Summary: Our work is a means by which we can leave a legacy of influence in our world.
1. Ox and Mule:
An old farmer plowed hard for many days with an ox and mule yoked together. The ox told the mule that they should play sick and rest. The mule declined saying, “No, we must get the work done for the season is short. But the ox played sick and the farmer brought him hay and corn and made him comfortable.
When the mule came in from plowing the ox asked how things had gone. The mule said, “We didn’t get as much done but we did ok, I guess.”
The ox asked, “Did the old man say anything about me?” “Nothing,” said the mule.
The next day the ox played sick again. When the tired mule came in he asked how it went. “Ok, but we sure didn’t get much done.” The ox asked, “What did the old man say about me?” The mule replied, “Nothing directly to me, but he had a long talk with the butcher.”
2. I read a recent survey estimate that over 50% of the workforce is dissatisfied with their jobs. The Survey went on to describe 5 Factors to Job Satisfaction
• Engagement – being aware of how one’s job relates to the bigger picture of the company
• Respect, Praise, Appreciation – feeling respected increases satisfaction
• Fair Compensation – Salary rated #2 and Benefits #3 in satisfaction Factors
• Motivation – What inspires me to be a ______?
• Life Satisfaction – Unhappy in life/Unhappy in work
3. If we are so dissatisfied with our employment, why do we work?
a. “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.”
b. “I need something to do.”
c. “I found my niche.”
4. Today we will think about “Leaving a Legacy” as an expression of Faith at our Work
5. One of the greatest advertisements for Jesus and his church is having people of high qualification and high quality in the marketplace. We all know or know of these people. Some are in this room today. Ephesians 6.5-9 (re-read as employee and employer)
I. Work: Blessing or Curse?
A. A Blessing
1. God Worked – Genesis 1-2 (Good/very good)
2. God Gave Adam Work – Genesis 2.15 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
B. A Curse
1. Disobedience brings consequences
2. Eve – pain in childbirth, etc.; Adam in the sweat of his brow, etc.
C. A Blessing or Curse Depends on Our Point of View
For years Gordon MacDonald rode the same bus daily from his home to his church in New York City. One day the bus driver complained to MacDonald: “You’ve got it a lot better than me. You have an interesting job and travel different places. I just drive this bus up and down the same streets every day.” MacDonald told the bus driver his job could be a Christian ministry too. “Every day, when you first get on this bus, before anyone else gets on, dedicate this bus to God for that day. Declare it to be a sanctuary for God for that day. Consecrate it to God’s glory, and then act like it is a place where God dwells.” Several weeks later MacDonald returned from a trip and saw the bus driver. “You’ve transformed my life,” the man said. “I’ve been doing what you said every day, and it has made me see my job in an entirely new perspective.”
II. Work: Obligation or Opportunity?
A. Our Employment May Pay the Bills but May Also Bring:
1. A Sense of Dignity – as in the beginning; reason to leave corners of fields for poor
2. A Sense of Responsibility Proverbs 26.13-14
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
3. A Sense of Accomplishment – “Very good.”
• Nothing worse than feeling unfulfilled in tasks – [Lumberjacks were hired by psychologists to hit trees with the dull side of their axes; paid twice their rate; all quit because they needed to produce
• Skills are gifts from God – Tabernacle Builders Oholiab and Bezalel in Exodus 31.1-11
4. A Deeper Sense of Purpose – Ephesians 4.28
28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
• There are three levels of how to live with things:
(1) You can steal to get;
(2) Or you can work to get;
(3) Or you can work to get in order to give.