Summary: Don’t get the idea that to serve God you have to be a minister, or a missionary, or on the staff of some Christian organization. Every job, if it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is a sacred job.
We’re preaching through the Book of Proverbs. A human proverb is a short sentence based on long experience, but these are short sentences based on something better than long experience. They’re based on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as given to Solomon. Now, today I have a message that I just pray God the Holy Spirit will burn into your heart because, if you understand the message today, I can promise you that it will literally transform your life. I’ve never preached on this subject—that is, a whole message on this subject. I have alluded to it. But, I believe it is a foundational truth, and I’m really amazed that I’ve not brought a whole message on this particular subject before.
Proverbs chapter 14 and verse 23, and just the first part of that verse: “In all labour there is profit” (Proverbs 14:23)—“In all labour there is profit.” I want to talk to you today about “God’s Grace in the Workplace”—“God’s Grace in the Workplace.” And again, I want to tell you, if you understand what I have to say today, it’s going to transform your work. It’s going to change it from boredom to blessing. It’s going to change it from monotony to meaning. It’s going to change it from drudgery to dignity. It’s going to change it from the same old grind, to glory, if you understand what I have to say.
You see, so many people are sick and tired of what they do. I mean, they endure their work; they don’t enjoy their work. They think their job is meaningless. They think that some people have happy jobs, some people have exciting work, some people have thrilling things to do, but not them. They draw their breath and draw their salary. They wake up in the morning and take a bath, shave, go down, drink a cup of coffee, eat a piece of toast, scald their throat because they’re running a little late, drink their coffee too fast, then they run out and fight the traffic and get to work. It’s the same old thing, day after day. Then they come home at night, take a couple of aspirin, sit down and watch the evening news, discuss things with the wife, maybe putter around in the yard a little bit, then go to bed. The next day, the same old thing—nothing exciting, nothing meaningful, nothing thrilling; it just seems to be so humdrum, so meaningless.
Now, they love God, and they serve God, but they have the idea that the only time they can serve God is when they’re not working. They want to get off work so they can serve God, so they give their prime time to the employer and then they give the leftovers to God. They give the weekends to God. They’re serving God sort of halftime. It’s not even really halftime, because they give most of their prime hours, and the best hours, to the boss. They’re trying to serve two masters and, of course, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). And, I believe there are some of you who are sitting here listening to me today, perhaps most of you, who are guilty of doing what I call split-level living.
Now, I want you to get something in your heart today, and oh, I pray God that He’ll help me to get it into your heart today—and it is this: You may be a very ordinary person. You may think there’s nothing exciting about you. But, you see, God loves ordinary people. He made most of that kind. Isn’t that right? I mean, He must like them, since He made so many of them, right? God makes ordinary people. They’re the handiwork of God.
Look in 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 26, “For ye see your calling, brethren… not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Corinthians 1:26). You see? God uses ordinary people. But, here’s the secret: God takes ordinary people and He gives them extraordinary power. God infuses us with His Holy Spirit, so we’re no longer ordinary, because, when we get saved, we become extraordinary. But now, wait a minute. God takes ordinary people, God gives ordinary people extraordinary power, and then God puts those ordinary people—are you watching this?—in ordinary places. Now, you’d better learn this: When God takes an ordinary person and gives him extraordinary power, then puts that ordinary person in an ordinary place with extraordinary power, He does extraordinary things through an ordinary person.
Now, if you’ll learn this and get this into your heart, it’s going to transform your life. You see, we neatly divide life up into the secular and the sacred. There are so many people who say to me something like this: “You know, Pastor, what I would really like to do, I mean, if I could do what I would really like to do? Well, I’d just like to get out of this job and serve God. Boy, I’d just like to serve God full-time.” Have you ever thought that? Boy, if I could just quit what I’m doing. Boy, it’d be so wonderful to be like you. It’d be so wonderful to be like Brother Phil. It’d be so wonderful, if I could just get out of what I’m doing and serve God full-time. Now, O God, help me to teach you today that, if you are a Christian living in the Spirit, you are serving God full-time. I don’t care where you work—it is an honorable occupation. You are serving God full-time. Your work is to be the temple of your devotion, and it is to be the platform of your witness.