Work, Money and Lifestyle The first thing we need to understand… Who am I? Who is Steve? a husband a dad British a Christian white Discuss in groups… Which of these is most visible? Which is most important? Who are you?
Work, Money and Lifestyle The first thing we need to understand… Who am I? Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is what defines us – every day of the week and every hour of the day!
Work, Money and Lifestyle Living out our new identity Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) So we are to live out our new identity everywhere and at all times
Work, Money and Lifestyle This session is about what it means to live out our new identity: in our work with our money in our lifestyle
Work, Money and Lifestyle 1. Living as Christians in the workplace By ‘workplace’ we mean ‘wherever we work’ – that may mean home, school/ college or paid employment Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 2:22-24) Discuss in groups… What does this tell us about the Christian at work?
Work, Money and Lifestyle 1. Living as Christians in the workplace Some principles We are working for the Lord It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 2:24) Our work has purpose: It is God’s will for us – he made us to be workers The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15) To pay the bills (if you are being paid!) To be a witness for Christ to the world
Work, Money and Lifestyle 1. Living as Christians in the workplace How can we be a witness for Christ in the workplace? Doing a great job Showing Christian character: how you speak timekeeping expenses! Speaking up Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15) Making yourself visible – and a reminder to you Getting people to pray for you!
Work, Money and Lifestyle 2. Living as Christians with our money The last thing to be converted?! We may be embarrassed to talk about it, but the Bible isn’t! The key principle: Everything we have comes from the Lord But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (1 Chronicles 29:14) That means we are accountable to God for the way we use it – whether we give it or keep it!
Work, Money and Lifestyle 2. Living as Christians with our money Old Testament giving: Giving tithes (one tenth of everything) Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. (Deuteronomy 14:22) New Testament giving: Freewill giving Jesus sat down… and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny... Jesus said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on. (Mark 12:41-44)
Work, Money and Lifestyle 2. Living as Christians with our money Discuss in groups… What do you think are the New Testament principles for giving? Some principles for giving: Generous (how much do you think that might mean?) Whole-hearted Planned Like Jesus!
Work, Money and Lifestyle 2. Living as Christians with our money But just as you excel in everything… see that you also excel in this grace of giving… For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:7,9) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver… As it is written: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)
Work, Money and Lifestyle 2. Living as Christians with our money Who should we give to? The New Testament suggests: Gospel ministry In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14) The poor – especially Christians For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. (Romans 15:26-27) If we are committed to a church (and we should be!), most of our giving should be done through the church
Work, Money and Lifestyle 3. Living as Christians in our lifestyle The Bible does not give us instructions about every detail of our lifestyle – we have freedom to live according to the principles that God has given us So again, it’s a question of living out our identity
Work, Money and Lifestyle 3. Living as Christians in our lifestyle People worry about a lot of things the Bible says don’t matter at all! So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-34) Eating Clothes Appearance The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Work, Money and Lifestyle 3. Living as Christians in our lifestyle What does the Bible say does matter? Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4) Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
Questions to discuss Ask about anything you found hard to follow Do you need to do anything in response to what you’ve heard this evening? Work, Money and Lifestyle