I recently wrote three posts for the Kern Pastors Network on the broad topic of work and the gospel. Below are the posts and a brief description of each.
I’m thankful for the Kern Family Foundation, which has partnered with Southern Seminary on a major grant to bring significant programming on the intersection of faith and work to our campus. I’m part of the steering committee of this project and am really enjoying writing and thinking about these topics.
Psalm 104:24-25 hums with praise to the Creator for the beauty, the sheer aesthetic grandeur, of this world: “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.” This psalm isn’t just stating the fact of creation. It’s celebrating the spine-tingling, hair-singeing, mind-exploding intelligence of the Lord.
From it, we should contemplate our own intelligence, and how God has made us little pictures of himself. This should unleash wave after wave of inspiration, creativity, and delight in thinking, planning, strategizing, implementing, and working.
Being godly does not mean that you will necessarily be wealthy. God makes no such guarantees in the Bible. …God is clearly not opposed to wealth, even tremendous wealth. He is pleased to grant it to some of his followers. This means, I think, that he is not opposed to what you could call a “normal” lifestyle. If we’re giving sacrificially out of love for Christ from our earnings, I think God is pleased with us.
Work does not need to be a bore or an obsession. If we adopt biblical categories, we can punch the gas, not the clock. We can build something invigorating. We can dream big, make bold plans, and aggressively pursue a vision for our lives that makes maximal use of our God-given gifts and passions. God has given us the opportunity to work not for temporal, fading things, but for the advancement of the gospel of his Kingdom. When we use our gifts, and when we speak and act in our vocations as distinctly gospel-captivated people, we do just that: we advance his reign and rule.
This material represents an expansion of my writing in Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome (Thomas Nelson, 2013), which is my attempt to re-enchant our daily work from a gospel perspective.