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The Work Place (Labor Day)
Colossians 3: 23-24
Is your work a blessing or is it boring?
Is it a drudgery?
Is it just the same old grind?
Is it meaningful to you?
Polls have indicated that a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs.
Many work only because they have to survive.
Listen, does this sound familiar?
- Wouldn't it be wonderful to transform your work from being bored to being a blessing?
- Wouldn't it be great if your work had meaning instead of being monotonous?
Then it's the same old routine all over again.
- You wake up in the morning, and you clean up.
- You rush into the kitchen and gulp down some coffee, and you hurriedly eat a piece of toast.
- You rush out the door, and you fight the traffic.
- You arrive at work where you go through the same old routine day after day.
- You go home -- you eat -- you watch TV, and maybe you talk with your wife and your children.
Sometimes I sing an old song to my grandchildren, which they do not want to hear -- probably, it's my singing.
The song goes like this:
"Up in the morning, out on the job,
Work like the devil for my pay;
But that lucky old sun has nothing to do,
But roll around heaven all day.
Fuss with my woman, toil for my kids,
Work till I'm wrinkled and gray.
But that lucky old sun has nothing to do,
But roll around heaven all day."
Is that your song?
Is there nothing exciting -- nothing different about your work?
Have you given thought to the idea that you are to serve God even when you are at work?
Many give their best to their employer and give their leftovers to God.
They live one way at work, and live another way at church.
A Christian is to serve God all the time.
God's Word says, "In all labor there is profit." (Proverbs 14: 23)
- Every occupation has dignity -- if it is honorable work.
- Every Christian is a minister and every Christian should be serving God full-time.
But when you learn what God's Word has to say, it will give your job new meaning.
- You may not have an exciting job -- it may be boring.
- You may work on assembly line.
- You may do the same work over and over again.
You will probably discover that God has placed you there for a specific purpose.
I'm sure that some of you would say that God didn't place you where you are.
You probably believe that you are where you are, because you are a victim of circumstances, and you took your job
because it was the only one that you could get.
Well, let's take a look at your circumstances.
Every job, if it is done with God's will is a sacred job.
Do you remember that Daniel was taken as a captive from Israel, and that he was carried to Babylon
by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel had a secular job in Babylon.
- He was a government bureaucrat.
- He was a government bureaucrat, and he served God.
- Daniel was not a pastor or a priest.
The King looked in on Daniel, and we read in Daniel 6:20: "And when he came to the den he cried out
- Daniel was placed in the lion's den, because he refused to do certain things against God.
- Daniel trusted in God and just relaxed with the lions.
He relaxed with the lions as though they were kitty cats.
Daniel was just enjoying himself among the lions.
with a lamentable voice unto Daniel; and the King spake and said to Daniel, 'O Daniel, servant of the living God,
whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?' "
He asked, "Daniel, you're a servant of the living God.
Has that God whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the lions?"
Of course, God had delivered him from the lions.
So what was the point?
Daniel had a secular job, and yet even his enemies and the enemies of God had to admit that his secular job
was really a sacred job, and that he was actually serving God.
Homemaker, you are serving God.
There is no higher occupation than serving God by being a homemaker.
When you do your task in the name of the Lord, God is just as pleased with you as that pastor who is doing his job.
God knows about you.
- You may not think that your job is very important.
- You may think that nobody cares about you, and that nobody knows about you.
He has His eyes upon you.
So, even if you're in secular work, you are serving God.
Every Christian is in full-time Christian service.
We must never forget that.
You probably have been thinking about your job and the people with whom you work.
It could be that the only time you hear God's name mentioned is when His name is taken in vain.
Obscene jokes and stories may be a daily occurrence.
It is a dog-eat-dog where you work.
There is a lot of back stabbing that goes on.
You might be thinking that it would be wonderful if God would get you out of this place so you could serve Him.
Have you ever thought that it was God who put you there in the first place so that you could serve Him!
God put Daniel in Babylon.
God may have placed you were you are, and you are not aware of it.
- You might be thinking that God called me to preach, but God didn't call you for your job.
- You probably think that you are where you are because of the circumstances.
- You would probably say that you would quit your job if you could find a better job.
Daniel was a servant of God, and Daniel was where God wanted him.
But how did Daniel get there?
Daniel got there by circumstances beyond his control.
Daniel was captured by King Nebuchadnezzar, and was brought as an exile into the land of wicked Babylon.
Listen how he got there: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives,
whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon."
Did you see that?
God's Word is so clear.
"To all you who were carried away, I did it."
King Nebuchadnezzar thought it was his doing.
The exiles thought they were victims of circumstances.
Remember, that where man rules God overrules.
God has many ways to place His people.
- So, you may think that you are a victim of circumstances.
- You are in a specific job, and believe that it all just happened.
- You do not believe that you had any particular call.
When you are walking with the Lord every day, regardless, if you are a builder or a beautician, it is the place
were God wants you.
If it is, then that is the place of your ministry, and your job is full-time Christian service.
God placed you in Babylon just as he placed Daniel in Babylon.
And as Daniel served the Lord, you are also to serve Him.
"In all labour there is profit."
Jesus calls us to go into the world with the Good News.
That includes the world of business, finance, sports, school, and entertainment.
In our world in which we live and work we are to let our light shine for the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2: 11-12:
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which are against the soul;
Having your conversation honest among the gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers,
they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
A lost world is observing your life.
Let your light shine.
When people observe a Christian living a Christian life on Monday, they will believe and honor his or her Christian witness.
There are some principles we need to remember when we witness to our fellow workers.
Some years ago an individual watched three men working on a place of worship.
- First, we shouldn't brag.
The Bible says, "Let your light shine."
It didn't say that we should make it shine.
They should see the light of the Lord in us.
If we go to our workplace bragging about ourselves, and bragging about our church,
and bragging about our righteousness, and bragging about our teachings, we are going to irritate them big-time.
There is nothing worse than self-righteousness.
So, don't brag!
- Then, we shouldn't nag.
If we are always preaching at somebody, and handing out tracks, and preaching to our fellow workers
about their drinking or their smoking or their cursing, they are not going to listen to our witness for Jesus Christ.
We will only chase them away.
They will cross the street to get away from us.
We are not going to nag anyone to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 4: 5-6: "Walk in the wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
Every day we should pray, "Salt my speech, dear God, and season it with grace, and God help me not to nag."
- Our last word is lag.
We must not lag.
We must do our job.
A lazy Christian on the job gives a poor testimony to those who are watching.
If you are a lazy worker, and if you are not doing the work you ought to be doing, you are a disgrace to God's grace.
It is a horrible sin for a Christian to do less than his best.
In Colossians 3:23 the Bible says: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men."
When we do that there will be a dignity in any job we are doing.
If you work on an assembly line or cut yards, simply pray, "Dear God, I'm doing this for You,
and I'll do it to the best of my ability."
When you are doing your work with that kind of spirit,
you are serving God just as much as a preacher when he is preaching the word of God.
He asked the first man, "What are you doing?"
He answered that he was working for so much money a day.
He asked the same question of a second man.
The second man said that he was cutting stone.
Then he asked the third worker and what he was doing.
He replied, "I am building a cathedral in which thousands of people will praise and worship God Almighty!"
I am indebted to the pastor who inspired this sermon.
His points were: "Don't brag!" "Don't nag!" "Don't lag!" and "Don't sag!"
The only way that we can accomplish these things is to keep our focus upon Jesus,
- We must never let down.
- We must never go back into the ways of the world.
- We must never complain.
- We must stay happy and full of joy in Jesus.
and be empty of self and full of Jesus.
It will make a great difference if you have a quiet time with God each morning before you go to work.
You and I must be filled with the Spirit of God, so that when every body else is complaining and gripping,
we can be the light of Jesus in the workplace.
When your fellow workers see your life lived in Christ, they will wonder what is it that makes you tick.
Every day is a holy day, and every workplace can be a sacred place.
- They will want to know the secret of your strength.
- They will want to know where you are getting your joy and your peace.
"Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive
the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3: 23-24)
Some of us can get so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly good.
Every place is a sacred place.
You are a minister of God in full-time Christian service.
If you will believe that and live that, you will make a difference when you go to your place of business tomorrow.
Sermon adapted by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com