Work came to man before the Fall and the curse. We are to be diligent as the ant and follow after God. His divine nature leads us into godliness, patience, kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:3-7; Proverbs 6:6-8)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11401
11:00 AM on 1/14/2018
Martin Luther King Jr. said we don’t say burn, baby, burn but we say build, baby, build. Why does he think this way but because of what we will speak about today? Christ is in us and he is a builder. He is love. God is love. Then he said learn, baby, learn. He’s talking to 14 year olds. Education. What kind? Many kinds but the kind we are involved in this morning is spiritual education. When Jesus was on the earth he said learn of him. Come unto me and learn of me. Christ was a teacher. I will give you these words. This is the highest form of education. When get these words start humming, moving in your heart and mind. Concentrate on his presence and the word and it builds you up. Earn, baby, earn he said. You can get a job, work. It’s not him alone but it’s the way of life you and I have found. When we are earning, it’s more than just money. It’s investment, heart, words. Your exercise is to stand up. Turn to your neighbor and say it’s not burn, baby, burn but build, baby, build.
Prov. 6:6, our series this January is on practical aspects of life. Working is today’s subject. What work is and Bible teaching on the subject. Next week it is wealth, money, also more than money. Spiritual wealth, attitude, love. All January is really love and what it means in our hearts. Next sermon is on recreation, how we spend our time and how much we enjoy being refreshed and having a break. How many days did it take for God to create the universe? 6 days. Here’s a good question. Could he have made the universe like that? You think so. He’s all powerful. Why didn’t he do that? It would have saved us a couple pages of the Bible! He’s a builder. Good point. He worked. There’s a sequence. When did he make us? On this day and on the seventh day, rest. He made us at the end so we could go right into the hammock! The spiritual hammock. We would go into the rest. What did he tell us to do? You are to keep the garden. Were they to work? God made man to work but also rest. Resting in God and working. What he would do would be fill the earth with himself. He is one with God. Christ would fill the earth through the first Adam. Man would have authority over all the living things. Having a job is not a curse; it’s a blessing. Having responsibility is a blessing. These are a few thoughts and notes on the subject this morning. Thanks for your prayers and love and faith. It was cold this morning, wasn’t it? But God’s people are not a cold people. Warm people. I came in the door and could feel the heat was on. Thank you, Scotty Dubay. He’s our head guy keeping the building running.
Prov. 6:6. Sluggard. What does that mean? Why go to the ant? Because observation.
vs. 6 Consider her ways. Observation. Ever seen an ant taking a nap? They are off to the side in a slumber? Who is in charge of those ants and who is telling them what to do? How do they have a nervous system and know where to go? There is a colony and a queen and workers and military ants that make war and kill other ants. Then worker ants, male and female and queen producing millions of eggs. The whole thing is incredible. We don’t have to go that far. Praise God we aren’t doing that today. There are lessons we learn and God directs people to look at the ant. One of the things about them is they don’t seem to have a boss shouting at them and telling them but by their nature they know what to do.
vs. 7. In our message, we’ll go to the core of it in a minute. There are some people who are workaholics and don’t know how to stop. They carry it with them to their demise. I always thought the devil wants us to work too hard, too much and not know why or to work too little and try to evade it and not know the blessing in it. There is blessing in it because we are made to work. Work is in many ways a blessing. I’m a sluggard or I’m a workaholic and somehow and this is the blessing in your life, somehow it’s possible for you to understand work. In a way, it’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful thing when – three words: 1) What do you do? I am a computer programmer, a car mechanic, a house wife and I take care of my children. I’m a kindergarten teacher, a professor, teacher, common laborer. I drive a tractor. How you do it. You get your training. But this is a big word: Why? Why do you do it? That’s a big word. Why? All the practical things like money, I went to school for it. It’s the way I was brought up. My dad did it. My best friend did it. This is my work. We can ask the question why on many levels. Why am I alive? Who can answer me? Why did this happen to me? Work. Why do I do what I do? These are big questions.
2 Pet. 1:3-4, these are incredibly profound statements. The ant doesn’t seem to have any overseer but has something in its understanding. The smallest little thing, an ant. You look at it on the patio and it goes into your house and comes back on the patio. That smallest little thing. It’s amazing. How about us? What is in us? How do we work? What’s happened to us? Why is there so much trouble in our lives? Why are so many things hard to figure out and understand? We’ve lost God. That’s the point. Being born again, halleluiah, Christ came into our lives.
2 Pet 1:3, not every human being but us. The believer has received divine power. It’s an amazing verse. He has given unto us all things that pertain to life. Life. What pertains to life? A mom changing diapers could say I don’t have a life. I change diapers all day long. They’ve all forgotten me. I used to be in Bible school, a missionary, a disciple, but now it seems my doors have closed. He has given unto us all things that pertain to life. My job. What has he given me that pertains to life? Joy pertains to life. Love, peace, temperance, patience, godliness, R, his divine power has given unto us what is needed so we can live here. Through the K of him.
vs. 4. It seems God is interested in everything in our lives. To get the one thing. The essential. Coal is a black carbon packed with energy we dig out of the ground. If you burn it, a lot of energy is released from a small amount of coal. If it’s hooked up to a locomotive, it heats the water. The water turns to steam. The steam drives the pistons, and the locomotive can pull a whole train of cars. Where is the original source? The coal. The divine power has given us that packed energy that will result in everything else happening. I am able to live my life out there because of what is happening in here, in us. This is our new birth. Not by works we have done but by renewing of the Holy Spirit, the regenerating of the Holy Spirit. We are a new creation. By this new creation we are able to live. We bring why into our job in a way that changes things. I’ll give you an example. A janitor worked in a hospital and he had simple responsibilities he did and enjoyed doing them. One of the things he had to do was put pictures on the walls for the patients. He got into it and started to think in terms of the patients, loving them, loving the people in the hospital. In his heart it was I don’t want to put up any picture. I want to do it in such a way the whole thing was I want these patients to get better. I’d like the doctors to be in an atmosphere. I want to play a part in what is happening in the hospital. By love he started to do his job. Out of love. What can I do? It’s not burn, baby, burn. It’s build. This is the nature we have. Consider the ant who doesn’t have an overseer. It’s internal. The ant is moving internally. Not externally by military commands or drill instructor or a pay check. The ant is doing it out of something internal. Same with you and me. We have found another resource, the packed coal, the new energy. That new man in you and me. We hear God in the world and it motivates us in love. The janitor, – it might be nobody knows the difference between a man putting up a picture because he has a paycheck or a man putting up a picture because he cares about it. When we find this it does have an effect on us.
vs. 4. God knows we need some great and precious promises. God knows we need more because we have to know why we are doing what we are doing. Lord is it in vain I go to work or I save my money and it’s gone? Is it in vain I give away and nobody pays attention. Is it in vain I build a company and in couple years it’s destroyed. Is it in vain I work into my old age and I have so little. God is saying I have to give you great and precious promises. Your life is not in vain. I want you to know that. I have done something for you because I gave my Son and he’d be in you. My Son would lead you and guide you in your life. Maybe in a material way, you don’t see much. In your heart, you see something he writes about here. In your heart you see the H.S. Sometimes it’s very strong. You cannot measure your life by these earthly things. You’re living in faith. Whatever we have done by faith in Christ is not in vain.
One of the curses in life is the word “vanity.” Emptiness or aimlessness. It’s in the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s going to be a great class on the wisdom books. It uses the word “vanity” more than 40 times. When you save your money all your life – We had a man in Baltimore city well known and fell off a ladder and died instantly. A man very capable and very wealthy and then it’s over. It seems vanity is one of the curses on us. That we would do things and yet where does it go. What’s the end game? Ever built a sandcastle on the sea shore for your children with the shovel and buckets. By the end of the day, it’s under water. It meant a few moments or hours of fun with the kids and it’s over and gone.
The believer has to learn to live like that. I cannot build something that will last forever. While I am working and building, I am realizing there is more that God is recognizing. God has put in us his nature. Remember when the woman gave the box of ointment. What did Jesus say? This will not be forgotten whenever the gospel is preached. There are things that I do that will not be forgotten. They are remembered forever. Things we do in our life on one level are gone but in another level they are not gone. Nobody can tell us. The ant doesn’t have an overseer. Nobody can tell us this life we are living.
We have found great and precious promises we are building our life on. We are doing these things not because someone is yelling at us or offering us a lot of money. It’s a different life being written in our new spiritual DNA where we say this is the way; walk in it. Yeah, but there is no money over there. I know money is important but the big why has to be bigger than a paycheck. Like the janitor. In my job I have God in my heart and I’m learning how to live before God. Therefore I’m not a thief because God is not a thief. I have integrity. What I say I really mean it. I want to live by what I say because it’s in our hearts what we say. I want to live as a citizen of heaven with a divine purpose. Some of you who may be unemployed, it’s not a bad thing because you are never unemployed with God. I can use that time because I have an engine going on in my heart. Maybe God is using this transition period to lead me into something he has for me. If it means I lost my purpose, my sense of responsibility, my sense of focus then I hear what God has to say and that inner man will respond to what God is saying. God is saying I will lead you and guide you. I need you in this world.
Work is a blessing on many levels and many kinds of work. There is heart work also like in the ministry. Academic work. Study work, serving people work. Looking for people to care for them. Faith work. One little point I teach my children. You could work for money not for people. That’s all you’re interested in and that’s one kind of job. Maybe an investment banker is thinking of who to make money.
Second category you work for people and money. Like a nurse or teacher.
Third kind there is no money involved at all. Like in the ministry. There are ministers doing it for people and the money and then this kind you will do it anyway. You do it by faith because the ministry of God is so valuable and powerful and God will take care of you. This is what Jesus taught. Seek first the kingdom of God and his R and all these things he will take care of you.
Mk 10:30 if lose all these things and your own lands also, I will give you a hundred fold. That’s a beautiful promise. Others have a calling this way. I could make the money and use it for people but it’s not in my job in this category.
vs. 4. God has given us great and precious promises. I love that word “precious.” Precious. Who said that? The cursed little Hobbit…what is the meaning of it? Irreplaceable. You cannot find another. There is no other. Mozart’s pianos in Europe. Someone told me in Hungary in the next village there was one of Mozart’s pianos. Do you want to see it? Not really! If there are six and one is destroyed, how many are left? Brilliant! If lose four more how many are left? What is that piano? Precious. These are precious promises. You can’t get them anywhere. You can’t find them anywhere. Nobody talks like this. These words are amazing.
vs. 4. What nature? Divine nature. I’m sorry I can’t change the word. It says divine nature. God’s nature. We are partakers of God’s nature. That means that coal packed that is producing all these systems working is happening in you and me. We sit back and hear it and realize it. Build, baby, build. Learn, baby, learn. Earn, baby earn. Or work, baby, work, because we are learning what God is saying to us. We have something we never had before. We have a fire, H.S. motivation. We have the reason why. “Why” is fun. God’s will. It might look like a dumpy pickup truck but I can tell you why I’m driving it. I can go back and say right there is the divine nature in our heart and life. You mean really Monday morning I’ll feel that way? I don’t know but I want to read the words to you. We have escaped the corruption in this world through lust. Isn’t it amazing you don’t lust for some things? You go down Baltimore city and a guy offers you the first hit of drug is free. Do you want it? You look at him and say, are you kidding me? Are you serious that that’s a temptation? Is the second one free? Is the third one free? Do you want me on a respirator by the end of the day or month? Why are you destroying people’s lives? The lust that the world feeds on, the reaching. The meaning of the word is to stretch. I need another one. Another piece of chocolate cake. Another beer. Another woman, another dollar, another lie. We have escaped the corruption in the world that is there through lust.
vs. 5. This is a list of words, 5, 6, and 7. Give all diligence. You should work at it to add to your faith virtue. You should work at it. Different kind of work. We have to pay attention to it. Add virtue, excellence. Add to the excellence K, add to K temperance and then add patience to it and godliness.
Then vs. 7. Brotherly kindness and then add charity. Work at it. Keep it going. Keep coming here and keep at it on Monday. Go to work by faith. Add excellence to it. Then K, temperance. Take a chill pill. Control yourself in God because you have the nature of God in you. You want that list. I know you do. You want those words operating in your life. You will see the changes that happen in your heart and life. You’ll see it really does work. You’re a security guard and you go to work and the Holy Spirit is with you. You care about the people, the job, and the company. You’re awake, alert. You’re in your job and enjoy the responsibility. I’m not envious of someone who doesn’t have some purpose and direction.
That has to happen like the ant. The ant has it in him. He works hard at it. This is a great blessing for us. We were made for it. It came to us before the fall. God wanted us to fill the earth with himself. Jesus commended people that worked hard and were responsible for what they are doing. How many times do we fail? A lot. I don’t do what I should. As a parent, pastor, believer, worker. Ok. That’s not my focus. My focus is on this blessing you and I have. God is with us so we can enjoy the fruit of our labor. Our kids turned out ok. That’s amazing. If they don’t, there is some work to do.
All of us our life is not an accident. God is with us and has work for us to do in a beautiful way. We can enjoy it and see these characteristics in us as we are laboring with him.
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