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From my newest work …

July 12, 2012

Here’s the Preface from my new book ‘ The Gospel-Centered Life at Work‘ being released this August by New Growth Press. CLICK HERE to go to their Website for Bulk Orders

The Bible promises us that the gospel is constantly bearing fruit and growing (Colossians 1:6) in every sphere of our lives—in our home, work, leisure, and relationships. This is true for us as individuals and as communities of believers. Everything we do is being brought into the light of God’s glory as God’s power indwells and changes us (1 Corinthians 10:31). God invites us to live every part of our lives as worship and to rely on his strength rather than our own (Philippians 4:13). Allowing our new identity as children of God to transform our work and daily life is a primary way believers participate in God’s work in this world. Life’s joys and challenges push us as believers toward God, where we ask him to reveal his purposes for us and to guide and empower us as we respond to the circumstances we face. As we ask, God reminds us that we are his beloved children. He encourages us to live by faith as unique reflections of Christ before a watching world. No matter how tarnished our reflection might be, the promises of the gospel encourage us to celebrate who we are in Christ and free us to trust the Spirit’s work as he further refines and polishes that reflection. The way we reflect God’s character in our work will take many forms over the course of our lives. We don’t need to sit in an office, have a boss, or even receive a paycheck to be at “work.” Work from a biblical point of view is whatever activity a believer pursues in the sight of God, for the glory of God, to the benefit of others. As children, we begin our involvement with work by observing others. We become learners. Soon we become students and apprentices entering the world of work. From there we grow in responsibility to take care of our own household, seek a job, or pursue a career. Perhaps we’ll move from paid work to volunteering or a second unpaid career. No matter how old we are or what we do, as believers we are meant to see our daily activities as a “calling” or vocation given from God to honor and obey him. To honor God in our work is rarely simple or formulaic. We face many complicated questions about the best way to reflect his presence in our lives. At times we may sense that God is clearly directing every detail of our day and that we are empowered by his Holy Spirit. At other times, our sin and the sin of others seem to complicate every interaction and decision. That’s when we are reminded of our need for the power and reality of Jesus to guide our work and our lives.

  • The gospel is for us when we see people sin against one another, but we don’t know how to respond as children who bear God’s image and are called to imitate his ways.
  • The gospel is for us when work is hard and meaningless, because the Spirit gives meaning to our circumstances, enabling us to love and serve selflessly.
  • The gospel is for us when we don’t know how to relate to a coworker, boss, client, or subordinate, because God’s Holy Spirit is powerful enough to change us and give us insight into other’s needs.

In this study we’ll examine the ways the early church described living by faith, honoring God, and demonstrating our calling as God’s people in the work he has given to us. The Bible describes believers as Image-bearers and Imitators, Bond-servants and Stewards, Ambassadors and Messengers. All of these roles have relevance to the work we do. We’ll consider these concepts in their first century context to get a fuller sense of how the Bible can encourage us and help us apply our faith to the work we do every day.

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