The Kingdom of God is Not a Hobby

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

When you are under the employ of someone, yes, you work for them. Yet, Paul reminds us that we work ultimately for Christ. And as such, we work heartily because our ultimate Lord and Boss watches us, fuels us, and shows us that everything we do is for His glory and the good of those around us–even the most mundane of things. 

When we serve as chairs of our teams, that counts as well. These roles are not mere hobbies but must be on the front burner! If you put pencils in the pencil holders on the back of the pews, it counts! Do it to the glory of God! If you dust the furniture, dust to the glory of God! 

The more we understand that working for the Lord is not relegated to missions or pastoral work but to every piece of energy we put to something, we are serving Christ.

One of the roles and goals of discipleship is a two-headed training in ministry and marketplace. Yes, we train folks to minister in the church and vocationally, but we must (MUST) train people to be Christ and serve Christ in their jobs, in their personal hobbies, in their day-to-day lives. We need Christians who are visible in these areas. The kingdom of God is not a weekend hobby, but a lifestyle.

To relegate the Kingdom of God’s work to one day (or even one hour) per week is to miss the entire point of what God work in us. Whether we work or play, whether we go to our 40-hour-a-week job or go to church, we work and expend our physical, emotional, relational, mental, and spiritual energy intentionally to the glory of God.

Takeaways:

  1. When we do anything, we do everything to God’s glory and not for man’s approval.
  2. Christ shows us the eternal aspect of all we do.
  3. Churches must raise up disciples for those in ministry and those in the marketplace, knowing that God has raised them to serve in both lanes.
  4. We refuse to categorize our lives–all of our lives are lives lived unto Christ as His disciples.

Sunday Sermon: Christ, Our Good Shepherd (Psalm 23)

As opposed to last week when Winn preached on a very long Psalm 22, we now turn to a short, familiar, and precious Psalm to many over the centuries: Psalm 23. The familiarity of this Psalm speaks much to the comfort it provides in all stages of life. Some of you learned this psalm as a child, which speaks to how picturesque and accessible this psalm is. Some of you have this on your wall. Many of us hear this read at funerals, either in person or, oddly enough, on TV and in movies.

Given that the Lord is our shepherd, this means that we are His sheep. Our good shepherd, Jesus Christ, tells us that the sheep are His while the goats are not (Matthew 25:31-46). He also warns us of wolves who come in pretending to be sheep, but who want to harm the fold. Elsewhere, in John 10, he warns us about the thieves and strangers who try to slip in.

The LORD is our shepherd. The eternal, transcendent God is our shepherd. When I was starting out in ministry, my pastor would have be help him with funerals—either pray or read Scripture. He coached me in reading Psalm 23 by saying, “The Lord is my shepherd—I shall not want! He makes me to lie down in green pastures,” etc.

Yet, this Psalm is not primarily about us, but it’s about God. Are we the beneficiaries having him as our Shepherd? Absolutely!

Sunday Sermon: Christ, the Giver of Grace (Ephesians 4:7-16)

One word that plays prominently in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is the word “grace.” In every chapter, and almost every paragraph, Paul alludes to grace in a myriad of ways. When I was growing up in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, the teachers would remind us that the word “grace” is defined with the acronym of the word: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. Another definition is that grace is receiving that which you do not deserve. What we do not deserve is that a holy God would consider and look upon us who have who have failed him and rebelled against him and willingly said, “God, I want no part of you”—and provide His Son? The One offended provides the means to reconcile?

Yet, as we continue on, we see that grace extends further than God’s saving work. Grace is laced all through the passage this morning. Christ gives grace for all aspects of the Christian and Christian life. How important is that for us to understand! I think too many of us believed grace was just for coming to Christ, then we turn around and believe it is all a life we do in our own power. Christ gives grace at the beginning, Christ gives grace in our life, and Christ gives grace until the end.

Why is this so important? Because if you only believe that this “amazing grace” of which we sing exists just to get you into heaven and keep you from the hot place (hell), you will not see Christ as one who day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute fills us, fuels us, and feeds us. Toward what end? To the end of equipping for growth and unity and knowledge and sharing of the things of Christ.

Forgetting this Part of Acts 1:8 Shows Why the Church Struggles

Missions-minded churches know Acts 1:8 cold–or do we? In this Ramp-Up, we need reminding of the most important part of the last verse we have before Jesus ascended back to the Father. Let’s talk about that.

To listen to the podcast, click here: https://anchor.fm/bemakexsend/episodes/S2–E7-Forgetting-this-Part-of-Acts-18-is-Why-the-Church-Struggles-ev58vl