Step Back

Even working among Christian people, you’ll find that human nature crops up there’s plenty of opportunity for hurt feelings and misunderstandings.


Scripture: Ephesians 1:1

Transcript

Alright thank you very much and hello again radio friend. How are you? Doing alright? Well, I trust everything is okay at your house, and I’m glad for the privilege of being back with you once again to look at the Word of God. Look with me if you will please at the book of Ephesians, almost said Philippians, but it’s Ephesians for right now and let’s see what the Lord will say to us from this precious portion of His Word.

Paul signs his name first, always nice to have people sign their names to letters. Those of us who are on radio and television get a lot of letters that are unsigned or else signed, “Your friend in Christ” or something like that. Always nice to have a name signed to the letter and Paul signs his first, “Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” and he’s writing to the Saints which are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus, “Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ; According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

Well, I’ll pause there in the reading, he says he’s an “apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.” Which brings me to ask you, have you discovered yet that your daily work, the job you have, the calling in which you engage, or the profession by which you are identified, your job, your daily work is part of the will of God. Many people compartmentalize their life so that some things are religious in nature and other things are secular, and as the saying goes, “’n’er the twain shall meet”. For the Bible-believing Christian everything has significance in the will of God. “Whatsoever you do, he says, do it heartily as to the Lord, whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by Him”. Paul said, I am an Apostle by the will of God”.

Can you say, I am a teacher by the will of God? I am a minister by the will of God. I am a brick layer by the will of God. I am a computer programmer by the will of God. I am a homemaker, mother and homemaker by the will of God. I think we make a mistake if we expect all of our daily work to be religious in nature, it isn’t. I mean it’s hard to sing “Holy, holy, holy” while you’re changing the babies’ removable seat covers or cleaning the attic or the garage. It’s hard to sing “There is sunshine in my soul today” while you’re opening up a stopped up sewer. Yeah, there’s some things in life that don’t lend themselves to singing an anthem and the problem is that we say, “Well my spiritual life is one thing and this pesky job that I have to do is another”, no they are one in the same.

I tell our young people here at the college, keeping our rules, you know we have a few rules, we don’t smoke or drink, or whatever, but I tell them keeping the rules is not going to make you a better Christian, but I can tell exactly where you are spiritually by your attitude toward the rules, and I can tell you are spiritually by your attitude toward your job. Well you say Brother Cook you don’t know about my job, you don’t know how difficult it is, or you don’t know how boring it is, or you don’t know how much I have to put up by way of harassment in the office or in the shop. Maybe you’re the only female employee in an office of 10 or 12 other people, and you are the subject of sidelong glances and wisecracks and all of that, sort of a thing and harassment because you’re a female, it’s the order of the day and it just leaves you steaming sometimes, doesn’t it? And you say, “Well Brother Cook how do you expect me to rejoice in the Lord over that, how can that have any spiritual value whatsoever”. Oh had you ever stop to think of the fact that God may have placed you in that situation so that you could represent Jesus Christ before the rest of that crowd?

See they’re doing all they know to do that’s the only thing they know to do is what they are doing, but you know better because you know Him our blessed Lord Jesus, and you’re His representative, you’re an ambassador for Christ, and God has chosen you as his only means of talking to these people. They’re not going to hear from God in any other way than through your life. And so, instead of doing a low burn because of the harassment and discrimination that you experience in an office situation such us I described, instead of doing a slow burn about it why do you not committed to the Lord and say, “Now Lord I’m working for you. I am in this job because of your will now make me a blessing, make me a minister, make me a person who represents Christ, win these people to yourself through me”. Pray that kind of a prayer. Paul said, “I’m an Apostle by the will of God”.

How do you as a matter of fact change your attitude about your job? Now, the first thing that isn’t going to change is the job content if you’re operating a punch press, it’s still going to be there tomorrow morning. And another thing that isn’t going to change is the personality and the nature of the people with whom and for whom you work. If your boss is one of the terrible tempered Mr. Banks kind of a person, he’ll still have a short fuse tomorrow, he will still be blowing his top about things and you may be the object of some of his criticism, who knows. So the people for whom and with whom you work aren’t going to change much by tomorrow.

So the nature of your work and the nature of the people with whom and for whom you work is not about to change. And here’s Bob Cook telling you that your work is part of the will of God for you, how then are you going to change your own attitude toward it. Could I suggest that before you start the day, you talk to the Lord about your job? I very frequently pray through the agenda of the day before I ever get at it. Get up, get dressed, get on the radio, finish preparing broadcast and then finally make the broadcast. Get on over to the office and have a number of people lined up waiting to see me. Some a decisions to be made, some questions to be answered, funds to be raised, people to be sought for various positions that are open, all of these things are lined up and I very frequently, as I say pray my way through the agenda of the day before I get at it.

You know why, well because if you’ll pray about your job before you tackle it, you’ll find that it goes better, you’ll find that God keeps you for making the mistakes and blunders you would otherwise make, and you’ll find that you don’t spin as we say spin your wheels needlessly in trying things that aren’t going to work. Additionally, if you’ll pray about your job it will keep you from fretting and stewing and worrying about it, and it will also keep you from resenting the things that happen to you in the process.

Even working among Christian people you’ll find that human nature crops up, and there’s plenty of opportunity for hurt feelings and misunderstandings and all of that. So, that if before you begin the day if you’ll talk the matter over, talk your job over with your Lord you will be insulated, so to speak from the hurts and the nicks and the abrasions of everyday life and God will see you through all of these things victoriously, you’ll be a victor not a victim. That’s the first thing to do.

The second thing to do is to view the content of your work as being done for the Lord. I said to one of my church members one day I said. “Mary, don’t you get bored working at that automatic machine?” She was an in charge of an automatic machine which fed tiny wire into one end of the machine and millions of tiny little screws perfectly formed and threaded, machines crews, came out the other end of the machine and all she had to do all day long was to watch that machine and see that it functioned properly, and that there was a good supply of wire going into the machine so that it could produce these tiny but beautifully formed little parts for machinery. I said, Mary don’t you get bored, she said, “No. You see, while I’m sitting there I often tell my Lord Jesus, I’m doing this for you and you see that makes all the difference”, she said with a smile.

Look at the content of your job as being done for the Lord. You have to type a letter whisper a prayer before you start typing it and say, “Lord I’m going to do this for you”. You have to add a column of figures, or you have to balance a budget, or you have to compose an add, or you have to call in a prospect, or you have to interview and disgruntled employee, or you have to solve a production problem, this car load of widgets is due by September 1 and you are three weeks behind schedule and what you’re going do to about it, these are problems that people face every day in business, aren’t they?

Before you start anything like that whisper prayer and say, “Lord I’m going to do this for you. Give me your wisdom and give me your skill”. “If any man lack wisdom”, says James, “let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”.

So ask your Lord to guide you and ask Him to be Lord of the content of your job. To bring God into your work means not only pray about the agenda, pray about the day before you start it, it means not only commit each individual item to him and say, “Lord going to do this for you” but it also means to look for ways to honor your Lord in everyday life.

So simple a matter as not joining in the raucous laughter when somebody tells a dirty joke, you don’t have to look holier than thou, you can just let it be known that that isn’t your style. So simple a matter, as not getting mad when somebody steps, as we on your toes, when somebody goes around you or over your head to the boss, when somebody even maligns you or criticizes you unjustly instead of blowing your top you keep your cool and you keep sweet and you exhibit a Christ-like spirit. This is part of doing your job for God. And, finally give Him all the glory. If anybody gives you a compliment turn it back to your Lord, good idea? Yes, it’s a very good idea.

Dear Father today, help us to work our daily work for Thee in Jesus name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!



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