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Godly Ethics at Work

We all want to work with people who have a solid work ethic, but ethics at work aren’t always clear. People feel the pressure to conform to a culture in the workplace that cuts corners and lacks integrity. Does God care anything about the way we work? And how do we overcome the external and internal pressure to work in a way that lacks integrity?

Scripture: Proverbs 10:9-10, 16:11, 11:1, 20:23; Genesis 25-32, 42-43; Romans 8:28; Matthew 6:31-33

God’s Wisdom for Work

Do you remember your first job? Over a lifetime, the average person will spend about 90,000 hours at work. That’s 3,750 days.

Work takes a significant amount of time in our lives and Proverbs has plenty to teach us about the way we work. In fact, there’s the way the world works, and then there’s the better way. Everyday you go to work, you’re faced with the question, “Will I continue to work the way the world works, or will I take the better way to work?”

The Power of Jesus

If what the Gospels report about Jesus is the stuff of legend, then believe what you want. But if the Gospels are eyewitness reports about the life of Jesus, if they are history, then you have to deal with who Jesus is, that He is Lord of All.

One of the most difficult things for us to understand or believe is that Jesus can love us and still allow and even order disruptive events, seasons, storms for our lives. And if we don’t come to trust Him in the storm, we will be at the mercy of the storm, and in this world, it’s always storming.

So, who is Jesus and what kind of power does he have? The power of Jesus is historical, limitless, disruptive, and costly.

Scripture: Mark 5:35-41; Psalm 89:8-9; Jonah 1; Romans 5:8

Tale of Two Kings

Acts 12 is like a door that closes the first half of the book, focused on the Apostle Peter and the gospel going to the Jews, and opening to the second half of the book, focused on the Apostle Paul and the gospel going to the Gentiles.

Acts 12 shows us how once again, conflict threatens to hinder the gospel, but only serves, in God’s good and wise sovereignty, to cause the work of the gospel and the word of God to “increase and multiply.”

In between, of course, are the people of God, living the experience. In Acts 12, Luke longs for us to come away with a vision of our glorious God, working out His good purposes in the world and in our lives – a vision that will shape the way we live and pray every single day.

Scripture: Acts 12:1-24

The Promised Sign

Christmas is proof that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. This is the first message in a series of four for Christmas as we study some of the promises God made and kept about the coming and work of Jesus from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7-12 is one unit of thought, but we will study it over three sermons. In Isaiah 7:1-8:10 the big idea is that in the midst of our greatest crisis we can experience the saving presence of God through faith in Jesus. But unbelief leads to lonely ruin.

In the midst of a terrible crisis, the King is anxious and working to save himself. God graciously promises to secure him and encourages the King to ask for a sign, an assurance that God will be faithful. But the King refuses and makes a faithless decision. God gives him a sign anyway. The promised sign is a son. “Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Immanuel…” This Son, proving to Ahaz that “God is with us” would be born in the King’s day. In the end, the Son would be a sign that God is with His people, not only in salvation, but also in judgement. 700 years later, Matthew, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, sees the ultimate fulfillment of that sign in the birth of Jesus, the Son of God with us, saving us from our ultimate crisis.

Scripture: Isaiah 7:1-8:10; 2 Kings 16:1-9; Matthew 1:20-23; Romams 8

The Prophet Daniel

The temptation to compromise our faith is enormous. Television commercials often reveal a homosexual agenda. The news carries stories about the “narrow mindedness” of Christians. Educators belittle Christian faith and values. And society, in general, is decaying into the moral abyss.

What impact is this having on you? Before you say that it has not touched your life, I encourage you to consider what you are willing to compromise now that you were not willing to five years ago.

How do we remain true to our faith in the midst of a corrupt world? Daniel shows us the way.

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-10

The Patriarch Abraham Part Two

Today we come to one of the most dramatic and most well-known events in the O.T. To understand Abraham, we must understand this passage. It is a one-of-a-kind story that portrays the greatest story ever told. Abraham would offer Isaac by faith and in doing so, gives us a good look at what would happen 2000+ years later on Mt. Calvary.

In Genesis 22 we find central truths that will help us better understand how we come to Christ and what is expected after we do.

Testing is one of the lessons of the passage. Testing is not the same thing as tempting. In temptation, Satan lures us to disobey God. The purpose of testing (or trials) is that God is behind it and the purpose is to build faith. Abraham was about to face his greatest test.

Jehovah Jira is one of the compound names of God. It means “God will provide.” Abraham was faced with a great dilemma. God had asked him to sacrifice his long-desired son. Would he do it? Why would God call for this to happen?

Finally, what does Abraham teach us about faith that is required for salvation?

Scripture: Genesis 22; James 1:2-4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 11:17-19; Romans 4:1-3

The Patriarch Abraham

Abraham is a larger than life figure in both the Old and New Testaments. He is also called the father of our faith.

What was it that made Abraham so special? Was he perfect? Far from it. Abraham had an unmistakable quality; most of the time, he trusted God even with the hard events of life.

Abraham’s life is a dramatic illustration of grace. He was called by grace, kept by grace, and remained faithful to the end by grace. What an illustration for us all.

Scripture: Genesis 12

When Suffering Arrives at Your Door

Suffering is part of life for both for Christians and non-Christians. But God makes His children a promise: if we approach our trials, disappointments, and pain with faith, God will do the essential work of molding us into the likeness of Christ Jesus.

The question is not if trials will come, but what will we do as we experience them. Many times we are tempted to feel that God isn’t fair because He allowed the pain to come into our lives. We curse the suffering and try to get out of it as quickly as we can. While these reactions are understandable, there is a far more productive way to approach our problem of suffering. That better way is to view trials through the lens of the Gospel.

Scripture: James 1:1-5

Be Devoted to Prayer

James teaches the early followers of Christ that wherever you’re coming from or whatever you’re going through – pray – because God works through prayer. Prayer isn’t mainly about certain postures or practices. It’s the expression of a relationship between a believer and their Heavenly Father. He’s holy and great, so we worship Him. He’s just and merciful, so we repent of our sin. He’s gracious and kind, so we give thanks. He’s loving and caring, so we ask for ourselves, our family, friends, and the world.

Scripture: James 5:13-18