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Turn Your Work Into Worship

BY RICK WARREN — MAY 21, 2014

“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord
rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your
reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24 NLT)

Your boss is not really your boss; your boss is Jesus.

There are two things I want you to see in our verses today.

 First, it says, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working
for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23 NLT). It’s easier to be enthusiastic
about your job when you turn the focus of your work from “I’m doing this for my boss” or
“I’m doing this for a paycheck” to “I’m doing this for the Lord.” With that in mind, you can
do anything — scrape paint, wash dishes, repair a car — and turn it into worship.
 Second, when you turn your work into worship, you start storing up credits in Heaven.
Colossians 3:24 says, “Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your
reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” As you work for God, you are making
eternal deposits in Heaven.

“So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians
10:31 NIV). It doesn’t matter if you’re rearranging papers or signing bills; any job can become an
act of worship if you do it enthusiastically for God.

Talk About It

 As you think of your "credits in Heaven," how does an eternal perspective help you keep
your focus in your work?
 How can an "attitude of worship" be applied in other areas of your life as well?

Your Work As Worship


BY RICK WARREN — MAY 21, 2014

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were
working for the Lord and not for
people. Colossians 3:23 (TEV)
"If your heart is not in it, you
are in the wrong job. If you are
As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you not working with all your
understand your work can be an act of worship to God. In fact, if I heart, you are sinning."
want God to bless my finances, I must make my work an act of
worship.

What does this mean? I'm saying that no matter what you do - sweeping the streets, running a
corporation or the work of a stay-at-home mom -- your job is more than a job. The Bible says
while you are here on earth, you should use your work as an act of worship.

This means whatever you do, you are to do it with enthusiasm. If your heart is not in it, you are
in the wrong job. If you are not working with all your heart, you are sinning. I didn't say that, the
Bible says it.

Why work with all your heart? Because you are working "as though you were working for the
Lord and not for people." We learned yesterday that God is your salary and supply. He is also
your 'boss'. There may be someone who is your supervisor, but you are really serving a higher
authority. No matter what I do, if it is to prepare a meal, if it is to sign an invoice, if it is to do an
analysis, if it is to close a deal, if it is to make a sale, if it is to make delivery -- whatever it is, I
am to do it as if I'm doing it for God, and so it becomes an act of worship.

Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, said you can milk cows to the
glory of God. You can clean toilets to the glory of God. Why? It's your attitude that says, 'God
I'm doing it as if I'm doing it for you.' For instance, Let's say you make beds in a hotel; you are
probably going to make them nicer if you think, 'I'm doing this as if Jesus were going to sleep in
this bed'.

If you begin doing everything working "as though you were working for the Lord and not for
people", how would the way your work change?

Work As Worship

Sometimes we as believers separate the “sacred” from the “secular” in terms of jobs, careers, and
callings. In other words, sometimes we tend to develop a thought process that sees only what
pastors, counselors, and missionaries do as being ministry or service for the kingdom, whereas we
might view the person who goes to work from 9 to 5 in the secular workplace as not also being a
minister and servant of God. Sometimes it is easy to feel like we cannot worship God while we are
delivering newspapers, changing diapers, selling real estate, answering phones, or on down the list.
Whatever line of work we might be in, the fact of the matter is that God can be honored and the
kingdom can be advanced as we do our secular jobs. Think about it for a moment. Many churches
have one full time minister to shepherd hundreds of “lay persons” as we call them. Can only the
pastor be serving God and the rest be mired in “lesser” service for the kingdom? This is a major
thing to think about given that we will spend the vast majority of our lives working and not being at
church, unless of course, we are called by God as a pastor or full-time Christian worker of some
kind. For those who are in Christian ministry, work is obviously ministry, and this has its own
challenges. For those who are not in full-time Christian work, we must not fall for the devil’s wile
that we cannot serve and worship God in what we do as well. We might not be preparing a sermon
or feeding the hungry during business hours, but how we live our lives and how we do our work is
our chance to worship God. We each must find joy in the places to which God has called us, and we
all have a chance to bring God glory wherever we might be each and every day.

In Ecclesiastes 3:9, Solomon asks, “What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?”
Are we to work simply for money for money’s sake? If so, we will be disappointed. Solomon says in
Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves
abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Are we to work just so that we can eat and then eat
again until eventually we die? Scripture is plain that this is a vain and unsatisfying way to live.
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 2:25, “For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?”
Only when God is factored into the equation can work take on its right and full purpose. God has
ordained work for man. Even before sin entered the world, God gave Adam a garden to tend.
(Genesis 2:15). Thus, work plays a certain role in how we interact with God, and the only way to
understand the purpose of work and to enjoy our work and the fruit of our labor is by also enjoying
God as we work (Psalm 16:11).

God seeks worshippers (John 4:23-24), and Scripture is plain that one of the major ways in which
we worship God is by our work. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do,
do it with all your might.” Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Certainly, work would fall
under the category of “whatever you do,” regardless of whether it is church-oriented or not. God
desires worshippers, and He has ordained work as a major way that we can worship Him. So how do
we make sure we worship God in our work and as we work?

Obviously, doing our work in love and holiness is essential (John 13:34-35, Hebrews 12:14). Where
possible, we should seek to share the gospel (Acts 1:8). Our factory, shop, or vehicle is our mission
field. We must also guard our hearts so that we have a good attitude, one that doesn’t complain
(Philippians 2:14), one that is thankful (Colossians 3:15), and one that is willing to show respect for
superiors (1 Peter 2:13-14). God doesn’t need brownnosers, nor does He need slackers. God wants
those who work with diligence (Romans 12:11) and for His favor, not merely as men-pleasers.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for
men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ
whom you serve.” There is no ambiguity from the Scripture that whatever we do, all kinds of work
included, can be and ought to be worship of God, for it is He Whom we serve. He is our ultimate
Boss, for it is He Who will give our ultimate evaluation and review. The best thing we can do is to
live as sacrifices that please Him even as we work (Romans 12:1-2).

There is nothing wrong with praying for a new job or seeking a career change, but the admonition to
worship is for the present, even if the job is less than desirable. Let us thank God for the work
which He has given us rather than taking it for granted. Let us not think that God cannot use us
even in the secular workplace. We are all missionaries (2 Corinthians 5:18), we are all God’s workers
(1 Corinthians 3:9), and we are all called as worshippers. We must remember that God is our Joy,
our Life, our Hope, our Sustenance, our Provider, our Master, and our Judge. He gives meaning and
purpose to work, and He enables us to have joy as we work, as we eat, as we rest, and as we go
through our lives. May God teach us and enable us to honor Him in and through our work, whatever
our specific line of work might be. Next time we go to work, let us go to worship.

Work As Worship

Sometimes we as believers separate the “sacred” from the “secular” in terms of jobs,
careers, and callings. In other words, sometimes we tend to develop a thought process
that sees only what pastors, counselors, and missionaries do as being ministry or service
for the kingdom, whereas we might view the person who goes to work from 9 to 5 in the
secular workplace as not also being a minister and servant of God. Sometimes it is easy to
feel like we cannot worship God while we are delivering newspapers, changing diapers,
selling real estate, answering phones, or on down the list. Whatever line of work we might
be in, the fact of the matter is that God can be honored and the kingdom can be advanced
as we do our secular jobs. Think about it for a moment. Many churches have one full time
minister to shepherd hundreds of “lay persons” as we call them. Can only the pastor be
serving God and the rest be mired in “lesser” service for the kingdom? This is a major
thing to think about given that we will spend the vast majority of our lives working and not
being at church, unless of course, we are called by God as a pastor or full-time Christian
worker of some kind. For those who are in Christian ministry, work is obviously ministry,
and this has its own challenges. For those who are not in full-time Christian work, we must
not fall for the devil’s wile that we cannot serve and worship God in what we do as well.
We might not be preparing a sermon or feeding the hungry during business hours, but
how we live our lives and how we do our work is our chance to worship God. We each
must find joy in the places to which God has called us, and we all have a chance to bring
God glory wherever we might be each and every day.

In Ecclesiastes 3:9, Solomon asks, “What profit is there to the worker from that in which
he toils?” Are we to work simply for money for money’s sake? If so, we will be
disappointed. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves money will not be
satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Are
we to work just so that we can eat and then eat again until eventually we die? Scripture is
plain that this is a vain and unsatisfying way to live. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 2:25,
“For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?” Only when God is factored
into the equation can work take on its right and full purpose. God has ordained work for
man. Even before sin entered the world, God gave Adam a garden to tend. (Genesis
2:15). Thus, work plays a certain role in how we interact with God, and the only way to
understand the purpose of work and to enjoy our work and the fruit of our labor is by also
enjoying God as we work (Psalm 16:11).

God seeks worshippers (John 4:23-24), and Scripture is plain that one of the major ways
in which we worship God is by our work. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever
your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do
in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God
the Father.” Certainly, work would fall under the category of “whatever you do,”
regardless of whether it is church-oriented or not. God desires worshippers, and He has
ordained work as a major way that we can worship Him. So how do we make sure we
worship God in our work and as we work?

Obviously, doing our work in love and holiness is essential (John 13:34-35, Hebrews
12:14). Where possible, we should seek to share the gospel (Acts 1:8). Our factory, shop,
or vehicle is our mission field. We must also guard our hearts so that we have a good
attitude, one that doesn’t complain (Philippians 2:14), one that is thankful
(Colossians 3:15), and one that is willing to show respect for superiors (1 Peter 2:13-14).
God doesn’t need brownnosers, nor does He need slackers. God wants those who work
with diligence (Romans 12:11) and for His favor, not merely as men-pleasers. Colossians
3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for
men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the
Lord Christ whom you serve.” There is no ambiguity from the Scripture that whatever we
do, all kinds of work included, can be and ought to be worship of God, for it is He Whom
we serve. He is our ultimate Boss, for it is He Who will give our ultimate evaluation and
review. The best thing we can do is to live as sacrifices that please Him even as we work
(Romans 12:1-2).

There is nothing wrong with praying for a new job or seeking a career change, but the
admonition to worship is for the present, even if the job is less than desirable. Let us
thank God for the work which He has given us rather than taking it for granted. Let us not
think that God cannot use us even in the secular workplace. We are all missionaries (2
Corinthians 5:18), we are all God’s workers (1 Corinthians 3:9), and we are all called as
worshippers. We must remember that God is our Joy, our Life, our Hope, our Sustenance,
our Provider, our Master, and our Judge. He gives meaning and purpose to work, and He
enables us to have joy as we work, as we eat, as we rest, and as we go through our
lives. May God teach us and enable us to honor Him in and through our work, whatever
our specific line of work might be. Next time we go to work, let us go to worship.