MADE FOR MONDAY: WORK AS WORSHIP

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

In our Made For Monday series, we have discussed how God made work BEFORE the Fall and called it good; He worked, and created us to work. There is no division between the secular and sacred…everything you do, whether it is reading your Bible, praying, or changing a diaper, is sacred. This week, you learned that your work IS worship. If you view your work through the lens of Scripture, will that change the way you approach your work?

SCRIPTURE

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

GROUP QUESTIONS

What was your first paying job?

Read Romans 12:1-8. What is the “therefore” there for?

What do you think it means to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…”? Why is this a natural response to what Paul wrote about in the previous chapter?

Read Romans 6:13. How many times does Paul encourage you to “offer” yourself to God? Do you see any significance in the face that he repeated this three times (four, if you count Romans 12:1)?

What is worship?

Do you view the entirety of your daily life as “true and proper worship”? Why or why not?

What parts of your work can you easily see as worship? What parts of your work are difficult to be seen as worship?

What are some ways that you could worship God through your work this week?

APPLICATION

Pick at least three things that you answered in question 8 to begin to apply to your life at work this week.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The last three weeks we have looked at work, starting in Genesis with how God worked as He created the universe. While work is good, it is important to note that God also rested, and created us to do the same. One of the ways Satan has distorted work in our culture is by making it part of our identity, so much so that we work too much, and don’t experience the rest that God has commanded. Read the following verses; what do you learn about rest from these passages?

  • Genesis 2:2-3
  • Exodus 20:8-11
  • Psalm 127:2
  • Isaiah 58:13-14
  • Mark 2:23-28

Re-read Exodus 20:8-11. How do you feel about the fact that God commanded you to rest?

Read Mark 3:1-6 and Luke 13:10-17. If God commanded rest on the Sabbath, were the Pharisees right to question Jesus? Why or why not?

What is rest? Is it just not working, or does it encompass more than that?

List some practical ways you will begin to rest this week:

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MADE FOR MONDAY: SACRED WORK

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

The Greeks believed in a concept called dualism – the idea that the world contains both good and evil, reflected in the soul and body of man. Anything related to the soul was good, but anything related to the body was evil. For the Greek, only work associated with the soul mattered. We learned last week that this belief is wrong; God created us, before the Fall, to work. We are made in the image of God and are called to represent Him in this world. Missionary, parent, garbage collector, engineer, pastor, landscaper, secretary, teacher…all of these occupations are “full-time ministry” for those who follow Jesus.

SCRIPTURE

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

GROUP QUESTIONS

How would you answer the question, “What do you do?” without naming your occupation or job title?

Read Colossians 3:23-24. Do you think Christians should be the hardest-working people around because of this passage?

Do you view all work as “spiritual”? Why or why not?

What is the “inheritance from the Lord” received as a reward for working with all your heart?

Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17. Paul essentially repeats himself in these passages, saying that whatever you do, do it for God. What is your “whatever you do”? When is it more difficult for you during your “whatever you do” to remember that you are doing it for God?

What are the hardest aspects of your work? Imagine doing that least favorite part of your job for Jesus. How might it look different to “do everything for the glory of God”?

Because of the Fall, work can be toil…you can dread going to it each day. Or, you can work with joy knowing that what you do is worship to God. And sometimes, your work IS joy. Eric Liddell, whose story was told in the movie Chariots of Fire, explained to his sister why he chose to participate in the Olympics rather than immediately setting off for China as a missionary: “I believe God made me for a purpose – for China. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” What do you do that you feel God has made you to do…something that when you do it, you “feel His pleasure”?

Aaron spoke about integrating your faith and your work. In some cases, not only is it difficult to do so, but some are prohibited to talk about faith. What are some ways you can integrate your faith and work in these instances?

APPLICATION

Read through the following questions. Is this how you view your work? List specific ideas of ways you will view your work differently.

  • Do I intentionally practice the fruit of the spirit at my job so my co-workers see Christ in my life?
  • Do I do my work with diligence and an attitude of joy so that my co-workers and clients see that I pursue excellence?
  • Do I eat lunch with my co-workers or invite them to my home for dinner?
  • Am I a part of a work-place Bible study or prayer group?
  • Do I see myself as a missionary in the workplace?
  • Am I Christ-like in my relationships with co-workers and clients?

FOR FURTHER STUDY

From the following passages, list some of the ways you can show your faith to those with whom you work:

  • Proverbs 3:27-28
  • Ephesians 4:29
  • Philippians 2:14-16
  • Colossians 3:13
  • Colossians 4:5-6
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Paul had much to say about work. Read the following passages; according to Paul, why is work valuable to God?

  • Ephesians 4:28
  • Thessalonians 4:9-12
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
  • 1 Timothy 5:8
  • Titus 2:9-10

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MADE FOR MONDAY: DESIGNED FOR WORK

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

The average Christian will spend roughly 2% of life in prayer, 1% of life reading the Bible, and less than 1% of life at church. But 40% of a Christian’s life is spent at work, whether that be in the marketplace, in school, or at home. Aaron stated on Sunday that if you don’t know the story, it’s nearly impossible to know the right response. For that reason, we are going to spend the next three weeks looking at work through the lens of Scripture, seeking to answer one question… “As a follower of Jesus, how should you approach work?” To begin to answer this question, we need to understand the story that work fits into, so we’re beginning in the beginning – Genesis – to find out how God, our creator, views work.

SCRIPTURE

1:1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 31God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. 2:1The heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done. 15The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Genesis 1:1-5, 31; 2:1-3, 15

 GROUP QUESTIONS

If you never HAD to work again, what would you do with your time?

When you hear the word “work”, what comes to mind? How do you define “work”?

Read Genesis 1:1-2:2. Though we don’t often think of God and creation in this way, the Bible references God’s role in creation as “work” (Genesis 2:2). Discuss God’s attitude about His work.

Read Genesis 2:5-8. What do you notice about God’s intended purpose for man from these verses?

In the beginning, God worked. He rolled up His sleeves, put His hands in the dirt, and worked. Re-read Genesis 1:26-27. Since you were made in God’s image, what does that imply about work?

Read Genesis 2:15. At the very beginning, in a beautiful paradise-like garden, God gave Adam work. Why do you think God created us to work, rather than just live a life of ease?

God put Adam in Eden to “cultivate” and “keep” the garden (NASB). Aaron reminded us that the word “cultivate” means “to serve”, and the word “keep” means “to protect, to take care of, to manage, or to steward.” You were created by God to work to accomplish His Do you view your work this way? If not, what can you do to cultivate God’s creation as part of your job?

God declared His creation, which included work, “good”. What changed after creation that warped our view of work, making it seem like “toil”?

Read Genesis 3. After Adam and Eve sinned, part of the curse affected work (Genesis 3:17-19). Do you think that work is more difficult because of our own sin nature, or do you think that God made work itself more difficult?

Read 1 Corinthians 7:17. How difficult is it for you to see what you do as part of the calling that God has given to you?

APPLICATION

What would happen if you saw your work like God sees it? If you understood that God made you for work, would that change your attitude about work? Would it change your objectives or approach to your work? If you were to view your work (no matter what type of work you do) through the lens of Scripture, as a gift from God, given to you by God to accomplish the purposes of God, what would happen?

This week, list the attitudes and actions you would like to change regarding your work. Ask the Spirit to help you make these changes.

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SIFTED: HOPE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Last week, after all of Job’s questions, we looked at God’s response – “I am God, and you are not!” Job’s only response was to confess and repent. The greater you understand who God is, the more aware you become of your own humanity and limitations. The better you understand the holiness of God, the better you understand your need for mercy and grace. As Aaron mentioned last week, “We might not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!” Let’s look at this last chapter of Job and discover the hope in the midst of suffering.

SCRIPTURE

1Then Job replied to the Lord: 2“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” 7After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about Me, as My servant Job has. 8So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. 10After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17And so Job died, an old man and full of years.  Job 42

GROUP QUESTIONS

Who has been a spiritual hero in your life (you can’t say “Jesus”!)?

Read Job 42:1-6. In your own words, describe Job’s mental and emotional state of mind?

Not everyone who suffers will regain what was lost, but this passage implies that there is hope. What is that hope?

Read Job 42:7-9. Why was God angry with Job’s friends? What did he ask them to do to about it? What picture do you see in Job being the intercessor for his friends? (Hint – see Romans 8:34.)

Read Job 42:10-13. Why do you think Job’s brothers and sisters, along with “everyone who had known him before” showed up to offer their support after he had been restored?

God increased all that Job had twofold and his latter days were blessed more than his beginning days. What significance is there, if any, in the fact that God multiplied Job’s possessions but not the number of his children?

Thinking about your personal walk with the Lord, would you say that your latter days have been blessed more than your beginning days?

As a group, reflect on this study of Job. What have you learned about worshipping, integrity, comforting, understanding, and hope in the midst of suffering?

APPLICATION

How can you now see a hope-filled life for yourself if you are in a season of suffering? Or during the next time you endure suffering? List some practical steps that you can take that you have learned during this study of Job.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

On Sunday Joe stated that suffering creates humility, opportunity, and hope. Look up the following Scriptures about humility. Put a check beside the ones that you find most difficult to follow. Ask God to help you find humility in areas where you are lacking it. List an opportunity that you missed because you struggle with humility OR a situation where humility could present an opportunity for you to show the love of Christ.

  • Matthew 5:44
  • Luke 6:35-36
  • Philippians 2:3
  • Philippians 2:4
  • Hebrews 13:2

When you suffer, there are people left in the wake of your pain. Think through the times you have suffered and the people who have been there for you, and the people who have not. Are there any relationships that need to be restored? Take the opportunity now to seek reconciliation.

Joe shared that even in the midst of suffering, there are opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ. If you are currently in the midst of suffering, how can you minister to someone else?

Read Titus 2:12-13. What ultimately is our “Blessed Hope”?

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