February 19, 2023 

Message Big Idea

Often work is seen as a necessary evil, something to be begrudgingly done and completed as soon as possible. Yet, what if God intended something different for humanity? What if, in fact, humanity was meant for good labor and the fall corrupted our relationship to work? This yields a more robust theology of work in which any task, no matter how mundane, can be done for the glory of God. With this change of perspective, we can begin to transform our children’s, our friends’, and our fellow workers’ visions for work, foreshadowing the good labor that awaits us in the New Heaven and New Earth.

Lean In

  • What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
  • Tell everyone where you work and describe the work you do.  Do you have any work stories you would like to share?  Are they positive or negative?

Look Down

  • Have different people read the following verses aloud in your group: Genesis 1:1-5; Genesis 1:24-28; Genesis 2:8, 15; Genesis 3:17-19
  • Take a moment to briefly retell the passages in your own words.
  • What words or phrases “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?

Look Out

  • How is work generally characterized in our culture?  Is it good?  Is it bad?  Is it necessary?  Do these characterizations change based on cultural or generational differences?  How does your definition of work compare with the worldly definition?
  • Now, consider how work is understood in a Christian context.  Does it differ much from the trends discussed in the previous question?  

Look In

  • Does observing God as a worker in Genesis change your perspective regarding work? 
  • Reflect on how the nature of work has been corrupted as a result of humanity’s sinfulness (Gen. 3:17-19).  Discuss the tension of work as a good human function while also recognizing it as a cursed endeavor.  How do we live in that tension today?  Where do we place our hope?
  • Reformer, Martin Luther, famously said, “Every occupation has its own honor before God. Ordinary work is a divine vocation or calling. In our daily work no matter how important or mundane we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s on-going providence for the human race.” Furthermore, “God himself will milk the cows through him whose vocation that is.”  Consider the internal and external effects of such a perspective.  How is the Christian worker internally transformed, producing a different relationship with work?  How does the Christian worker, with a renewed work-worker relationship, transform the work itself, the workplace, and his or her fellow workers?

Live It Out

  • What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
  • Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
  • Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word.
  • This week, incorporate one or more of the following the habits Pastor Mark discussed in the message. Discuss your experience with the group next week.  
    • Talk about Work with Intentionality
    • Include Your Children in the Work of the Household
    • Invite Your Children to See Your Work
    • Serve Together as a Family
  • Spend some time meditating and praying in response to Colossians 3:22-24. Ask the Lord for a renewed relationship with your work. Set your hope upon God’s redemptive plan and the good work that awaits us in the New Earth.

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