Last week I had the privilege of being part of a panel with some friends discussing work and the Kingdom of God. I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the past year and reflecting on how we as the people of God have such an opportunity to be influencers in the market place where we serve God through the vocational role that we fulfill every day.
To have a job in our society is so much more than to simply have a job.
The value of work extends beyond our own lives and actually impacts the lives of so many others around us. Its enables families to provide a place of refuge through having a home, it enables us to pay our taxes and bills, buy food and provide for our children to be educated. It enables us to bless our local communities and have friends around for a meal. It enables us to be generous and release finances to help provide for the family of God and the local mission that we are a part of. As we bless small businesses and purchase their local goods and produce, those businesses are then supported and are able to continue to provide for the local community that we are part of, meet its needs and provide jobs.
Work is a good thing – its a gift from God.
I wonder if we really understood the depth and the importance of the call of God upon our daily lives –to go an make disciples – would our outlook every day be somewhat different when we are in our workplace 9 to 5?
Maybe we would see the people around us as more than simply work colleagues but actually people in whom we are to really value, serve, disciple and love in all that we do. Maybe we would see that our work place is part of our journey each day with Jesus and an avenue that provides opportunity to build friendships and deeper relationships. A place where we can sow seeds as people are touched by the Kingdom of God and His presence with us as we minister and release our gifts to bless them. Maybe we would see more of the Kingdom of God breaking out as we break out beyond the professional mould of our culture that tries to hem us in and lead us to portray a different image to the one that we have been created to be and reflect – the image of God.
As we weave in and out through the spaces and places where we work and journey with different people every day it can sometimes be a real challenge for us to bring Jesus into the conversation. It’s much easier to hide who we really are, to keep the professional image at the fore and the vulnerability of deeper relationships at bay. Maybe its “me” is more of the problem that inhibits the Kingdom of God breaking out with those around due to fear or worry about what others will really think or how it will affect ones reputation. But deep under the surface people want to talk about their lives, understand the meaning to life and share the brokenness that they feel.
Everyday our Heavenly Father wants to speak to His people – the question I’ve been asking is “are we really listening to him, desiring to be obedient and follow him as he leads us into the lives of others to share the gospel story”? If our lives have been transformed so much with our encounter with the King – then surely we should be shouting it out from the roof top so that everyone can hear the good news?
The gospel is good news – such good news – its the best news we could ever read about or share with another!
We have the potential to impact a whole community and bring change to a city or a nation through the simplicity of our everyday 9 to 5 job. So many opportunities to sow seeds every day, seeds that carry the gospel message. Our work is never in vain. Someday all of this sowing will reap a plentiful harvest. As the family of God works together, we can accomplish so much more than we could ever do on our own. If we remain faithful in our obedience, in our daily walk with the King, play our part amongst the lives of others we serve in the market place, we enable more of the Kingdom of God to be released and those around us get to experience and encounter more of the presence of God.
We may never know when or where someone may come to know Jesus in a personal way but we can be confident of this – that for every seed sown our God is about a work of establishing his Kingdom through ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things for Him when its 9 to 5.