WORK: god or gift

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BIG IDEA

There are basically three approaches to work. You can receive work as a god, reject work as a god, or redeem work as a gift. Christians should redeem work as a gift, knowing that their identity, worth, and security come from Jesus alone but they have also been created to work (for Jesus’ glory and the world’s good.) The Christians motivation for work is far different than the worlds motivation. We work for Jesus and with Jesus, doing our part in cultivating and loving the world through our vocation. The Christians power to work is found in the fact that Jesus has already finished the work beneath all of our work. The main things that needs be accomplished—salvation from sin and a firm identity—have already been fulfilled by Jesus in his perfect life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection to reconcile sinners to God. Are you receiving work as a god, rejecting work as a god, or redeeming work as a gift?

SCRIPTURE

Colossians 1:15-20 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were createdthrough him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Colossians 3:23-24 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

DISCUSSION

1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything new? Was there anything confusing? 2. What stands out to you in the Scripture and why?

“You can receive work as a god, reject work as a god, or redeem work as a gift.”

3. How would it look, very practically, for someone to be receiving work as a god? What’s the difference in receiving work as a god and rejecting work as a god? How have you (or are you still) receiving or rejecting work as a god? 4. How does simply rejecting work as a god fall short of Jesus’ intended design? What does it look like to redeem work as a gift both in our thoughts and actions?

We work for Jesus and with Jesus, doing our part in cultivating and loving the world through our vocation. The Christians power to work is found in the fact that Jesus has already finished the work beneath all of our work (our eternal salvation).

5. How does being motivated by working for Jesus and with Jesus change the way we do our work? Try and be specific. How does being empowered by Jesus’ finished work free

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us from the fear of failure in our work? Try and be specific. 6. Spend some time praying for one another, praying for the lost, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah.

GOOD WORD

The work that we really need to accomplish, being reconciled to God now and forever, is already finished by Jesus. He worked perfectly to give us that perfection. Your acceptance with God does not depend on how well you work or how hard you work or how much you accomplish. You’ll never have the right approach, the proper motivation, and the never-ending power to work unless you see and trust that Jesus has already finished the work you truly needed to. When you see Jesus and his finished work, you can work hard and effectively, free from any fear of not being good enough. That’s true power. That’s power the world can’t offer. It’s found only in and through Jesus.

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