Have you ever asked yourself this question? I recently ran across a good booklet, put out by Ministry in the Marketplace, Inc. They suggest 5 Principles related to the question - WHY WORK?
In this and the next 4 postings of Rivers Not Reservoirs, I am going to 'publish' these five Principals.
You do not work to earn a living.
There is no cause/effect relationship between
how hard you work and how much you make.
There is no intrinsic value in the product of your work.
Significance is not found in the kind of work you do.
You can contribute nothing to the work of God.
You do not work to earn a living
The Bible gives two fundamental reasons for going to work: First, God commands it; and second, it is an environment (but not the only environment) in which the believer can represent Jesus Christ. The Christian does not work to earn a living. It is God who provides for his needs. The Bible is abundantly clear on this issue as illustrated by the words of our Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:24-34).
The Greek word merimnao appears nineteen times in the New Testament, six of which are found in the Matthew 6:25-34 passage. Kittel’s book Theological Dictionary of The New Testament defines this word as “to care for something or someone.” In Matthew 6:25, it is translated, “take no thought for” (kjv) and “do not be anxious about” (rsv). It is contrasted with verse 33, where the believer is urged to concentrate his attention on “the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” confident that God will provide needs such as food, drink, and clothing (our “living”).
The apostle Paul summarized Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 6 with these words: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Suppose a pastor said, “The reason I do the best job I can in my sermon preparation is in hope that the church board will give me an increase in salary. I am a pastor because I need to earn a living. When I have speaking opportunities outside of the church, I make my selection as to where I will go on the basis of who will pay the highest honorarium. As a matter of fact, I hope to become well-known so that I can increase my speaking fees.”
In hearing this you would no doubt conclude that he is in the wrong vocation, preaching the gospel for “filthy lucre” (1 Peter 5:2).
All believers are in “full-time Christian work.” The only difference between the layman and the vocational Christian worker is how they fund their ministry and where they minister. The pastor derives his income from his ministry and ministers within an organization—the church. The layman funds himself in his work and ministers in the marketplace.
A frequently heard objection to this is the apostle Paul’s counsel in ... CONTINUE READING
Ministry in the Marketplace, Inc.
7982 Hillcrest Trail
Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
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