In the meantime.

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11As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.13Calling ten of his servants,he gave them ten minas,and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’14But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’15When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.   Luke 19:11-15

Faulty expectations.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in at Zacchaeus’ house. The affect was electrifying. Some people where upset at Jesus for he willingly accepted the hospitality of the chief tax collector. But then the unthinkable happened. Zacchaeus wasn’t just posing; he was really seeking God. Zacchaeus received Jesus. Zacchaeus aligned his life with Jesus and gave away half his wealth. Zacchaeus promised to restore what he had defrauded from others at a rate of four times the offence. Then Jesus addresses Zacchaeus and frames what had just happened: “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

Godly expectations.

The disciples and crowd were surely excited now as Jesus headed to Jerusalem. They were sure that God’s Kingdom had come and that the trip to Jerusalem would end with triumph such that a new era of prosperity and ease would be theirs. The wealth of the rich and the power of the powerful would now be theirs. But Jesus tells a story, a story meant to reframe their expectations and to create urgency as to the allegiance of their own hearts.

Jesus is the nobleman who would be King. His journey to the “far country” was through Jerusalem, through the cross and then to heaven with His Heavenly Father. In the meantime how shall we live?

Giving ourselves to the work.

In the meantime, we will do just what he says, “engage in business until I come.” Each of us must give ourselves to the work the King has given us.

In the meantime Until Jesus comes again as King in all His glory, power, and authority, we give ourselves to Him, to each other, and to the work He gives us.

 

who will create your next job?

Who will create your next job?  What opportunities does this economy and being unemployed  create  for you?  Is the government really going to bail you out?  How can you keep a good attitude when the search is so hard?

Questions that some of my friends are wondering about.  Questions that President Obama and others are thinking about.  Mark Lange, writing for the Christian Science Monitor has some interesting thoughts on the issues.

Work Orders: Blessings

Here are the notes to Sunday’s message;  Part 2 of Work Orders.

The Big Idea: God works through your work  to bless you and others.

1. We were created for God with an intrinsic capacity for work.

“The LORD God tooke the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  Genesis 2:15

2. However, the Great Catastrophe (also known as The Fall) radically changed the relationship between humanity and work.

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken’ for dust you are and to dust you will return.”  Gen 3:17-19

3. Work now moves easily into the realm of meaninglessness without the grace of God to bring blessings to us through the labour.

“What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.   Ecclesiastes 3:9-14  NIV

4. God restores our identity to its proper place through Jesus Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”  Galatians 2:20-21  NIV

5. As you work you can experience God blessing you and others.

A. The blessings of purpose.  When your work is connected to His purposes, and to either or both:  earnings, and enjoyment of your unique abilities and passions.  See Psalm 139:13-15

B. The blessings of provision.  God provides for you and your household through your work.

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”  1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

“…for even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  If a man will not work, he shall not eat.  We hear that some among you are idle.  They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus to settle down and earn the bread they eat.  And as for you brothers, never tire of doing what is right.”  2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”  Titus 3:4

C. The blessing of generosity.  Work yields earnings that allow you to not only provide for your household, but also to participate in God’s Kingdom work.

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”  Ephesians 4:28

“It is more blessed to give than receive.”  Acts 20:35

D. The blessing of influence.  Work / the Marketplace is a setting in which you may influence a domain with the Presence of God in you and the message of the Good news of Jesus Kingdom.

“You are the salt of the earth…  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  In stead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:13, 14-16

Work Orders: Who’s the boss?

Work Orders:  Who’s the boss?

In respect to Labour Day here are the notes from Sunday’s talk at Cityview.

The Big Idea:  Who you work for makes all the difference:  people or the Lord Jesus.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

1. The church is distinctive within society as a community of people because of their allegiance to Jesus Christ.

“Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”  Col 3:1

“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”  Col 3:11

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

2. Work constitutes an enormous slice of our lives in society in terms of time but also in terms of identity.  Society in the Mediterranean world of the New Testament had a general classification of people as slave or free.  Our application bridge today for the text is to read for insight as employees or as employers.

God wants you to know that WHO you work for makes all the difference!  When we work for Jesus our Lord:

We are responsive to our employers.  Vs. 22

We go beyond “eye service” and “people-pleasing.”  Vs. 22

Our work style is characterized by sincerity, singleness of heart, and passion.  Vs. 24

No matter the job, it is a job done in service of Jesus.   Vs. 24

No matter the job, it is a job done in service to Jesus.   Therefore it is worth doing with attentiveness and excellence.  Vs. 23  (In a free society we are also called upon to weigh out the matters of integrity between the Lordship of Jesus and what we invest our lives in as work.)

3. When Jesus is the boss, you can count on a reward—an eternal reward.

“…you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”  Col 3:24
4. We all, employees and employers, stand before Jesus as He judges what we have done.  Vs. 3:25, 4:1  Salvation is according to grace.  Judgment is according to works.  God impartially judges employees and employers—no favoritism.

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:9-10

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God.”  1Pet4:17

5. Question:  What does the quality and the attitude of your work reveal about the allegiance of your heart?

6. Take action:  The critical distinction between the community of Christians and society is the issue of “Who’s the boss?”  Set apart Christ as Lord (1 Peter 3:15)  The apostolic instruction on living in society flows from instruction on living in Christian community.

Christ is your life.   New community in Christ.   Households & Society.

Col 3:1-8                           Col. 3:7-16 Col                        3:18-4:1

People grow in Christ when they are ready, especially when they already have two ways of life in place:  1.  relationships with the community of Christ—the church and 2.  habitual life in the word of Christ.

“ Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another …  Col 3:15-16