Summary: The Bible talks about our jobs. Whether we are the low man on the totem pole, or king of the hill, we are on the job with God and need His help.
Take this Job and Love It!
Ephesians 6:5-9 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.
Intro: The sign in the store window read: NO HELP WANTED. As two men passed by, one said to the other, "You should apply--you’d be great." (Principles regarding work, Decision-making and the Will of God, p. 336.)
-When Paul wrote this letter to the churches, slavery was a common part of the culture. It was generally a different form of slavery than we are familiar with in the short history of our country. Slaves were able to buy their freedom during Paul’s day – if their master was kind enough to let them do so. You might wonder what slavery has to do with us here today. Well, the best way I can think of to apply Paul’s principles here is to our jobs. Now, we aren’t slaves – even though you might feel like it sometimes. But Paul gives us some excellent principles that can really help us on the job.
-I believe that Christians should be some of the best workers around. Christians should excel in every possible area (work quality, quantity, relationships with coworkers and bosses, character, trustworthiness, and so on). Is this just so we can impress the boss? Well, yes! If you have received Jesus as your highest boss. Trust that God has blessed you with the job you have and do your work for Him, not for someone else.
-For many American workers today, time theft happens a lot. According to a survey by America Online and Salary.com, the average worker admits to frittering away 2.09 hours per 8-hour workday, not including lunch and scheduled break-time. As a matter of practice, companies assume a certain amount of wasted time when determining employee pay. However, the America Online / Salary.com survey indicates that employees are wasting about twice as much time as their employers expect. Salary.com calculated that employers spend $759 billion per year on salaries for which real work was expected, but not actually performed. (www.salary.com)
-So the need for good workers is great. It really doesn’t take much to stand out. Just live the way you know the Lord wants you and don’t stop when you punch the clock!
-TS: Let’s take a few minutes today and look at what the Bible has to say about our jobs. Whether we are the low man on the totem pole, or king of the hill, God has something to say to us today.
I. How should a believer do his or her work?
1. Obey (5)
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters
2. Show respect & be conscientious (5)
with respect and fear
3. Be sincere (5)
with sincerity of heart
4. Treat your superiors the way you would treat Jesus (5)
just as you would obey Christ
5. Show integrity (6)
6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you,
(Don’t fake it just to get their good opinion)
6. Realize that it is God’s will for you to obey superiors (6)
but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
7. Put your whole heart into your work (7)
7 Serve wholeheartedly,
8. Work for the Lord (7)
as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
9. Remember that God rewards good work (8)
8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Colossians 3:22-24 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
II. How should bosses/superiors treat workers?
1. Treat them as equals
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way.
-Paul was really a revolutionary. Very few in his day would have dared to level the playing field, calling master and slave equals. He didn’t start an anti-slavery campaign, but you can certainly tell by his writings that he considered all people as equals in God’s sight. This is why he could write to Christian masters the way he did. See, from God’s view the achievements and status of any one of us add nothing to our value as a human being. It is whose we are that determines our value, not who we are! So, masters/bosses should show respect, be sincere, treat workers as you would Jesus, and treat them the way you want to be treated.