Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “Difficulties at Work.” This is the second part of our series, “God at Work.”
- What are some of the most common difficulties we face at work? How have you dealt with one of those in your own life?
- We continue our “God at Work” series this weekend by looking at difficulties with work. Before beginning this study on your own or with a group, take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you.
- We work in a world impacted by sin, brokenness, and evil. In the Bible, this reality is known as the Fall, reflecting our fall from God’s grace and into sin. Read Genesis 3:14-19 and name some of the main effects of sin and evil upon our work.
- Jesus came to bring the good news that kingdom of God is near (Mark 1:13) and to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). This was, in one sense, the work that Jesus came to do (John 5:17). When you think of Jesus having work to do, what does that say to you about what it means to work?
- Read through Luke 22:39-23:56. As you read through this, take time to reflect on each episode of the story by asking the question: how is Jesus approaching His work here? This may take some time. You may want to take notes as you walk through this extended portion of Scripture.
- If Jesus worked His way through difficulties, how does that change your approach to working through difficulties? Maybe you want to consider one situation that is particularly difficult for you right now. How will you see or approach that situation differently because of Jesus?
- Sometimes we may feel that the distance between Jesus and us is too great for comparison on this topic. That begin said, we need to remember that Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live in His ways. What is one way you are asking God to give you Holy Spirit power to work in the midst of difficulty this week? If you are alone, write it down and pray about that. If you are with your small group, share your answers with one another and then pray for one another about these things.
How should we respond when we face difficulties at work? What do we do when we run into tensions with co-workers? What if our work environment puts undue pressure on us or is simply at odds with God’s ways?
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we continued our series, “God at Work,” with a message “Difficulties at Work.” The message dealt with…well…the difficulties we face at work and how we respond to them.
You can watch the message right here and follow along with the outline for the message below. You may want to interact with all the messages from this series here.
You can connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or listen to the message via our audio podcast here.
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This past weekend during my sermon, I mentioned a quotation from Martin Luther on vocation. In this passage, Luther comments on 1 Peter 2:9, which says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
It follows from this argument that there is no true, basic difference between laymen and priests, princes and bishops, between religious and secular, except for the sake of office and work, but not for the sake of status. They are all of the spiritual estate, all are truly priests, bishops, and popes. But they do not all have the same work to do. …A cobbler, a smith, a peasant—each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops. Further, everyone must benefit and serve every other by means of his own work or office so that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, just as all the members of the body serve one another.
Right now at Eastbrook, we are making our way through a series aimed at integrating our faith and work entitled “God at Work.” This past weekend, we looked at the big picture of God’s design for work and two key concepts of a good theology of work: work as cultivation and work as vocation.
As we continue this weekend, I’m going to be exploring the difficulties we face in our work, and I’d like to hear from you about that. What are some of your greatest challenges at work? What difficulties do you see as some of the most common difficulties people face in their work?
Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “God at Work.” This was the first part of our series, “God at Work.”
- When you hear the word “work” what comes into your mind?
- This weekend we begin a new series at Eastbrook entitled, “God at Work,” where we will explore vocation, the workplace, and approaching this all from a biblical perspective. Today, we will spend a lot of time in Genesis 1 and 3. Before starting this study, ask God to clearly speak to you in meaningful ways. Then, whether you are alone or with others, read Genesis 1 and 3 aloud.
- What would you say is the significance of the fact that the Bible begins with an example of God working?
- When you reflect on Genesis 1:1-25, what sort of activity and creativity do you see God involved with?\
- There is great meaning in humanity being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). However, for our purposes in this study we want to focus on Genesis 1:28-30. This is sometimes called the Creation Mandate or Cultural Mandate because it expresses God’s intentions for humanity’s role and activity in the world. What do you see as the main elements of God’s calling for humanity in these verses? Why do you think this is important?
- What do you see in Genesis 1 about God’s original intention for work, reflected in His own activity and humanity’s calling?
- Now, let’s turn to Genesis 3. The disobedience of Adam and Eve leads to the natural consequences of God’s curse upon creation, including humanity. What are the main elements of that curse as seen in Genesis 3:14-19?
- What does the curse of Genesis 3 tell you about the realities we experience with work in our fallen world? How does this contrast with God’s original intention for work in Genesis 1?
- How do you personally struggle with work? What do your reflections on Genesis 1 & 3 tell you about that?
- What is one way God is speaking to you about your life at work or your understanding of work? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.
[Next week: We continue our series, “God at Work,” by looking at the difficulties we face with work and how we deal with them. Ask God to speak to us through this series.]