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Step 10: Work


Next Steps are designed to help us grow as Christians in two categories: God's Mission and God's Word. 

←Mission→ Look out to the world; look in at our lives. 


Mission Training Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44

What compelled this man to sell everything he had—his house, his possesses, his clothes, his family heirlooms, and his prized possessions? He was compelled by the value of the treasure in the field. He recognized the treasure was worth far more than everything he had. Jesus said, this is like the kingdom of God. God is infinitely more valuable and glorious than anything else in life, more than gaining than the whole world. This parable is a picture of someone becoming a Christian when they see God’s glory and do anything to be with God.

The deepest motivation for evangelism is love for God. In other words, we evangelize because God is most glorious and we want to spread the knowledge and enjoyment of his glory to all people. In simpler terms we could think of evangelism as a “recommendation”. When we experience the glorious value of God we cannot help but commend God’s worth to others. Evangelize in a way that commends God as one of infinitely more value and enjoyment than anything else in this world.


Accountability Last time we set a goal to share our testimony with one or more persons from our prayer list. How did that go? Celebrate any victories and encourage one another to keep striving to share Christ's love and gospel with those around you! 


Goals & PrayerLooking at your prayer list, choose at least one person. How will you share Christ with them in the next two weeks (examples: share your testimony, share the gospel, invite them to church, study First Steps, etc.)? Share the name of the person you choose and the goal you’ve set. Pray for these goals and for one another.


↑Word↓ Look up to God's Word; look down to our lives. 


Gather Together Around God’s Word: Next Steps 10 - Work

Work is what we spend the majority of our waking adult life doing. Whether it is a salary job, a part-time job, school, raising children, or house work, these are activities that occupy the majority of our schedules and consume most of our energy. What does the Bible have to say about our work?

1. Work was created by God for us
Genesis 1:28 & 2:15 “[28] And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ... [28] The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
-In God's original, flawless creation of the world, God created work and gave it as a gift to humans. 
-Work will continue to exist in the New Creation--heaven.
-God created humans to work. Thus, work can give us joy and fulfillment, while laziness leads to depression.

2. Work was corrupted by the Fall
Genesis 3:17-19 “[17] And to Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; [18] thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. [19] By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’"
-As a result of sin the world is now broken. Work now is difficult--for example, thorns and sweat for the farmer. 
-Work is frustrating, toilsome, and seldom goes as well as we hope. Human's hearts and motivations regarding work are also broken.
-The frustration of work leads our hearts to hope for future redemption in Jesus (see Romans 8:18-25).

3. Work has been redeemed through Jesus Christ
God did not abandon us, but sent his Son Jesus as a redeemer to fix this broken world. The redemption of creation is partially experienced now through Jesus and will one day be fully restored (see Revelation 21-22). Though it is a difficult struggle, it is now possible to experience satisfaction, meaning, and purpose in our daily work lives through Jesus.

Our Work is a Meaningful Calling
-God provides for the needs of his creation.
-Psalm 145:15-16 “[15] The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. [16] You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
-He does this through the daily work of human beings--from the farmer who harvests the rice, to the truck driver who transports it, to the agent who advertises it, to the retail clerk who sells it. Thus, by doing our work, no matter how simple, we are participating in God's care for his creation.
-From the beginning God has called humans to be caretakers of his creation, stewarding it and mastering it for the benefit of mankind (see Genesis 1:28 above).

Discussion: How is your job a means for God to provide for his creation?

All Kinds of Work are Dignified
-All work has dignity and value because it is all God's work, caring for creation, and needed.
-For example, if you or someone didn't clean your house disease would spread and you would die. The same is true for all sanitation jobs.
-If you work for a company or in a factory that produces some small product, provides a service, or sells things that makes people's lives a little better, it does not matter if the process is boring because you are participating in God's care for his creation in the manner than he has given for you to do.
-You are apart of something much bigger than yourself and even then your job, title, or company.

We work for God
-Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…"
-1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

We work by God's strength
-1 Peter 4:11 “...whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Conclusion
What does it mean to be a good Christian pilot? Land the plane! What does it mean to be a good Christian  (insert any job)  ? Do your job with excellence to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind.

Take the step!
How do you need to change your mindset about your work? 
How do you need to change how your actions at work?


Fellowship How is everyone doing? What was the most significant event in the past two weeks? Is there something heavy upon your heart? Does anyone need prayer?