string(7) "m-66998" Burnt Hickory Baptist Church


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Jul 23, 2023

The Calling

The Calling

Passage: Ephesians 6:5-9

Speaker: Marty Godfrey

Series: Together | In Him & For Him

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, faith, jesus, sunday, god, service, sermon, christian, bible, christ, hope, new testament, work, sermons, paul, calling, fellowship, purpose, ephesians, stronger, jesus christ, the bible, lord, christianity, bible study, speaker, sacred, glorify god, faith and work, transformed life, honor god, study the bible, bible teaching, your work matters to god, 2023, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, bibly study, facts about, sacred calling, god's blessings on work

As we conclude our sermon series through Ephesians, we look at chapter 6 and the idea that our work matters to God. What we do for a vocation is ordained by God at creation before the fall – to work in relationship with each other, to meet needs, and to be fruitful and multiply. In modern times, we have separated the sacred from the secular, keeping work and Christina life distinct, when in reality, our vocation is our calling from God. As we seek God’s approval, we get to serve others through our interactions at work. Your eternal rewards are given by God based on your work here on earth, so your work matters to him. How are you using your job as your calling? Who do you do your job for? What’s your next step to wrap the secular into the sacred at work? If you’ve got questions, we’d love to connect with you, answer any questions you might have, and take time to pray with you – so reach out today. You can take the next step in your faith journey by visiting

Well, good morning, Burn Hickory. How's everybody this morning? Well, hey, let me. I just want to give you a shout out to start off with some of you know that early this year I went in for my annual physical. The doctor said, Hey, you're in great shape for a guy your age. And so I'm like, Awesome, Well, good. Another year. And then just two weeks later, I ended up with some emergency open heart surgery, which wasn't very exciting to be in, but it went well. And then just on the heels of that, my mom passed away. And I just wanted to let you know how much that you've meant to me during this time. Your kind thoughts and words, notes, meals. I'm still trying to lose the weight that I gained from the meals. It was that homemade bread and then the desserts. And it's just Becky and me now. So. And the dangers of working from home during that time is when you pass through the kitchen, you have to stop. And of course, I was trying to keep Becky away from temptation, so I ate way too many desserts and they kept coming every day. It was like heaven. I mean, it was cool, except I gained weight. Never. Maybe not. Anyway, so. And hey, the fun part was during that four week period afterwards, Becky got to drive me around and the doctor had me sit in the backseat. So that the air bag wouldn't go off and hurt me. So anyway, man, that was a life. If you saw us going around the community, me sit in the backseat and Becky tooling me around is pretty cool, actually. So not bad. Not bad. But I am doing well. I mean, I'm doing cardio rehab. And they said I'm a poster child for how I'm working. And so that's a cool thing. So thank you for all that you've done and what you've meant to our family. Appreciate that.

Hey, today we are going to close our study in the Book of Ephesians, and then next week Matt will start on a brand new sermon series, which I'm excited about. So just a little refresher where we came from. Ephesus, if you have been, you know, a couple of years ago, we started some trips that are available to you to last you the Holy Land. This year, Paul's Missionary Journeys in Greece. Next March will be the Holy Land again. And so let me just encourage you, if you're in a position to do that, I mean, don't wait till the end of your life to do it. Do it now where you have some spiritual enrichment that you're going to enjoy in the years to come, that's going to be awesome. But hey, one of my favorite places to go is Ephesus. It's in Turkey and there are some incredible ruins. Like, here's one of them. This is the little Celsius library. It was one of the three largest in the world when it was built right there with Alexandria and so it is really amazing. Ephesus was actually the second largest city in the Roman Empire during this time behind Rome itself. And so there was a lot of wealth there, Paul, as he normally did. He went into the area in Ephesus. Now, Paul was not a professional evangelist. Like he didn't drive up in his Cadillac and then preach, take up an offering and then blow out. Okay. He actually came in. He was a tentmaker. He spent three years there.

His next picture is something in Roman everyday life. It's called the Agora. And this was the market place. Looks a little bit different, it doesn't have a roof on it now in some things, but this is where the trades hung out. And so Paul would have been selling tents from right down through here. So his mode of operation was to go in, to sell tents, and as he did, to take the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was such a great model. And then on weekends starting a church and then growing that church with his teachings, and then as he would leave, he would put someone in charge. Timothy was in charge of absence. Then he would write back to them. Now, a cool thing here that took place is that the Gospel was taking hold because of Paul's influence so much. There was this temple there, to Diana, It was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, and people would come there. Well, the silversmiths were getting rich with selling these small idols that they would make. Well, the gospel was taking hold so much that it was taking a bite out of their sales. And so there in the Book of Acts, we see where the silversmith kind of created a riot and they said, Man, let's get Paul. He's got to quit this stuff. And so this next picture, actually where the theater at the end of the Agora, held like 25,000 folks. They ended up down there with a couple of Paul's buddies as they had a chat. They thought they could squelch Christianity. But guess what? They couldn't. And they did. So pretty neat. The gospel took root there in a major way. Paul writes the book of Ephesians back as he usually did with his books. The first half of it, the first three chapters, dealt with doctrine and some great stuff. As you've heard through our messages this summer, the last three deal with application. So we've looked at unity in church as an application, we've looked at husband, wife relationships, parent relationships. And so today we're going to look at different relationships. If you look in Ephesians six and verses five through nine, you'll see that this is addressed as slaves and their masters. Here in Ephesus, slavery was a bit different than what we saw. It was a large percentage. And basically what would happen is they built the Roman Empire, they would go in and they would win a battle. They would bring back the most talented from that culture and the soldiers.

Now, the Romans didn't like to work too much. They loved the spoils and the riches. So they would let these indentured servants actually run the businesses and the operation. So they came in. They were bankers and lawyers and different things. Oftentimes more educated than their owners were. And so they actually could own land. They got paid. They could actually buy their own freedom. As many did before they reached 30 years old. And so as we look at this today, let's look at the words that Paul has written. He is helping them to see, even though there's this relationship between them, that they are really serving the same person. Beginning in verse five, slaves obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ and then obey them not only to win their favor when their eyes are on you, but as slaves of Christ do in the will of God from your heart. So serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not people. Because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slaves or free. And masters treat you slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them. Since you know that he who is both their master and yours is in heaven and there is no favoritism with him.

So while Paul doesn't address the social structure of slavery, always in Paul's writing and throughout the Bible, there were strong scriptures and principles that undermined slavery in every respect, In fact, the entire Bible is a story of redemption. Redemption, the word means to buy out of slavery. So as a result, Christians have always been on the forefront of ending slavery, leading the charge Paul himself and he also wrote the book of Philemon addressing Onesimus, who had escaped and had become a believer. In modern day, we had more. If you've heard William Wilberforce, who was a member of English Parliament, became a believer and then was convinced from Scripture that he needed to be active in helping in the slave trade, which he did. Here in America, we had the pastor's great pastor, Charles Finney, we had Harriet Beecher Stowe, Theodore Weld. They led the way. Even today. I mean, many of you have seen the movie Sound of Freedom, and it's a powerful movie. I would encourage you to see that. But Christians today lead the way with the sex trade and human trafficking to cease that which is just the epitome of sin what is going on there.

In fact, we know as believers at the foot of the cross, there is no room for any kind of racism, anti-Semitism, injustice, marginalization, or any other form of prejudice, without a doubt. And we know from scriptures that God himself in Galatians 3:28 says that there is neither Jew or Greek. He doesn't see the difference between the two. There's neither slave nor free. There is no male or female, for you are all in Christ Jesus. One of my favorite verses in college that I came to know was Micah 6:8. And it's basically what is expected of you and me. And in the Scripture we see that what is expected of us is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. So we know that is the demeanor of a Christian in today's society. Now, as we look at this passage today, it has a lot of application for us in the area of our vocation and work. So we're going to look at that and how it does apply and the principles that we do discover from that. As many of you know, you know, my education and my experience in business a number of years. And so as a believer, I kind of worked on what is that tension with taking faith in God's principles into the marketplace and how can I live that out where God has me? So today we actually take a look at what you can consider kind of a basic theology of work, theology of work with three principles. Now, if you don't work outside the home, you'll find that this addresses where you spend most of your time. Students, this address is where you are in your studies. Also principles that you can build upon as far as when you look further at a career and education. So the first principle that I want to start with is that your work matters to God. Your work matters to God.

In verse seven, it says, Serve wholeheartedly as if you're serving the Lord, not people. So it's the Lord that is taking note. It is him who gives us his approval. We are to serve him. Did you know most Christians do not say that in the Garden of Eden that God commissioned Adam and Eve and ordained work before the first sin? That work was part of the original creation. Now, after sin, work was no longer fun, it was a lot harder. But even still, before sin, we were told that we were to exercise dominion, which means to act as God's agent, as his steward over creation. We would work in a relationship with each other. We were to be fruitful and multiply, and as a part of that, we were not only going to grow populations, but you would see that commerce would increase, that the needs for transportation, the needs for government. Yeah, that's before sin. Okay we find in Romans that yeah, it has a place in God's eyes. God is an orderly God. So there would have been culture. There would have been learning, there would have been perhaps currency to be able to do commerce and the economy, which sounds kind of weird right, because you just think the Garden of Eden, there's Adam and Eve just kind of hanging out together, enjoying life, walking with God in the cool of the day. But it was going to grow and God had a plan for work to happen in a way that honors him. Now, when sin entered the world, that kind of changed things. Now, we were still two doing exactly the same things, but now darkness enters into the picture. And so we as believers are to bring light into our workplace. And that's where I want to camp out just a little bit on these three principles today. And I want to ask you just to just to consider your life and how it lays down with the scripture that we look at as we go into this. So first, know that your work matters to God. It was part of God's original creation, His original plan. It is not the curse. Difficulty in work is the curse.

Secondly, your vocation is a sacred calling, and we're going to focus on those two words. Your vocation is a sacred calling. Did you know that 80% of Christians say they see no relationship between their faith and their job? 80%. That's a shame. Do you know that the very first person mentioned in scriptures who was spirit filled was not a priest, was not a prophet. It was a skilled laborer. In Genesis, it tells about him being brought in to work on the tabernacle because God values what you do. It is a sacred calling. So you do not have a sacred part of your life and a secular part of your life. Okay? I know that when I went from being in business to now being a pastor, people would say, Well, when you worked in the secular world or secular job and now you're a pastor, well, the truth of the matter is, as a believer, that was not a secular part of my life. And it's not a secular part of your life. It's as sacred as the very church that you do here. In the Reformation, this became a big deal. I mean, Martin Luther, man, he was just blowing things up, right, that had been built that were not of God. Here's actually a quote from Martin Luther. He says, The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar or singing, reading, sacrifice and the like is without a doubt the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that service to God takes place only in church and by works done therein. The whole world could abound with services to the Lord, not only in churches, but also in homes, kitchens, workshops and in the field. Jack Hayford, a pastor when he was alive, said that the division in the mind of God is not between the sacred arena and the secular arena. That is, the division is between light and the dark. There's darkness across the face of the earth because of the introduction of sin, and the Lord wants to seed it all with the sons and daughters of light. So here is the problem. The problem is that for many of us that God wants to be Lord of all areas of your life, including that 40 to 50 hours that you are devoting to work, your vocation, where you put most of your hours.

You know, I get a kick out of it. People will call me. Somebody called me this week. And they said, Hey, listen, I know you did this. I just need to touch base with you. And I'm thinking that God may be calling me into ministry. So I get with him. I'm like, Yeah, absolutely. That's exciting. And so we'll talk and I'll ask him. I'll say, Hey, so tell me, like, where are you right now? Like, like, what do you do for a living? And how are you able to use that for God's glory? And then what ministries are you part of in your local church? And they're like, Well, I mean, that's the problem. I don't really have time right now to do that. That's why when I go into ministry, I will have time and I'm like, Well, that's going to be a problem because one of the problems is Ephesians 4:11-13 says that the role of pastors and teachers is to equip the Saints for the work of ministry. So if I haven't been able to treat my job, medication, my schooling, whatever, as a ministry, how then am I going to go over here and then try to teach you how to do what I couldn't do? And so then we get into this vicious cycle. So I said, You know what? Probably the first thing that'll be good for you is to see how God could use you where you are right now, and then see where God takes you from there. See the truth of the matter, guys, is that God calls us to a point of consecration. And that's, you know, that's kind of a Christiany word. But consecration means that God wants all of you, not just some. He doesn't want just some of you. He wants all of you. He doesn't want to just use what you give the church or even what you just give it home. He wants the other part, too, and that's where we get in trouble, You know, like Abraham and Isaac. That's when God called Abraham, he had lived his whole life to finally have a kid. He finally had a kid. Now, God is directing him to take this son up on the mountain and to sacrifice him. Abraham was willing to do that, but as he went to do it, God sent another sacrifice. And he made clear to Abraham that he didn't really want Isaac. He just wanted all of Abraham. Well guys, that's what God wants from us today. He wants our entire lives, our entire life to lay it on the altar for him to use. So it is a sacred offering that we bring to him.

Now, let's look at the other word that is our vocation, that our calling, we have a sacred calling. When you look at the word vocation, there's a story behind it. It goes back to the Reformation. The word vocation comes from a Latin word. Any Latin geeks in here other than me having to take it in high school? Well, there's this word called vocare which means to call in Latin. So in the early church, vocation was a term used when folks were called to the priesthood. Well, now Martin Luther comes on the scene. What do you think he has to say about it? He says that a cobbler or a smith or a farmer each has the work and office of his trade. And yet they're all alike. They are consecrated priests and bishops, and every one, by means of his own work or office, must benefit and serve every other. That in this way many kinds of work may be done for the body and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another. We see God expects to use you in a significant way in this world, not only in your church and home life, but in your work, in your vocation. Because it's a ministry, it's a way to accomplish God's will.

You know, back in Revolutionary War times, if you visit some of those old churches, you'll find that they called them meeting places. I think that we really messed up when we started referring to the church buildings as the church. Now you pass by and say there's Burnt Hickory Church. Well, the fact is this is just a meeting place. Meeting place has one location. You are the church. So like this week, instead of having one Burnt Hickory church, we will have 5000 people being Burnt Hickory church, wherever they are. Why an incredible opportunity in the lostness? In the dark to take the light. So the church is everywhere you are. God has given you this Holy Spirit so that you represent Christ wherever you are. And that's His plan for taking you out and for redeeming this culture. In fact, let me tell you some things that I found. These are keys to being successful vocationally. Okay, Let me just run through these four things, some keys for being successful vocationally. And now remember, these are from God's eyes, not man's eyes. Although I will say, as I use these principles, God's favor was upon me because it was the right thing to do. It's the right thing. So the first thing for vocational success is find out what God wants you to do. Find out what God wants you to do. Like, let me ask you, look at the product or service that you're a part of. Okay? What is your product or service? Is it one that you're proud of? That it brings glory to God, that this culture, this society needs it? Because that was God's will for work to do just that. Now, I get with folks and they say, Well, I'm not sure what God wants me to do. You know, he hadn't shown me. And I'm like, Well, to be honest with you, God wants you to know more than you want to know. You know that? In fact, I'll say, you know, how much do you want to know?

Like, have you entered into a season of prayer and fasting? I mean, that goes a little bit too far for Christians. I mean, we read about, you know, how others did that, and I will pray about it in the car, but like to go into prayer and fasting. That's a whole different thing because, you know, today, Christians, it's a little too much to even have to memorize scripture, right? Because we have the Bible, we have our phone now. Why memorize scripture? And by the way, you know, I can't memorize anymore. And that's what I hear from adults, I can’t memorize anymore. Well, here, here's the deal, is that God wants us to quit seeking his hand so much and start seeking his face. Jeremiah 29:11-13. We quote the first part, we'll put it on T-shirts and coffee cups. But the last part we don't quote is the key for knowing the plans he has for you, which is to see him with all your face, to seek him with everything you have. That's what he desires. If we do that, he will surely respond, knock, seek, ask, and he will respond. So, number one, what does God want you to do?How has he wired you? How does he want you to bring glory to him? Secondly, do it as a ministry . Do it as a ministry. What do you do? How can it be done as a ministry?

I remember when I talked to Matthew, our oldest one, when he started going into the working world. It was different for me, for him, and for our family. And I said, Matthew, just remember this man. Whatever you do, it's got to be a ministry. That is a ministry. You're not going to get a secular job, be successful and make money. I mean, you know, God will take care of the details. It's a ministry. So God brought this man and offered to hire him and he was an insurance business. And as it turned out, he was a deacon Sunday school teacher at first Woodstock. And Matthew said, Well, well, how is this a ministry? He was asking Steve.. He found out that he was a believer. He said, Matt, listen, man, I talked to them at the point of need. They have had an accident, they've had a loss, something in their lives. And he said the first thing in the most important thing I could do is stop and pray with them and boom, I remember Matthew sharing that with me. And I'm like, Well, praise God. I mean, that somebody showing how a believer can live out their faith in the marketplace, how can you do that in the sphere that God has you? Because that's what he wants from you. The third is to seek God's approval, not man's. Now, that's what Scripture we just saw. It says, Hey, don't. When somebody when your boss is looking at you and don't let that be the motivation for doing it the right way. And with all your heart, Paul says, No, no, no, that's completely wrong motivation. You gotta do it as unto the Lord and for his approval, not man's approval, The fourth one is really genius. I mean, God wrote these. The fourth one is to serve others, to serve others. Now, if you have anybody reporting to you at work, shame on you. If you say, Well, Joe works for me. Well, well, good. Stick a father in your crown there and you can poke taste out. I mean, it's fun to get titles and, you know, all that kind of stuff. But listen, God had to take me to the woodshed several times to teach me that the people that were on my staff in my organization, they were not tools to an end. They were not meant for me to hit my goals that were given to me by my managers and senior management. I had to pay attention to them. In fact, the reason God had me in that position was so that I could serve them. And then guess what? Then we would figure out how to serve our customers. Well, man, I tell you what, if you do that and that's not rocket science, you will succeed in that vocation.

I mean, we had managed call centers and we even have sales and service and like sales. How do you succeed in sales? Well, you take your product and service, you make sure that it is good and is God honoring. And then you look at potential customers. You look and determine what their needs are. And then you look at what product services you have and then you help meet their needs. Doesn't that sound a lot like that ministry? Yeah, that's what you are doing. You're ministering to them. But in the meantime, you are being successful in sales. It's just it's a crazy thing that happens like that. You know, I remember being put in charge of the sales and service in the channel and it was because I had achieved those things. But the only way I achieved them was not by driving my people harder, it was by serving them and us working together to serve customers. So serve your employers. And I remember God said, Marty, I know you're praying for Pat, your boss, but I want you to ask her how you can pray for her. And I remember talking to Pat and we can make things really weird as Christians and when it should really be normal guys, I'm just telling you, I said, Pat, you know, I pray for you every morning, but I'd like to know, is there anything in particular I could be praying for you about? And, you know, that sounds kind of like ministry, doesn't it? Well, that's what it is, though. Do you think Pat appreciated it? She didn't make fun of me. She didn't call me out. And then the day that I went in, I told Pat that I was quitting the company after 16 years to go into vocational ministry. Cool thing was, she didn't look at me like I was crazy. Now, here's the question. Like, if you went in to tell your coworkers and your boss that you were quitting and going full time ministry, would their jaw drop open? Would they be shocked? If so, then you may want to adjust how you do business. Okay. Or with your coworkers or with your fellow students, whatever that may be. That's a good acid test for you.

But serve your employers, your employees, your coworkers, your suppliers, your customers. You know, I miss living in that area of lostness. I'll honestly say now I love how God has been able to use me. And I always pray that he does. But, you know, man, you'll have something that I don't have. And it's an opportunity to go in to a greater sea of lostness, and to really make a difference. I mean, I love it. I get to hang out with you guys and that's good and everything. But like, what a great opportunity you have to be salt and light, and that's what God's called you to. So cool. So we are here to redeem the marketplace. You know what that means? That means that Satan gets these strongholds. You know, we need to quit avoiding areas like government, like entertainment, technologies, media, all of these. And we need to begin taking and going in with the light of Jesus Christ into those areas. And let's quit giving up ground to Satan and let's go in and take it back. We give him battles. We've already won the war. Man, let's train our people, our young people, how to use our gifts to go in and to take the light of Jesus in all sectors of society and see redemption come about as a result of it. That's God's will for our lives. Well, that's not enough. The last point is that your eternal rewards are given by God based on your work.

Now, we don't talk about rewards much because we feel kind of sinful or dirty. It's like, Well, if I'm doing it for rewards and then that's really prideful and and, you know, not right. Well, listen, Jesus - go through and Mark, how many times Jesus talked about the rewards along with rewards, though is judgment. Bema seat judgment, bema was in that arena that I showed you a minute ago. It was if you look at it today, it's the highest seat. And that's where the top governmental guy sat. And at the end of the games, the victors would come and he would present them the crowns. He would present them the awards of the victory. It's very clear from the Scriptures that after that Jesus comes back, that you and I will give an account. Now there's two different ones. We won't get in that. But the great White Throne is for those who have never accepted Christ. Us, we already plead guilty, and Jesus's blood took those sins away. But we are going to stand before Jesus and give an account for how we've used our life and those opportunities. It's clear in all areas of Scripture. And here's the tricky part. This may be new to you, but in Revelation 21 and 22, after Jesus comes back, after the judgment he recreates, he creates a new heaven and earth. And guess what? This earth becomes like it was originally in the Garden of Eden without sin. Except he comes to live with us. We all come now in mass. If we're his child, to live there. And then you know what happens? It's what I talked about earlier, because there are lots of people. In fact, in Revelation 21 and, 22, you'll see it talks about in the city that the nations will come and go. There'll be nations there. That's because there'll be culture, there'll be all these other things. And so somebody has to run those things. Well, according to scriptures, parable the talents, the Beatitudes at the end of the attitude, Jesus makes it clear He's talking about a principle we can apply today, but really it will be the meek shall inherit the Earth will be at the end time.

So those who get put in positions of responsibility and authority will be those who have proved themselves to be God honoring, to be to be meek, to be strength under control and under the Lordship of Christ. And so that and then we will live eternity on the New Earth. So what we do today is important. Let me close by just challenging us to address five areas of our calling, because listen, guys, you have a calling. You have a calling to not only be something in Christ, to be a child of Christ and to grow in that, but you have a calling to do something as well. So then first thing, what do you do? What do you do for a job? And does it provide a service or product that God can use? Secondly, why do you do your job? Is it because God has called you to it and has gifted you to it? Third is how do you do your job? You do it wholeheartedly as in the Lord. Do you do it as a ministry? Do you get there early to your office? Do you go around and pray over each desk, each seat, and pray that God would work in their lives and that God would open up opportunities for ministry for you? Do you pray for those that you deal with, your suppliers? All the different ones? You are a minister. Finally, number five if you stood before God today, and this is giving you this kind of a sobering question and you look to see what you've done. I mean, this is going to happen one day, guys. Okay. I mean, that's good news, bad news. But if you were to do that today so you still have time to adjust, hopefully God looked at what you've done in your vocation and the place of life where you spend most of your live during the week outside of church and the family. We are told that he puts those things in this consuming fire and all the stuff that is temporary is burned up and those things that are eternal remain.

Now, the question is how many eternal things do you invest in, in your life during the week, in your vocation, in your schooling? Teachers, you're ready to go back tomorrow. Congratulations. It's a fun summer, huh? So the kids are going ugh, and getting ready to go in a week too. But teachers, you know. You know, you have a hard, hard vocation, but you are so teed up for God to use you to impact lives for all eternity. And whatever you may be doing uses that very thing for all eternity. So what's your next step? I mean, is it to begin a time of seeking after God to see what He wants to to use you for how he wants to, for eternal purposes? Is it maybe inviting some pastors to come to your workplace to pray for your workplace? Is it to get that prayer ministry? They would love to man I would love to decentralize this church and go out where the gospel is being taken. And let's pray over neighborhoods. Let's pray over offices, pray over schools like we're going to do this Saturday. See, this is not where the full ministry happens. Yes, ministry happens here. We equip you, but it isn't to go out and to make ministry happen. Do you need to get with another guy, another woman, and begin getting together every week and praying to God and keeping each other accountable and encouraging each other as to how you are doing with that? What is your next step? And would it not be glorious to know that you're being used by God? Like that's the number one request I have of God in my whole entire lives is Lord that I may know you and that I would just be considered worthy for you to use me in in some eternal value and to know that he has called you to do that. And you don't even have to go into ministry like I did. I mean, what we call ministry. So you don't have to worry about when I go into ministry, I'm like, I'll Beck, you know, it means you probably going to make less money. We're going to probably have to move a bunch of times and like and I could be moved to a youth pastor or something. And it's like, which, you know, it's exciting. Matt Petty, you did a phenomenal job when you did that. But hey, it could do that. But you know what? Whatever God calls you to, man, he's got you takes care of every bit of it, and he ensures that you.. I've never had a need and have always been well taken care of. And guess what, man? He had even we haven't even had to move. We've been here 19 years. We served at a church in East Cobb prior to this, and for whatever reason, God directed us to buy right out here. God's been so faithful. He'll be faithful to you. He is faithful. He is God. He loves you. He is motivated by love, and he wants to use us. Let's go to him and pray.

Father, we come to you and we just declare our love for you. But may it go beyond just our lips and our words. I mean, we can stand here and sing all day long, but if we go out and if we don't live it out, if we don't live under Your Lordship every day of the week, then Father, we have sin in our lives, we are not living what you want us to do and we do not have the full joy of your salvation that you've given us. Lord do a fresh work in our lives in our congregation, and may we be freed to go and to punch holes into this darkness as to where the lights would streamed through. We love you. Use this time of consecration of this song. Now we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Let's stand. Deacons and pastors will be standing by if you need us. We would love to talk to you.

Follow Along with the Message

The Calling

July 23, 2023

Ephesians 6:5–9
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

1. Your work to God.

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…

Work Was Ordained by God at Creation Before the Fall

1. To exercise

2. To work in with each other

3. To be and multiply

4. To meet each other’s

2. Your vocation is a calling from God.

Ephesians 6:6
Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

PRINCIPLE: You do not have a “sacred” and “secular” part of your life.

“The idea that service to God should have only to do with the church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that service to God takes place only in church and by works done therein… The whole world could abound with services to the Lord… not only in churches but also in home, kitchen, workshop, field.”
— Martin Luther

“The division in the mind of God is not between the sacred arena and a secular arena. But the division is between the light and the dark. There’s darkness across the face of the Earth, and the Lord wants to seed it all with the sons and daughters of light.”
— Jack Hayford

PRINCIPLE: Vocation means “ .”

“A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and every one by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another.”
— Martin Luther

“We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God give us our daily bread, which He does. He does so, not directly as when he gave manna to the Israelites, but through the work of farmers and bakers — and we might add truck drivers and retailers. In effect, the whole economic system is the means by which God gives us our daily bread. Each part of the economic food chain is a vocation, through which God works to distribute his gifts.”
— Gene Edward Veith

Keys for Vocational Success

1. Find out what God you to do.

2. Do it as a .

3. Seek God’s — not man’s.

4. Serve .

Serve Others

1. Your

2. Your


4. Your

5. Your

3. Your eternal are given by God based on your work.

Ephesians 6:7–8
7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Examine Your Calling

1. do you do for a job? (Does it provide a service or product that God uses to meet the needs of others?)

2. do you do your job? (Is it because of the way that God has gifted you and called you?)

3. do you do your job? (Do you do your job wholeheartedly for the Lord?)

4. do you do your job for? (Do you act as a minister to those in your workplace — your suppliers, your coworkers and your customers?)

5. If you stood before God today and He looked to see what you have done in your vocation that is of value, how would you do?

Additional Notes


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