. 2:8-9

3. Labor alone will not accomplish positive, eternal results. On one hand, your effort is important. But, it is meaningless without God. Prov. 12:14 Ps. 127:1, 90:17
As a Christian, our work will not have a positive, eternal results without mingling with God.

4. Labor done in Christ does MAD (make a difference). 1 Cor. 15:58
Unfortunately, can't always see the difference, but we have the promise of God that that isn't true!