Summary: A message dealing with living out your love for Christ in the world.
Following Christ in the Marketplace
June 22, 2003
It¡¦s a fact of life that many, if not most of those who call themselves Christians are very sincere about their love and relationship with God on Sunday mornings.
But it¡¦s also a fact of life that many of these same people forget about that love and relationship with God come Sunday afternoon.
Here¡¦s another fact of life: many Christians do love God through the week, but don¡¦t live like it. In other words, the emotional feelings toward God exist, but it¡¦s not reflected in actions and attitudes.
So what do we do about it? The answer lies in each of us taking seriously the idea that if you call yourself a follower of Christ, that you live a life that is consistent with that.
Because you see, it¡¦s another sad fact of life that many times it¡¦s impossible to tell a ¡§Christian¡¨ from a non-Christian based on how we conduct ourselves in the world, and particularly the marketplace.
Christians have been known to lie and cheat, both in business and in personal life.
Christians have been known to take undue advantage of others.
Given this, is it any real mystery that Christians are looked at with a jaundiced eye?
Is it any real mystery that when we tell others about Jesus, they tend to put it aside as the words of someone who makes a big talk with nothing to show in their life?
Today I want to give you three ways to show the world that Christ matters to you. And that He matters to you so much that you are willing to build your life around His priorities.
If you actively live for Christ in these areas, you will get noticed. And in being noticed, you will bring attention and credibility to God.
Some of this is just common sense ¡V the problem is that common sense isn¡¦t all that common nowadays.
So I beg of you to listen up and take this seriously, for your sake, the sake of those around you, and for sake of the kingdom of God.
1. Work for the Boss.
EPH 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Let me say something real quick here about this passage. Slavery in the New Testament was nothing like the slavery that plagued world and American history.
Slavery in America was a blight on our history. The treatment of slaves in our country was reprehensible and sinful.
Slaves in the New Testament was quite different. Yes, the slaves were the property of the slave owners. However, the work and living conditions of most slaves in the Roman world were actually better than the average small business owner.
Most masters were kind and considerate, and kept the slaves in the homes of the owner.
Outside of the ownership issue, slave conditions were more like our present employer-employee situations today.
So with that little bit of background, let me give you four ways to show people that you work for the Boss.
„X Work while you¡¦re at work.
Here¡¦s what I mean. When you punch in at the job, do the job. Don¡¦t stand around gabbing, or puttering around. Do something.
Give a day¡¦s work for a day¡¦s pay. In fact, I think a Christian should give more than a day¡¦s work for a day¡¦s pay.
Why? Because again, you are not working for your earthly boss, but the one who will someday say, ¡§Well done, good and faithful servant.¡¨
And guess what? You will be a blessing to your employer. And another benefit is that if the company you work for needs to downsize, you¡¦re much more likely to be kept around, because employers want people who are productive and don¡¦t just work for the paycheck.
Sales motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, in his book, Over the Top, points something out that I had never considered before reading it.
He says that we work our hardest just before a vacation. We try super hard to get everything done so we can relax when we get on vacation.
Ziglar says that if we would always work like we¡¦re about to go on vacation, we¡¦ll never be without work. Even if you lose one job for unforseen reasons, the word will get out that you are worth hiring.