Part 2 of 2: Today we focus on 1 Thess. 4.12, where Paul gives clarity as to the why behind his instructions around work: so that we can demonstrate a different way of living, and be dependent on no one. However, the unfortunate reality in our culture today is that you can work – even full-time – and still be dependent, due to stagnating wages and rising costs of living, particularly in our city. The sobering reality is that the challenges of finding good work for many in our society, particularly since the Great Recession, has led to significant increases in drug use and overdoses, alcoholism, and suicides. People despair when they can’t find dignity in their work. This presents (1) an incredible opportunity for the church to be the agent of hope and light it is designed to be, and (2) a particular call for business owners and supervisors who declare that Jesus is King, to exemplify true discipleship in the way they employ and supervise!
The subject of calling can be a confusing one. In common vernacular we talk about “finding our calling” and it mostly has to do with following our dreams. Many of us can feel a sense of angst if we haven’t “found” it. But if there’s a calling, then there is a caller. And if there […]
Paul continues his 2nd missionary journey, and travels to Athens, the birthplace of modern western thought and democracy. In a proud city of extraordinary architecture, art, and culture – one designed to display its great history, people, and ideas, Paul becomes “greatly distressed” by what he observes – in a way reminiscent of God himself, whenever God-given artistry and ability is not attributed and celebrated as grace and gifts from him alone. Since Paul has been transformed by Jesus himself, he is able to deeply understand Athens, and at the same time love Athens with the love of Jesus himself. In so doing, he gives us a clear example of how to engage in our highly nuanced, pluralist culture… blank Starbucks holiday cups and all.
While most cultures recognize the power of intentional relationships between someone with mastery in a particular field and an apprentice, this approach for development is often neglected here in Denver. Investing in another person can be time consuming, messy and threatening when those we train excel. In this message we explore Paul’s commitment to apprentice Timothy in order to discover some compelling reasons to engage in apprenticing others as Paul and, more importantly, Jesus did.
Often we begin our careers with high aspirations and hopes, but “reality” often collides with our dreams. The early disciples – who witnessed their Master die on a cross – must have felt the same: a crushing disappointment. Yet, as the early church remembered Jesus’s death and resurrection with wine and bread, the eucharist, their suffering was transformed into words and deeds that gave life to their neighbors. In this message, Jeff Haanen shows how our daily work can be transformed in light of Jesus’s gift of His body “for the life of the world.”
Any look at “living out the gospel” is vastly incomplete without diving into the world of work. We often have a view of work that’s too self-centric: either we hold a defeatist view where we expect the worst and believe work is a natural evil to be endured until each successive Friday evening; or we […]
Slavery, hunger, sex trafficking, addictions, broken relationships… Have you noticed how many things on our globe are not as they should be? When God decides it is time to renovate a portion of earth so it looks more like heaven He typically does so through His children. Nehemiah wept, prayed and worked with God and others to overturn the “great trouble and shame” in Jerusalem. He embraced God’s assignment for his generation. Will you listen and trust God to do the same for yours?
While there are many challenges we face in our employment, one of the most difficult is when we are treated unjustly. In this message Dan Kaskubar points out that, except for rare situations, God’s general pattern is for Christ followers to follow the humble example of our Lord Jesus who “did not revile … and did not threaten… but entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”