Decade of destiny: The kind of work God blesses
What does success mean to you? When someone is “successful,” it often means they’re financially successful or successful in business. We know that according to the Bible, financial or business success is a tiny part of success. The question isn’t “what does success mean to the world,” the question is “what does success mean to you?” So… what does it mean? Is it important? How important?
Something To Talk About: S.U.C.C.E.E.D.
Start working enthusiastically where I am: Whatever work I do, I should do it with enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter if it’s a menial job. It doesn’t matter if it’s a part-time job. It doesn’t matter if you hate the job. If you want God’s blessing on your career, you must start working enthusiastically where you are right now. The Bible says. Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever you do, do well..” Notice it doesn’t say whatever you like to do, do it with all your might. It says whatever job you’ve got at this point, whatever you find yourself doing, do it with all your might. Understand who I am working for: The truth is neither your boss nor his or her boss is really your boss. Jesus is your Lord and boss, not the board of directors. Your boss may be your supervisor, but he’s not the big boss. Colossians 3:23-24: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ” Concentrate on building my character: Your character is far more important than your career. What you become as a result of your work is far, far more important than any job you’ll ever have. You’re not taking your job to heaven. You’re not taking your career to heaven. You’re taking you. So you want to concentrate on building character because God is more interested in what you become than what you do. Romans 5:3-4, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”Care about those I work with: If you will learn this, you will find yourself having the favor of God on your work. If you learn to care about the people around you, even when they’re irritable, even when they don’t like you, even when they make fun of you, even when they put you down for being a believer – all of those different things. You just be nice to them. You must be friends to them. You need to concentrate and care about those you work with. The Bible says this in Ephesians 4:2: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Exceed what is expected of me: God is more interested in how you work than what you do. What he’s saying here is “I don’t care whether you’re a truck driver or you’re an attorney or you’re a cook or you’re a teacher or whatever you do. What I want you to do is, no matter what you’re doing, do more than the minimum. Don’t just get by. I want you to surpass what is required. I want you to go beyond the normal. Don’t be average. I want you to exceed the expectations of your customers. I want you to exceed the expectations of your boss. This is the kind of work I bless.” Colossians 3:23 in the MSG version says, “Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best.” Expand my skills with continuous learning: If you want to succeed in life, you cannot say my education ended when I graduated. You’re going to be learning the rest of your life. All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning you stop leading. Growing companies require growing leaders. The moment you stop growing your company stops growing. You’ve got to constantly be learning. Always be learning. Ecclesiastes 10:10, “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” It says there that when you’ve got an ax and you’re chopping wood you want to have a sharp ax. If your ax is dull it takes more energy to chop the wood. Sharpen your ax by never stopping learning. Dedicate my work to be used for God’s purposes: I must dedicate my work to be used for God’s purposes. Whatever you want God to bless you with give it to Him first. You dedicate it, you consecrate it, and God will then bless it. Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” How do you know when you’ve committed your plans to the Lord, you’ve committed your work to the Lord? How do you know when you’ve dedicated your business to Christ? When God gets to be involved in the decisions. He tells you what to do. He’s the chairman of the board. He gets the glory.
- As you reflect on Sunday’s message, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp?
- Does it matter whether you enjoy your job or not?
- Is our view of work consistent with God’s?
- Read 2 Timothy 2:15, and Proverbs 12:24. What do these verses have to say about how we should work? Since enthusiasm is a spiritual discipline, how could doing your work enthusiastically make even a job you see as dull, boring, or difficult seem worthwhile?
- Describe how your work would be done differently if you saw yourself as working for the Lord.
- How do both Romans 5:3-4 relate to building our character? How can character strength help in job situations?
- Don’t say it out loud but who is the most unlovable person you work with? What would you, they, and the Kingdom of God gain if you were to shower this person with Christ’s love?
- In today’s work world, most people seem to do the bare minimum required for the job. We see it every day in sloppy service, poor workmanship, and inferior quality. By contrast, those willing to do more often rise to the top. How can working to please God distinguish the believer?
- Do you agree that we never stop learning? Why or why not?
- What can we do this week to learn more about who God is and what He expects from us?
- How can you know if you have dedicated your work for God’s purposes? What about the way your work or your attitude toward your work would be different?
- What’s the next step God wants you to take? When will you take it? Who will hold you to it? Write down your next step to becoming the person God wants you to be. Put it somewhere you look every day.
Take one thing home with you:
How can you tell if someone has been a successful person or not? There are those who are considered successful if they attain some position or career or relationship that they have pursued; typically that includes prestige and wealth. But what about the success of the church? There are those that are concerned about the future of the church amidst the Coronavirus and the political and racial divide in our country. But that’s when God has always done His best work – when things seem to be going in the wrong direction. I don’t know when or how some of the issues we face as a church and nation will be fixed, but I do know that success of the church is guaranteed by God’s own promise. “…I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18)