You Have a Calling

You Have a Calling

Our Mondays have more meaning than we may give them credit. Whether you’re in the marketplace, in school, or in the home, God has a purpose for you. In this series, we discover what it looks like to go from simply working a job to fulfilling God’s unique mission for each of us. 

Scroll down for the sermon notes.

Pastor Tim’s Sermon Notes

I’ve been thinking and praying about what to preach this year.

I really want to cover a wide variety of topics and passages. Old Testament and New Testament. So I sat down and planned out almost the entire year but I also want to be sensitive to what God wants me to preach. I can plan but He’s the One who directs my steps.

But to start off this year, I wanted to start with something different, something I never spoke about.

I’ve preached about going to church, about prayer, about relationships, about reading the Bible, but I never really preached about work, our jobs, our careers. So I want to dedicate this month by talking about this subject. Why? Well, most people work between 40-60 hours a week. You will spend most of your time either sleeping or working. Some of us wish it was sleeping. Some of us love going to work. We get pumped up for it and we feel so blessed to have the job we have. Others here might hate going to work. Friday is the best time of their week and then when Sunday night hits, they get all sad because they have to go back to that dreadful place called “work.” Or maybe it’s school for you. But I want to challenge you by saying this: you were made for Mondays. Encourage someone beside you and say, “You were made for Mondays.” Maybe you’re thinking, “But I have off Mondays…or I love my Mondays.” This sermon series is about our work life in general.

Here’s the issue: We tend to separate our Christian life from our work life.

In one part of our life, we go to church, read our Bible, and pray. The other part of our life is all about work. Let me challenge you again by asking: How does the Bible start? “In the beginning, God . . . created.” The Bible STARTS with work! He created Adam and what did God do? Put him to WORK! Not only does the Bible start with work . . . spoiler alert . . . it ENDS with work also. You probably thought, “When Jesus returns, life will be like a vacation. I will be relaxing all day.” I believe we will rest, but guess what, we will continue working as God’s servants. You can read that in Revelation 22:3. Work isn’t bad. God loves work. What made some of us hate work is sin. That’s why we get tired, achy, sore, annoyed, and bored. Before Adam and Eve sinned, work didn’t feel like work.

 But it’s like that even today. What’s the difference between work and play?

I was reading about this. I read how we use the same muscles to play golf as we do to mow the lawn. We use the same brain power to play chess than to conduct business. So what makes work feel like work and play feel like play? Your mental attitude

Work is not a concrete thing; it is a mental attitude. Nothing is either work or play but thinking makes it so.

– Mark Twain

So maybe you love your job and it actually feels like play, and that’s wonderful, but if you don’t feel that way, maybe you need a new perspective.

The Bible talks a lot about work

But today I want to convince you of one thing. I want you to walk out of this building with one thought in your mind: You have a calling. Maybe you’re a salesperson…you have a calling. Stay at home mom? You have a calling. You might be self-employed. You have a calling. “But I just flip burgers!” You have a calling. Whether you work at Costco, sell insurance, whether you’re an accountant, receptionist, construction worker, or work in retail, it doesn’t matter. You have a calling. Whether you love your job or not, you have a calling I don’t want you to miss out on this!

This sermon series is based off of River Valley Church’s sermon series called Made for Mondays. So I’ve been listening to Pastor Rob Ketterling, but also researching different books, commentaries, sermons, and resources to bring to you something that you can take to work and act on. We’ll cover a lot of things! Such as misconceptions people have about work, business ethics, what to do when you hate your job, what to do when your work becomes an idol. Some of us can become workaholics. Seeing your work as a mission field, even if you’re at home. So I encourage you to come every week. Bring a friend, or two, or ten. I pray it blesses your life and challenges you. Alright, let’s get to it!

I want to settle down on one passage today

And we’ll pass by another one towards the end. So let’s read 1 Peter 2:4-12 and then we’ll dissect it.

1 Peter 2:4-10 | As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

There’s a whole lot there but let me briefly explain the context

The Apostle Peter is writing to the church and in this passage, he’s talking about the stone. Which is fitting since Peter means “stone” or “rock”. Peter explains how Jesus Christ is the living stone that was rejected. Jesus is the chosen one to save us. Jesus is the answer to the problem of sin. But many people do not believe in Him. They trip over this living stone. Jesus becomes a stumbling block because they believe God to be one way, and when they learn more about Jesus, who reveals who God really is, they are bent out of shape, and they reject Him, and disobey God’s Word. But then Peter goes on to say that for those of us who do believe in Jesus and obey His Word, we become living stones.

Which is crazy to think about right? Stones aren’t living creatures. So to be a living stone is to die to our own demands, our own dreams, our own thoughts of who God should be, to die to sin, and allow Jesus to make us alive in Him. Just like the song we sang today, “You are alive in us, Nothing can take Your place. You are all we need. Your love has set us free.” So when we believe and follow Jesus, we become living stones. And what happens then? Well, Peter mentions at least three things that happen to us. Feel free to write this down or highlight it in your Bible.

The first one is what? Verse 5 says, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a” what? “spiritual house”!

 1. We are a spiritual house.

In a building, especially a building like this one, there’s always a cornerstone. Every other stone is aligned with the cornerstone. Jesus is that cornerstone, and He’s building a spiritual house by having us align with Him. In the Old Testament, God’s presence was in a building. In Moses’ time, God used Moses to build the Tabernacle, which was a portable sanctuary of worship. They would move from place to place, setting up and breaking down this Tabernacle. There was one room called The Holy of Holies where God’s presence would reside. Many years later, God used King Solomon to build the Temple. It was a beautiful, immense, and expensive building. God’s presence would then reside there. The tabernacle and the temple were the only two places where mankind would meet with God.

But today, there is no more Tabernacle. There is no more temple. Peter is saying, “YOU are a spiritual house.” Everyone who believes Jesus and obeys His Word is a living stone, being built up into a spiritual house. God’s presence no longer resides in a building. This is why I sometimes have an issue when people say, “God, fill this place.” Because God no longer fills buildings. God’s presence is now in us! We don’t go to church like the Israelites used to go to the temple to encounter God. We ARE the Church.

“Pastor Tim, what does that have to do with our jobs?” I’m glad you asked!

Before, for people to encounter God, they would have to travel to the Temple. Today, for people to encounter God, they simply have to meet someone who follows Jesus. Our church’s vision is “Taking the Church to where the people are.” Meaning, once we end our service here around 12:15pm, church isn’t over. It just started! Everyone who is saved by Jesus literally has God’s presence living inside them! So when we exit this building we’re literally taking God’s presence with us! When you go into work, you’re bringing Jesus into work with you. When you eat at a restaurant, the presence of Jesus enters Applebee’s or TGI Fridays. When you’re changing dirty diapers, the presence of Jesus is there. Jesus doesn’t run from crying babies and poopy diapers. Especially since He knows how it feels to use diapers and be changed. When you follow Jesus, you become part of this spiritual house called church.

Now, what’s the second thing that happens with us when we become living stones? Verse 5 says, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a” what? “a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

2. We are a royal priesthood.

Again, this started way back with Moses’ brother Aaron as the first high priest and it was passed on from generation to generation. Israel always had a priest that would stand before God on behalf of a sinful people. The high priest would be the only one allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to speak to God. And today, some people still have that mentality. People think they need a mediator between them and God. They need a priest to speak for them, or they pray to a saint, so they can speak for them. That’s not what the Bible teaches us.

Peter is saying, if you follow Jesus, you are a minister! I love how Pastor David Helm puts it.

This means that every Christian is the ultimate insider. We are not merely representative of God’s place in the world; we serve as God’s priests before the world. – David Helm

In other words, you don’t need me to speak to God. You don’t need to wait to come here on Sundays to speak to God. You can communicate with God wherever you are and worship Him! But there’s more that you can do. What’s the third thing that happens when you are a living stone?

1 Peter 2:9 | But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Here’s the third thing that happens.

3. We have a new calling.

What is this new calling? Peter says it’s to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus. I like how the New Living Translation puts it:

…you can show others the goodness of God.

Eugene Peterson paraphrases it like this in The Messsage:

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Ok, I’m going to bring out my nerdy side ok?

When Peter says that Jesus “called you out”, in the Greek, it’s kaleo sy ek. Called you out. That’s a verb that means God is continually calling you out. Calling you out of the darkness and into the light. Calling you out of your old life and into your new life.

In the Bible, when we read the word “church”, in the original Greek, it’s actually ekklesia, which is a noun that comes from the same words kaleo sy ek. Called you out. So when Jesus gave Peter a new name in Matthew 16:18, Jesus said:

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”

Jesus was actually saying, “I will build my called out ones.” How amazing is that? To be part of the church does not mean you simply arrive to church on Sundays. It means you have a calling to bring Jesus wherever you go! You have a calling to proclaim to others about Jesus.

The issue is: many people think that’s the pastor’s job.

“Well he went to school for this. He’s the professional. It’s the pastor’s job to proclaim to people about Jesus.” Yes, it is my job, but not because I hold the title of pastor, but because I am also a living stone, just like anyone else who follows Jesus. You and I are the same. We just have different roles. I want to pass by one passage really quickly so that we’re all clear about my job description.

Ephesians 4:11-12 | 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”

So God gave us the Apostles to start the church, the prophets who prophesied about Jesus, and today He gives us evangelists, shepherds (or pastors), and teachers to do what?

to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ

 So I’m not the only minister in this church! If the presence of Jesus is living in you, then your workplace has a minister. Your house has a minister. Your small business is run by a minister. Some people tell me, “I could never be a minister. I’m not like you Tim.” Too late. Once Jesus saved you, you became a minister. I’m glad you’re not like me because you will reach people that I could never reach! We’ll talk more about that next week.

My job is to equip you to be the best minister you can be. Allow me to equip you! You should be able to come to me and say, “Hey, equip me. I need to know how to start a Bible study at work.” “Hey Pastor Tim, please equip me. I’m dealing with this difficult person at work.” “Hey, please equip me. How do I minister to someone who’s going through a divorce? How do I handle profanity around me?” Even if I’m stumped and not sure what you can do, I will research and study, and go on this journey with you!

Here’s what I want you to walk away with today.

 You have a calling. Answer it.

 I was listening to Pastor Rob Ketterling and he was explaining how the people you work with, most of them will NOT go to church. The sad thing is, most of us will not invite them to church. Did you know that the average church has only about 2% of the people who actually invite someone to church? But did you know that 70% of the people you invite will at least attend once?

But whether you invite them or not, you work with them! You’re always around them. You have the opportunity to make a difference wherever you are. Maybe you’re sitting there and thinking about how much you don’t like your job. It might be tough for you to wake up early to go to work. Or you have crazy hours and don’t get enough sleep. Or you might have to deal with some difficult people. Or you’re a working mom and it’s so difficult to say goodbye to your beautiful children. Or you’re going to school and you don’t like it. Let me encourage you by saying, you have a calling. Answer it.

But even if you love your job or going to school, you have to remember that you also have a calling. Because if you don’t have that on the forefront of your mind, you might be missing the entire point of being a Christian. To be part of the church means to be called out. We were made for Mondays.

We are a spiritual house, we are a royal priesthood, we have a new calling.

 So tomorrow, on your way to work or school, or before you wake up your kids, or maybe during breakfast or your devotionals, I challenge you to remember your calling. Pray to God and say, “Lord, I know you have called me out. I know you are living inside of me and you’re about to enter my workplace. You’re about to enter my classroom. Help me, remind me, and give me the courage to live out my calling of proclaiming to the world who you are.”

Church, the only way church works, is if we all respond to our calling.

Next week, we’ll talk more about how that looks like practically and dig deeper into what that entails. But I need you to stop believing that just because you’re in a secular job, you have no purpose being there. God placed you there for a purpose. Maybe to train you, to teach you, or maybe so that you can make a difference in someone’s life. You have a calling. Answer it.

Or maybe you’ve never taken the step to follow Jesus and you feel God calling you out right now. Your heart is pounding and you feel God’s presence and you want to be forgiven and start a new life. You have a calling. Answer it.


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