Starting Out with God
Our relationship to God is the single most important element of our life at work. Without this relationship, we will go to work to do our job not fully understanding the true purpose of work and the One who is ultimately brings fulfillment in it. Let us start by reviewing what it means to have a personal relationship with God and how it relates to our work.
Question: Why do we need a new beginning with God?
A New Beginning with God (Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Romans 8:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-10)
1. Past Condition: God created mankind to have a relationship with himself, but man and woman chose to act independently of God and go their own way. This affected their relationship with God and with one another by blaming someone else for their own wrongdoing (Genesis 3:6-13; Isaiah 59:2; Proverbs 14:12). Now, we are born with the condition of wanting to live life without God. This is called being born in sin or wanting to do our own thing apart from God (Psalm 51:5-6; Romans 5:12).
2. Real Consequences: There are present and eternal consequences from being in a condition separated from God (Ephesians 2:1-3).
a) Humans live before God condemned already because they were born in sin and they want to live independent of Him and not believe in Him (John 3:36).
b) The consequences for those who do not believe God are that they are under His judgment and this condition creates problems in their human relationships with other people (Romans 1:19-21; James 4:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:13).
3. New Beginning: If we hope to have a change in direction, from destruction to life, we need a new beginning. How does God provide us with a new start?
a) God is perfect and cannot accept our sinful and independent ways. As a just and perfect God, He must execute justice for our wrongdoing. Yet also, if He is to be a kind and loving God He must be willing to show his love and pity toward us in our condition (Romans 3:23-26; 5:6-8).
b) Our acceptance by God is based only on the work of Christ. God is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sinful ways and offer us forgiveness. We can only accept this offer on the basis of His merits and not on our own (1 Peter 3:18; Titus 3:5). Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we can have a new beginning (2 Corinthians 5:14,21).
c) The starting point or new beginning is when a man or woman denies his or her own abilities to please God through works or behavior and accepts God’s provision for forgiveness and a new life offered only through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). (Note: we do not assume that everyone listening to you has a personal relationship with God.)
Question: Is this relationship constant wherever I go, or is it just to be enjoyed while I am in church?
A Growing Relationship with God (Romans 8:29-30)
By this new relationship which God has established, He has determined to work and accomplish in and through each one of us the goal of conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). In what ways will God work to conform us to be more like Christ?
- God intends to do a work first of all in us. He has chosen to show His glory through people, not in some place or through some event. His plans are to complete or perfect this work in us (Philippians 1:6). In Ephesians 2:10, we are described as God’s workmanship, not God’s workers, but His workmanship. This means we are like a piece of art coming from the hand of the artisan. We will become His work of art.
- The evidence of God working in me will result in God cultivating through me the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22,23 (Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.).
- I must see myself as growing into a true knowledge of God (2 Peter 1-4). This means there is knowledge, which people say they have about God, that is not a true and accurate knowledge about Him. We must be learning the true knowledge of God, which corresponds precisely with God’s word!
- My spiritual growth is a process that I must see going on all the days of my life. Therefore the spiritual dimension of my life should increase and overflow into all other areas of life (2 Corinthians 3:18). We do this by renewing our minds daily with His truth (Romans 12:1-2).
Question: Is my relationship growing with God everyday? If so, How?
5. It is important to understand that the trials and challenges of work are God’s tool for conforming us more in the likeness of Jesus Christ (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12; 5:10).
Question: How are the tough circumstances of work being used to bring growth in my life?
Click here for 2. God’s Relationship to Work