Maximize Your Work
What does God have to do with your work? Find out 4 new ways to think about your work.
Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
We’re going to cover a topic that we’ve never covered before here at Renovation.
And that is: how does God fit in with your work?
And how can you maximize your work?
Now, when I say “work,” I realize that not everyone works in the traditional workplace.
Maybe you stay at home with your kids.
Listen, staying at home is work too.
It’s all work just the same.
I watch twin toddlers by myself 1 or 2 days a week.
I love it! But it’s hard work too.
Or, maybe you’re in school right now. Which is also a ton of work.
But if you’re in school, my guess is that you are PREPARING to work…
So whatever you do, I think the same principles apply this morning.
We are in week 4 of our “Maximize” series where we are looking to the Book of Proverbs (and other places) in the Bible for Godly wisdom.
This morning, I want to help maximize your work by changing how you THINK about work.
This isn’t a message on how to increase productivity.
We talked about that last week when we talked about “TIME”
I literally want to change the way you THINK about work.
Because most of us don’t have a very high opinion of “going to work”
Gallop, the leading pollster in the US, says that 70% of you are either disengaged (meaning you’re present, but not inspired) or actively disengaged (meaning you’re present, and thinking about burning the place down)
Only 30% of people are actively engaged and inspired by their work.
Most people don’t wake up in the morning and say, “Yes!! I get to go to work today!”
So how can you begin to maximize your time at work?
It starts with changing how you approach it.
If you have a mindset change, you’ll have a life change.
I want to cover four new ways you can think about your work (again, whatever that is for you) that’ll help you maximize your work…and help you live wisely for God.
Let’s take a look at the first one.
WORK BRINGS GLORY TO GOD
#1 – Work brings GLORY to God
We’re going to look at 4 G-words this morning. The first one is Glory.
Your work brings GLORY to God.
When Christians say we should “Glorify God,” that just means our lives should honor Him…and that our lives should make God look great.
Listen, God is a fan of work.
He works. He created the entire world. It was quite the project.
He even took a day off afterwards.
Even when Jesus came to earth, He worked.
He didn’t just sit around and eat grapes all day (or GEEPS as my year and a half year old daughter calls them)
For the first few decades of his life, Jesus was a carpenter.
And if God is a gardener, if God is an artist, if God is a carpenter…than so can you be.
And there should be honor in that.
And God can be glorified in that.
You don’t have to be a missionary to Uzbekistan to bring God glory with your work.
You could be in sales, in IT, in finance, in construction, in health services.
It doesn’t matter…you can bring GLORY to God in your work.
And the first thing we need to do is realize that ALL of our time, is God’s time.
You can’t just take all that God has taught you in church, in house groups, through the Bible, through prayer, and apply it to your life at home and to your weekends.
It applies to EVERYTHING you do…even your work.
It applies to how you treat people.
It applies to how you live with integrity. And honesty.
If we all are living out the principles of Christ at the office…and in raising kids…THEN, we can change a society.
But if we only apply it to our home lives then:
A) We must not really believe in it
B) The world around us will remain unchanged.
And then when we choose not to join in the “complainfest” about our boss like everyone else, we’re reflecting God…who loves…yes…even your boss.
When a mom is patient with her nagging toddler who needs a nap, she is reflecting the patience that God shows to us.
We’re bringing GLORY to God in our work.
That’s why we’re on earth…to glorify God.
Every little way that you can glorify God is beautiful to Him.
There’s nothing that is too small.
It’s like this: If your 4-year old draws you a picture and says, “Look mommy! I made this for you on your birthday! It’s you, me, and our puppy, Spot!”
You wouldn’t rip it up and say, “This is garbage! Don’t bring this again until it looks more like Picasso!”
No way, it means something to you because you can see the intention of the heart.
You can go into people’s homes and they have pictures on their shelves that their kids drew 25 years ago.
They’re not good…but they mean something.
That’s how God looks at everything you do for Him.
Every little thing you do for Him…he treasures.
And we’re to do EVERYTHING for Him.
(1 Corinthians 10:31) – NIV
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
If you’re a teacher…and you stay up an extra hour or two…trying to prepare the lesson, so kids can better learn English…that matters.
You’re helping people. Do it for God.
No joke, I honestly think every week when I write my messages that I wish I would have worked harder at English.
Out ability to use language affects lives.
What you do matters.
If you’re in healthcare, and you spend that extra 5 minutes with that patient because you care.
Nobody else might see, but God sees.
You’re glorifying Him…you’re reflecting Him…with what you do.
You’re bringing Him joy.
And there is no greater thing. Know that!
God can be glorified in the smallest of things:
Sometimes it’s in….the way you just ask someone how their day is.
Sometimes it’s in…being the reliable co-worker that helps ease someone’s stress because they KNOW they can count on you to get the job done.
All you’re doing is just doing your job well, but God can be glorified in that.
Sometimes it’s in…advancing your company’s success.
Which then allows them to grow financially, which therefore allows them to hire more people, which allows more people to get a paycheck…and provide for their families.
Every little thing matters.
Glorify God in the little things at work
In House Groups this week, we’re going to cover the topic of “Working for the Lord…like Jesus is your boss”
If you’re not in a house group yet, you can sign-up any week. Sign-up today.
And ask yourself tough questions. Questions like, “Does the way I interact with people at work make Jesus look great?”
In other words, does it glorify Him?
And I hope that you see what you do matters.
You ought to see that the purpose of your work helps people in some way.
That it’s not just about you getting a paycheck.
And See the bigger purpose in your work.
If you dig deep, and you can’t find it, than don’t be afraid to start praying about finding something else.
Make your life count.
It’s better that way.
One of my favorite things in the world is encountering people with odd jobs who just absolutely LOVE their jobs.
Like, my tax guy, LOVES his job.
He gets PSYCHED about taxes.
Or, I’ve had knee problems in the past when I run long distances, so I wear orthotics in my shoes…and my orthotics doctor…LOVES his job.
He gets PUMPED talking about orthotics.
And God is glorified in that.
My tax guy is helping me (hopefully get some money back)
My orthotics guy is helping me run, so I can stay healthy.
Listen, God has given each and every one of you gifts and talents to use to serve other people.
My encouragement to you is to maximize the usage of those gifts and talents, so God can be most glorified by your unique skillset.
Some of you aren’t there yet.
Maybe you’re 23, and you’re just starting off in your field. You might be 15 years away from your dream job and really using your gifts to the max.
Or Maybe you’re out of work right now.
Or maybe you’re underemployed.
Whatever the case, work towards maximizing your unique gifts to serve other people and glorify God…
And no matter where God has you right now, NO MATTER WHERE, glorify Him in the little things.
Jesus gives a great principle on this…if you do really intend to go further in your job someday:
(Luke 16:10) – NIV
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
WORK HELPS YOU GROW
Okay, so the first new way I want you to think about your work was “Work brings glory to God.”
#1 – Work brings GLORY to God
#2 – Work helps you GROW
The second is that work helps you grow.
Theologically, we call this sanctification.
When you believe that Jesus died for you and make a commitment to follow Christ, you are “justified” in Him.
You are made right in God’s eyes. Forgiven.
The Holy Spirit then comes in you and begins to change you from the inside out.
It’s a LIFE-long process called sanctification.
Which means, the process of becoming HOLY…becoming more like God.
See, every decision you make….every day…shapes who you become.
And every time you say, “You know what…I’m actually going to trust in God here, and do it His way…” …He grows you.
And more trust grows within your heart.
And you become wiser. And a little bit more Holy. A little bit more like Him.
But of course, you can choose to not obey Him either.
And every time you do so, your heart will grow a little harder.
Why does this matter? And what does it have to do with work?
Well, most of us spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else.
WHICH MEANS…that you will face more little decisions that will ultimately shape who you are…AT WORK…more than anywhere else.
John Ortberg, who’s a famous Christian author, says it this way:
“Doing the right work with the right attitude and the right spirit is immensely important. Because the most important thing you bring home from work is not your paycheck. The most important thing you bring home from work is you." – John Ortberg
(read it again)
And work gives you endless amount of opportunities to grow in your character and obedience to God, does it not?
Some of you work in environments where it’s very difficult to live a life of integrity, or honesty, or even purity (of speech, of mind…)
And see, it’s actually at work, where God is going to present you with most of the decisions of life that will turn you into a Man of God or a Woman of God….OR NOT.
(Proverbs 11:1) – NIV
The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.
Even when that was written 3,000 years ago…God was serious about integrity in people’s work.
It’s at work, that’ll you have some of the most frequent opportunities to show trust in God.
When your work is overbearing, and you feel totally stressed out.
You have the opportunity to rely on God’s strength. To trust in Him.
Work gives you an opportunity to show grace to people.
To show that God is a God of second chances.
To show that God is crazy about us despite all of our mistakes.
And yet, how often do we just join right in with the office gossip?
(Proverbs 11:12-13) – NIV
Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. 13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Work gives you an opportunity to show grace and patience to people.
A recent study shows that 86% of employees said they work with 1 or more annoying co-workers.
While 100% of those polled assumed that they were NOT one of the annoying co-workers J
See…work…is probably the biggest battleground you’ll have for letting God sanctify you and develop your character, so you can look more like Him.
Are you looking at your work that way?
WORK ALLOWS YOU TO GIVE
Here’s the third way I want you to change your perspective about work…in order to Maximize your work.
#1 – Work brings GLORY to God
#2 – Work helps you GROW
#3 – Work allows you to GIVE
When you work…you get paid.
Money doesn’t have to be an evil thing.
The apostle Paul makes this connection in his letter to the Ephesians in the Bible:
(Ephesians 4:28) – NIV
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Look at that connection!
One of the key reasons we work…is so we may have something to share with those in need.
So you can provide for your family.
But not just that…but those around you.
Maybe a family member…or a neighbor in need.
Remember though… (let me just take a min or 2 on this while we’re here…) Work is there to help you provide for your family…not remove you from your family.
That’s its core function. To provide for your family…not REMOVE you from your family.
I talk to all to many people (and often it is MEN…not always…but often), who are CONSISTENTLY (not seasonally…seasonally “happens”…
But they are consistently putting in 60, 70, sometimes even 80 hours of work.
And my question is to them: And for what? For what purpose?
And at what expense?
When your family is gone…will the paycheck make you happy? Will finishing the project on time be enough?
Be wary of letting your work become home, or it’ll start to make your home feel like work.
If that’s how you feel…or you can feel it drifting that way…
Take control of your life. DO IT NOW.
If you need to do the right thing for God and your family…He can help find you another job.
So work helps us provide for others.
But it’s not just our family…it’s the family of God…and the MISSION of God.
And I believe one of the great honors in working is being able to give a tenth of the finances back to God. Tithing.
And I’m not just saying that because I work at a church.
There’s great joy in giving to God because you know that it’s an investment.
That it’s going to change lives.
I could invest in a new TV…or a boat…or remodel a room in my house.
And that’s nice.
But it’s probably not going to change anyone’s life.
That’s why I know that when my family gives back to God…that it’s going to change lives.
And here at Renovation, it’s going to reach people for Christ.
So part of the joy in working…is knowing that even if it’s a little harder to find spiritual purpose in your job (I hope it’s not impossible), that the finances you get from it…will eventually result in deep spiritual significance.
And if giving back to God feels scary to you, know that the Bible speaks often that if you are faithful in this, God will take care of you
(Proverbs 11:24-25) – NIV
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
That’s not some “get-rich quick” scheme to be abused, but simply God saying that He takes care of people that are truly, inwardly generous.
WORK IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE GOSPEL
Here’s a fourth way to view work:
#1 – Work brings GLORY to God
#2 – Work helps you GROW
#3 – Work allows you to GIVE
#4 – Work is an opportunity to share the GOSPEL
For most of us, especially the longer you’ve been a Christian, work is our greatest opportunity to rub shoulders with non-believers.
Even if you are at home with kids…one of your most basic tasks is the evangelization and the discipleship of your own children (which is really true if you’re at home or not).
But if you’re home during the day, you also have a greater opportunity to reach your friends and neighbors
You have neat opportunities to develop a network of friendships through different activities and groups…and through maybe other moms in your neighborhood that are home as well.
And I want to ask you all: Are you seeing your work, not only as a way to glorify God and have Him grow you, but as an opportunity to share the Gospel?
The Gospel is simply the Good News (that’s what Gospel means) that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, and if we believe in Him, we can be completely forgiven.
Let me give you an easy way to do this:
Next week, we are going to be throwing an awesome Birthday Party for Renovation Church
(PUT UP BIRTHDAY PARTY SLIDE)
We are turning 5 years old!
There is going to be free cake!
Free beverages…free water, free punch, & free coffee!
The kids are going to be having a huge birthday party.
And like any birthday party nowadays, everyone who comes gets a free gift.
This is an easy opportunity to invite a friend to church.
It’s always easier to ask someone to a birthday party.
One of the things we learned when we did our Food Truck event was that many people said outwardly that they came for the Free Cheese Curds, but inwardly they were really coming to find out more about God
But it was just easier for them to say they were coming for the Cheese Curds J. And that’s okay.
On your way out today, you’re going to get handed 4 invite cards
I want you to boldly invite a co-worker to come with you next Sunday.
At our Cheese Curds event, a TON of people brought their co-workers with them.
And several of them attend our church now. And are growing in God!
That’s so awesome!
And let me tell you why it’s totally worth you inviting your co-worker…even if they straight-up tell you no.
It’s still important…because what you’re doing…is officially letting them know that you are indeed a follower of Christ.
Find a way to that… (whether it’s an invite to the birthday party or something else).
This is step 1.
Listen, it’s not as simple as just “not swearing, avoiding happy hour, and working hard.”
They’re not going to put it together from that.
There are plenty of hard-working atheists out there.
Find a simple way to put it out there that you are living for Jesus.
And you might not reap anything from that for years, but I assure you… that when (not IF…WHEN)…they have questions….when life gets hard…they will know WHO TO ASK!
Put yourself out there.
Now, I hope that you do more than that…that you begin to have spiritual conversations with people.
But at MINIMUM…people have got to know whom you’re following.
And that His name is JESUS.
And He’s awesome.
And whatever happens…I want you to think through this thought:
The Bible says that God has determined everything about your life.
He determined where you would be born and when you would live (Acts 17)
He knows the number of hairs on your head…(Psalm 139)
And you better believe…that even if you HATE your job…that for right now…He has you there for a reason.
He has you there...FOR A REASON.
I encourage you to ask Him what it is.
Seriously. Ask Him.
And in the meantime…take some concrete steps this week to glorify Him (even in the little things) at work
And trust that even when we glorify God in the smallest of things…God is joyful and He is pleased.
And when you do your work… (whether it’s compiling data in Excel or comforting crying babies)…do it for God…and His glory.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.