Finding true rest in the blessedness of work

Eric Blick. Kenya 2011

Intro. How do we glorify God in our work and in all we do?

The big idea. In beholding Jesus Christ, we see the VALUE of work and receive true rest from our TIRELESS work.

Point one. What is work?
A. Work is blessed because we see God working. Genesis 1:1
B. It is blessed because we see God commanding Adam and Eve to work even before the fall. Gen 1:28
“Culture is, first of all, the name for our relentless, restless human effort to take the world as its given to us and make something else.
…the two postures that are most characteristically biblical the two postures that have been least explored by Christians in the last century. They are found at the very beginning of the human story, according to Genesis: like our first parents, we are to be creators and cultivators. Or to put it more poetically, we are artists and gardeners.”. Andy Crouch, Culture Making.

C. Work is blessed because we see the holy spirit working. Gen 1:2. Hover over the deep literally means providing order to the array of elements that God has created out of nothing. That is our role too – provide order out of the chos around us. This reflects back to God the beauty of his character trait of order and justice!

Point two. Why does work tire us out?
Because we fell in four ways not just one, we are tired out building a sense of worth apart from God – killed by the work under the work. Four ways we fell:
1 Broken relationship with God. Adam and Eve hid from God after they disobeyed. 2 Broken relationship with each other. Adam blames Eve.
3 Broken relationship with our work. Genesis 3:17-19 our work will be hard 4 Broken relationship with ourself. Adam no longer has peace within himself

Going to work to build an identity is the tiring work under the work. Seeking romance to find a sense of worth as a human is the work under the work. Seeking power and influence to somehow make me worthwhile as a person is the work under the work. Saying, I will be someone if… I am rich… I am a great student… If I am a poerful business person…. If I have a family…. This is exhausting work that ironically will never satisfy that inner longing for rest and significance.

Point three. How can we get true rest to really work?
Because Christ experienced cosmic unrest for me, we can have true rest from the work under the work.

Heb 4
4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

God is pleased with his work at the end of Genesis 1, then sin enters the world and their is no true rest. However, in Christ he not only leads his own to rest but he IS the rest for them. You can rest from the work under the work when we understand that Jesus work counts for us and God says that that work is good, like at creation, and is finished.

Isaiah 57 says that Jesus was the one who experienced cosmic unrest and separation from God on the cross so we could get true rest. Vs 20. But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

On the cross uses cries out it is finished. What is finished? The work under the work is done. Suddenly we are acceptable before God, all who believe in Christ, and we have a permanent identity. Instead of working to get an identity, we have Christ’s and can joyously work out of this identity to Gods glory and to serve others, not to get an identity. It is a freedom from inside out, not a slavery of doing to get.

Can we rest from our work under the work and feel the same love of the father over us as we heard when Jesus was baptized, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Matt 3.

Conclusion. A follower of Christ is someone who has rested from their own work and found rest in the completed work of Christ for them.

Come to Christ to find your rest…
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”. Matt 11

Acts 14:21-22. Back from Kenya!

Jackson and I returned safely from Kenya on Wednesday with the team. We are blessed by all that we saw God doing in His mission in Kenya and it has been our joy to play a small but fun part in that. For those who have been our partners in prayer and financially for this trip, we will send a snail mail recap soon with more stories and pictures. Love, Eric

Paul and Barnabas…
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus says he is the great I AM

IX. The Sermon: I AM – Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church The Sermon Passages: John 8:48-59

48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Truly truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Introduction – Just like the greatness of the rift valley in Kenya cannot be captured in story or picture, so are the depths of understanding the phrase Christ says “I am”. We must see it and experience it for ourselves.

The Big Idea: Jesus is both the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises, and God Himself.

Point One: “Sticks and Stones” (vv. 48-50, 54-55).
The passage begins with name calling. Calling someone a Samaritan was the biggest racial slur someone could say to a Jes. Plus they say Jesus has a demon. Jesus calls them a liar, which is the truth and not name calling, and that they insult God who sent him to speak as he does.

What if we understood and believed that what others say of us doesn’t matter but only what God says? This is the approach Jesus is saying in this passage. What God thinks of Christ is ultimate.

Point Two: No more sting, no more victory (vv. 51-53).
Followers of Jesus will not taste death and the pharisees say that Abraham died so Jesus is wrong. 1 Corinthians 15:50. Written to this church who is beginning to doubt the resurrection. So Paul explains this passage about Christ that we a studying today. Yes we will all die but that is not the end of it because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We will be resurrected because God resurrected Jesus as first fruit of our resurrection harvest. Followers of Christ will be with God for eternity.

Point Three: One covenant, not eight (v. 56)
How did Abraham see Christ’s day? Genesis 12. How is it that we are blessed trough Abraham? Matt 1 says Jesus is Abraham’s son to bless the world through his substitutionary life and death for all who believe on him. He hoped in the one God would send through Abraham as THE ONE through whom God would bless the world. God is not the God of wrath in the old testament and then mellows out with Jesus in the new testament. It is one story of redemption all the way through!

Point Four: Liar, Lunatic or Lord (vv. 57-59).
Jesus is claiming to be God by using the name of God in the old testament at the exodus whee God reveals himself to Moses as the Great I Am.

But what if Jesus’ claim IS true? Rene Descartes said ‘I think therefore I am.’ This changed people from thinking their identity in terms of their extended family on to the individual. However both identities a wrong. I am not the thinker and therefore the I am, God is the I am.

The Bible is not God’s manual for life but rahrer the revelation of God himself, THE great I AM!

Treasure vs. Money: what is unique about the sin of greed?

Sermon notes, Tim Keller, Redeemer Church, NYC, free iTunes podcast

Big idea: These verses in Matthew 6 show us how to flesh-out what it means to live holy from the sermon on the mount, particularly in this case, what it means to live free from the slavery of greed and materialism.

Passage: Matt 6:19-34

I. How does money have power?
One of the only sins we don’t know we have. Five percent of the world controls 70% of the wealth. If you are an executive, you are in the top 40% of that 5%. We know when adultery is committed but not necessarily greed and materialism. That is why we need 1-3 close friends to help us see if money controls us. How much do we spend relative to what we mke? Maybe saving too much to think we can control the future? Are we giving radically and has our lifestyle changed? This is why there are those verses in there that talk about the eye of the heart being dim.

II. Why it has power?
Treasure – what is our main thing? Money can reveal quickly the source of our identity through either money’s security, prestige, or power. Identity is what makes life worth it. What makes me worth it. After the fall, we are trying to get an identity from anything and everything but in God.

III. How can we be freed from money’s power?
Move our treasure to heaven. How do you know when Christ is your treasure? Answer: how do you respond to rich (and poor) people?
A. Are we envious of the rich or fearful / intimidated by them: not see the riches of the gospel as ours.
B. Prideful and superior to the poor: not see our utter sinfulness of sin and how truly bankrupt we are. The gospel says that we are more sinful than we know and at the same time more loved than we could dare to hope! C. Do we give so that our lifestyle is odd and changed by it?

Freedom from the love of riches is through seeing Christ who had all wealth, power and security, leave heaven to be poor then ultimately stripped naked on the cross of all things and then made spiritually bankrupt for me so that I could be truly rich in him, knowing and having God!

He welcomes sinners. Mp3 by Tim Keller. Notes

Big idea: a true understanding of grace transforms and builds community.

Luke 15
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable: (the one in 100 lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost sons.)

Jesus is establishing a new community and those with influence are shocked at those Jesus includes, namely sinners. So in response to their grumbling he tells three parables whose point is grace which build community.

In this first parable of the lost sheep, we see three things:

I. Sheep are not dogs
Sheep are not like dogs who can find their way home, not eat themselves to the edge of a cliff, etc. In like ways, we are completely unable to save ourselves spiritually.

II. The nature of the search
At the same time we are utterly worthless and in need of a savior shepherd we are at the same time utterly loved beyond belief. We are his treasure, the lost coin.

III. The shepherd becomes a sheep.
what is our solution to being dumb sheep? Trying harder to follow better? Jesus was not just a good teacher who said things we should follow but rather a savior who was a perfect sheep in our place. The Passover is a celebration of the Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt. It pointed to Christ who was the lamb killed for us that we may be in his flock, being saved and led by the perfect shepherd.

Jesus was trying to convey to these religious people that God did not owe them anything for their self-effort to please God, and certainly not more than he owed the poor sinners that ate with Jesus. We all are owed hell for our sin.

Lets have this kind of utter, joyful dependence on the loving shepherd that became a dead sheep for me as his treasure, to all who run to him as their only hope to be found as the lost sheep that we are. This kind of grace builds real community!