Weekly Devotional: "Work"

This devotional is based on Jeff Purswell's sermon, Work, given on August 21, 2016.

 

Day 1: Our work glorifies God

Quotes:

  • “Our work, our jobs, our careers, the tasks to which God has called us, they are not a diversion from serving God. They are serving God!” Jeff Purswell

Questions and Reflections:

  • What emotions and thoughts characterize your response to work? Why?
  • Why do we sometimes think of our work as a distraction from glorifying God? How does God receive glory from tasks we would consider mundane?
  • Which of God’s attributes does your job allow you to emulate most?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Read Isaiah 28:23-29 and consider the wisdom of God reflected in farming. Thank God for allowing us to reflect his glory through our work. Ask God to reveal how your work uniquely reflects his glory.

 

Day 2: Our work enables us to love and serve others

Quotes:

  • “Martin Luther called a person’s vocation a “mask” of God. By that he meant that God is behind wearing your vocation, as it were a mask. He’s behind those things, caring for his creation, providing for his creation, providing for the needs of his creatures through the hands, and the labors, and the intellect, and the efforts of his people. He’s really just reflecting the Psalmist who peered behind the mundane mechanics of the world to see God behind the mechanics.” Jeff Purswell
  • “Focusing on others as the object of your work will transform your work” Jeff Purswell

Questions and Reflections:

  • How does your job serve as a “mask” of God? How does God use it to serve others?
  • What is the object of your focus at work? How does it affect your attitude, diligence, and response towards others?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Look at how intimately God cares for his creation in Psalm 145:14-16. Praise God that he uses us in such a holy, beautiful, and righteous way! Thank God for working through you to bless others. Ask God to fill you zeal for your work through the power of his Spirit, that you may do your job well for his great glory and the good of others.

 

Day 3: Our work sanctifies us

Quotes:

  • “For all the importance of work, for all the nobility of work, it’s not always a soaring experience, is it? We don’t always leave our workplace thinking, ‘Made in the image of God! Subdued the world today! Loved my neighbor today!’” Jeff Purswell
  • "It’s not just a bad day, ok? It’s a day when God is at work to shape you to expose impatience or laziness or my love of reputation or my anxiety or my self-sufficiency; that this all depends on me. It’s an opportunity to take your eyes off that and to lift your eyes to the One who alone gives success. We looked last week at Psalm 127. Unless the Lord builds the house or makes the meal or delivers the product, we labor in vain. So what is that meant to do? Say, ‘Forget it, it’s not worth it’? No! It’s meant to lift our eyes and say ‘Lord, please give blessing, and through this, help me to know you more and trust you more.’” Jeff Purswell

Questions and Reflections:

  • What are the greatest or most regular sources of frustration at your workplace? How do they serve as opportunities for greater trust in God?
  • At the end of the day, God is our boss. He’s the one we’re working for. How is this fact meant to comfort us, empower us, and warn us?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Psalm 127:1-2 is a good reminder that sin has deeply infected our work. It cannot bear fruit apart from God. Ask God to help you more intentionally and consistently depend on him in the midst of your work. Ask him to remind you to call upon him when you are frustrated, so that he may generously pour his grace upon you.

 

Group Discussion Questions:

  • Revisiting Jeff’s question, “What comes to mind when you think about work?”
  • What is your most common response to a friend, spouse, or family member when asked about your workday? What does it reveal about your faith in God’s use of that gift you’ve been given?
  • Are there coworkers, clients, or supervisors that God has led you into a closer relationship with? What are you doing to approach these relationships with a Kingdom mindset?
  • What are specific ways the group can pray for you in your workplace this coming week? Try not to focus on tasks at hand, but instead redirect your requests towards finding specific ways to give glory to God.