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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 11) - Calling, Vocation, Career, Job - 02

Sunday English Service - 21 JAN 18


Please turn with me to Ecclesiastes chapter 3, Ecclesiastes chapter 3, let me read to you from verse 9. I'm going to read from verse 9 to 13 -What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? If have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from the beginning to the end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor-it is the gift of God. -As you know we've been teaching on work. We began with how God designed man for work and work for man and that itself is a very interesting topic, and we talked about it first. How God made man as a worker. Working is something that comes from our very nature, we are made, designed like that. And I told you why God has designed us in that way. We saw that God himself is like that, therefore we are also designed that way. Then we talked about how work became difficult through sin and the curse that came upon our work through sin, and how that makes work very difficult. And then thirdly, we are now talking about how Jesus came to remove the curse and has brought blessing upon our lives. 2,000 years ago Jesus came and died on the cross, the Bible says, as it is written curse is everyone that hangeth on a tree. Jesus died on the cross so that our curse can be gone and we can have the blessing of Abraham, the Bible says. So that has already happened, for the last 2,000 years. We have the privilege of living under the blessing that has come through Jesus Christ. Curse affected our work in a very great way, and blessing also affects our work. And I'm talking about how blessing really works in the area of our work, our career, our job, and our vocation, alright?
So today, I want to go a little deeper into it, I want to bring some biblical teaching about calling, vocation, career, job, and so on. Now last week I took you through a little bit of history for the first 1600 years of the New Testament times. The reason is this, a lot of people have a lot of wrong ideas about life itself and particularly about work and about life in this world, you know. People think in this world, you should not be involved very much in this world. That you must hate the world, that you must separate yourself from the world itself. And that meant to a lot of people that you must not have anything, you must leave everything, and you must be uninvolved in the world. You must not get deeply involved in the world and the things of the world. That means no involvement in any of the things that are going on in the world and you should not enjoy any of the blessings that God gives in our earthly life. Now this is a very prevalent idea, I mean it's very difficult to shake it off literally. And I try to go back into history to show you how these ideas are not from the New Testament or from the word of God, that's the reason I went back in history. It didn't come from Jesus, it didn't come from the New Testament the Bible, that's what I want you to see.
I showed you how just prior to the coming of Jesus into this world, the world was divided between the Gentiles and the Jews. That's the two ways the world was divided, Jews and Gentiles. Jews are the descendants of Abraham, Gentiles are everyone else, alright? Among the Gentiles the Greeks were the ones that took the lead, that set the trend intellectually and so on. So they told the world what they should think about, how they should think about everything. So their opinion about work was, I showed you that work done with hands, it's demeaning, demoralising, that people that have to work with their hands for pay, are in a very unfortunate position. So they didn't have a very good attitude about working with hands. But the Jews were not like that, Jews have read the first and second chapter of Genesis. They knew that God had designed us for work and that God himself worked six days and rested on the seventh day. There's nothing wrong with work. The Greeks were the ones that contemplated and sit around, meditate, contemplate, and so on as some great blessed people. But those who worked as a kind of like a cursed people that they have to do it, you know. But the Jews thought that it's a blessing, work was given to us in creation itself. That God created man just like himself and God is a worker, so is man.
So they didn't have any problem with work, so when Jesus came, He came from a Jewish background. He was born of a woman, born under the law Galatians chapter 4, verse 4 says that means He was part of the Jewish race. So He has read Genesis 1 and 2 and he often went back to Genesis to talk about various things. For example when they asked some questions about marriage, He said about divorce, He said in the beginning God created man male and female. For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, they should not be two, but they shall be one. All of this comes exactly from Genesis 1 and 2, Genesis 1 says that God made man male and female in his image and likeness he made them. Genesis chapter 2 says that for this reason a man should leave his father...see Jesus was quoting from Genesis 1 and 2, so He was a great believer on the ideals presented in Genesis chapter 1 and 2. So He knew very well what the Bible taught about work. So He had no problem with work, He saw, He never thought or never in His words you can see that He ever thought that work done with hands is demeaning.
Many times He'll talk about farming work in His illustrations, in His sermons, He will talk about business, somebody doing a business. He'll talk about the relationship between a boss and his workers, and He'll talk about banking systems and so on. He will talk, He'd refer to so many activities that are going on in this world by way of business and trade and work and so on. Never once, did He mention anything demeaning about it, work was not--He didn't have the Greek idea, He was Jew thoroughly, you know. He really considered work as respectful and so on. So it didn't come from Jesus, a lot of people think Jesus had nothing as if He slept on the sidewalks of the road, that He didn't even have a place to lay his head and all. I've explained all of things, I don't want to go through all of those things. But these are wrong opinions propagated by Christians today, and it is still prevalent today. That that's the way Jesus lived, that He didn't have nothing and if you want to follow Jesus, you should have nothing also. So they'll often go back to passages where it says, where Jesus said, "You'll leave everything and come and follow me." And He will say to the rich young ruler, "You go and sell everything that you have, give it to the poor, and then come and follow me."
You know, one follower came to me very heatedly you know, he said, "What are you preaching? You know Jesus said you must sell everything and give it to the poor, then come and follow me." He's a preacher you know, so he was very upset that we are not preaching that, you know. I said, "First of all let me ask you. Have you sold everything? And have you given it to the poor?" Alright? He has come to see me in a car, you know. So I said, "Have you sold everything, given everything to the poor?" And then I said, "Have you preached it to the church, in which you are a pastor? You're a pastor, have you preached it to your church? I can bet on it," I said to him, "If you preach one day in your church saying that you cannot follow Christ until you sold everything and gave it to the poor, and then only you can come and take baptism and follow Christ. You will have no members at all in your church, I can guarantee you that, you know." Not because Jesus was very hard or anything, you're presenting it wrongly. Jesus said to that man but He said it for a purpose you know. Because that man had become very materialistic, see there is a difference between materialism and materials. Materials are good, God created material, so when you go buy clothes, they say this material. I'm wearing some material, you're wearing some material, you know. Material is nothing bad, material is good, but materialism is bad just like tradition is good and traditionalism is bad. Tradition is good, right? I said to you before, "Tradition is the living faith of the dead." It's the living faith of the dead, people who have died and gone on to be with the Lord, have left some good practices which is living faith.
They taught me, my family, they taught me to read the Bible, respect the word of God, walk by God's word, go to church every Sunday. I never, I don't remember missing church even one Sunday, you know. And I followed the same with my kids you know, I brought them to church. You know even if they didn't like it, I brought them, sometimes they cried, I brought them, you know. You come to church, you know, there's no other option. When they're little, you can drag them by their ears and they'll come. When they're grown, you can't do that. So I brought them to church, you know, we made them read the Bible, we taught them prayer. You know when they came to church we gave them a little Bible to carry, they couldn't even read but let them know what the Bible is. Let them get into the practice. These are good traditions they taught with good old songs, you know. I love those songs, I was teaching one song sometime ago here, somebody though I wrote that song. I said, "Listen this was written long before I was born, you know." My mother taught me this song, and I love to sing those old songs, traditional songs, there's something good about them.
Tradition is the living faith of the dead, people are dead but what they've left us are good things that we follow still, right? Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living, oh think about that. Traditionalism where living people follow some useless thing, that are not beneficial, that are not meaningful, that have nothing to do with life, contributes no good thing to life. That is what traditionalism, traditionalism is bad, tradition is good. I was preaching in one place about tradition, and a man said, "Pastor, I think people have greatly mistaken you. They think you are a man against all tradition, that you got rid of all." Because I introduced the chorus singing and all of that, 30 years ago in the city, and it was a revolutionary change. When I first started out, you know from what it was to this kind of singing and music and so on. So everybody thought I'm against all tradition, that I move away from tradition, I hate tradition. No, no, I don't hate tradition, I'm a very traditional person, but I also like modern things, you know. While I like the modern things, I like traditional things also, you know, there's nothing wrong with tradition. I am against traditionalism, doing things meaninglessly with no benefit in it, no meaning in it, simply doing it because somebody does it. That is bad, that is not right. So the same way material is good, God made everything that we see and called it good. Materialism is wrong, it's bad, it's evil, why? Because materialism is the love of those things, the respect that we pay to those things, we respect them more than God. We seek them more than God, they have a higher place in our lives than God, that is materialism. You run after it, you go after it, your heart is sold to it, and you desire only those things and don't have any place for God. That is materialism, you see, nothing wrong in using the materials that God has made, you know. But materialism is an attitude that is very wrong, that displaces God, you know and brings in these materials into our lives in the place of God. That is what materialism is.
So a lot of people don't understand these things, they think if you have money, you're materialistic, you know...if you just had money, you know.This man, rich young ruler is not materialistic just because he had money. He's materialistic because money had him, that's the problem. He was sold out to money, because when Jesus said sell everything that you have, give it to the poor and come and follow me, he went away sad. He didn't want Christ, he came asking how to get eternal life, and Jesus told him the answer. He didn't want eternal life at the cost of everything that he had, he wanted to keep everything that he had, if possible get eternal life. That means he wanted to keep his materials first, and God next. He's a person that wanted to kind of accommodate God in his life, give him some place in his life. But he wanted primarily to live for his wealth and seek after wealth, and live for his wealth and be sold out to wealth. God says, "I'll be your Lord, but you can enjoy your wealth." He was not ready for that, he wanted that to have the first place, and that is why he went away sadly, the Bible says. By the way, Jesus never said to anyone else, you sell everything, give it to the poor and come and follow me. In fact he went to Zacchaeus' house and Zacchaeus as soon as Jesus went in there, had a repentance, turnaround in his life and he said, "I will give half of what I have to the poor, and I'll give four times, four-fold, of everything that I've taken unjustly. Zacchaeusis a Jew, he's thinking Old Testament.
Remember when David had a relationship with Bathsheba, the prophet comes in and tells David you know a story, instead of telling the King that he has done wrong. He tells it without telling him, you know. He says a rich man, you know, took poor man's sheep and killed it, and prepared a dinner for his guests. The poor man loved his sheep, the sheep would lay on his lap and it was like a kid to him. But this rich man killed that sheep, and very moving story. And David hearing this story said, "Who's that rich man? What should be done to him is this, that he must be given four times more," that is four-fold. He must be given, what he lost must be replaced with four times as much. And then the prophet said, "That's you, you're the rich man who killed the poor man's sheep," and so on. So he's thinking of, Zacchaeus is thinking about that, you must restore it four-fold. So if I've taken anything from the poor, I'm ready to restore it four-fold, I'm ready to give half of what I have to the poor. And Jesus He should have said to him,"Listen Zacchaeus half is not enough, you know my teaching, what about the rest? You say half I'll give to the poor, while the rest you have in the bank, go get the rest and give it to the poor and then you can have salvation." He should have said that, but He never said that. When he said I'll give half to the poor and restore four-fold if I've taken anything from others. Jesus said, "Salvation has come today to this house." Today, salvation has come to this house.
Obviously that seemed to be enough for Jesus because now there has been a revolutionary change in that man's heart, you see. Before he lived for money, now he wants, at any cost, to have God as the Lord of his life. And so he's turning to God, repenting from his sin, realising he's wrong. And Jesus says salvation has come to your house. So read the Bible right, you know. These ideas that you should have nothing does not come from Jesus, Jesus never taught it, the Bible doesn't teach the New Testament doesn't teach it. You know, certainly this is not biblical that's why I went to history, you know. During Jesus' time He called some people to come and follow Him, leave everything and come. Because they left their fishing profession and all of that and came and followed Him, became full time ministers. But He didn't tell everyone to leave their job, everyone to give everything half, everyone to sell everything and give it to poor. That is not correct, to say that so many people that followed Him, the business people were people that had wealth, that kept their wealth. In fact they ministered to Him, with their wealth, the Bible says. It talks about particularly some women, aristocratic women that became followers of Jesus. "That ministered to Jesus with their wealth," exact words.
Hello, but the world will have none of this, they won't listen to this, they believe this stuff, you know. That Jesus had nothing, He had no place to lay His head, so we should not have anything. And there are people that'll go, that'll preach only from the minor prophets. They will not have nothing to preach from Genesis, even to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, they won't touch all of that. They'll go straight to the minor prophets and there are 12 of them. All the minor prophets will be scolding the rich, you know why? Because they are scolding the people that lived in the promised land, enjoying God's blessings. But they're enjoying them in the wrong way. Rich people of God, blessed so much, but living in sin, unrighteous to the core, evil to the core. Doing things that when you read it, you won't even be able to read it in public, such sins, you know, they were committing. And therefore these small prophets were sent by God to scold them, turn them away from those things, turn them to God. But today, preachers will take that and use it to scold people. Those passages are not written to the people of God who are eagerly following God, given their life to Christ and have become followers of Christ. No! That is not for them, that is against materialism, that is against those things.
So in the first two centuries the church was on the right track, the first two centuries you find that people were going to work. They were involved in business, involved in the activities that are there in the world. They were like the salt and light in the world. They were very much involved in the world and they were able to win and attract people by the way they were, attract people to Christianity. There was a tremendous change happening, lot of people began to believe in Christ because these people were special. The way they did business, the way they worked, the way they did things was different.
In the 3rd the century there was a great persecution, Christians were killed, heaped, heaps of dead bodies, you know. This was the sight of the 3rd century persecution of Christians and as a result, Christians became to have a negative opinion of the world. They wanted to withdraw from the world, they hated the world, they despised the world, they saw only evil in the world. They didn't want to have anything to do with the world. Thereafter, they began to take things like when Paul would say you should not have anything to do with the world, or that you should you know, the love of world should not be there and so on. And they began to interpret it in a different way, they began to say that you cannot be involved in politics, you cannot be involved in military, you cannot be involved in worldly business, you cannot be involved in worldly activities. You should have nothing to do with the world, the world is defiled with sin, corrupt, evil, it's full of evil. Withdraw from it, go away from it as much as possible, then only you can live a spiritual life. That is how they taught.
Even Augustine who's one of the great teachers, wonderful teachers, he began to teach like that. And for a thousand years, this continued. More than a thousand years it continued, all the way to the 15th century. And it developed to a point where even marriage was considered evil, so that the preachers were told not to marry. And any activity is considered evil, hate the world, that's the policy. Now the Bible says God so loved the world, which world did He love? The world that He made, that was good. The world in which He put Adam and Eve. The world in which He put a great many people, you know. He loved that world, He gave His son for this world, so that He may die, bring back the world to Himself. He's interested in the world, He's not going to let the world go to waste. In fact, He has saved us but He's also going to save the world, the Bible says. It's going to come back to its original position, God is going to restore the world from the fall, and the sin, and the consequences of sin and fall. God loves the world. Then which world is the Bible talking about, when it says, "Hate the world."
It's talking about the fallen, sinful people that live in the world, that dictate the philosophy of this world, the thinking of the world. Which results in corruption, which results in evil, which does evil and practices evil, that is the world you are supposed to hate. You are supposed to hate the evil that is there in the world, the sin that is there in the world, the wrong kind of practices that is there in the world. That's the way the Bible teaches. But they rejected the world, they said, "We don't want even an inch of this world. We just want to go to heaven, be rid of this world, don't want nothing with the world." So come away from the world was the message. You want to be spiritual? Out of the world, God wants you out of the world, this was the message. Even today you will hear that, out of the world, come out from the world. So if you doing business and all of a sudden you get saved be careful, some preacher will say, "I think you should give up that business brother, because that will make you very worldly. Because you'll be too embroiled with the world and the things of the world, you must come away from it, you know. They'll discourage you from being involved business activities and so on. Because that will draw you into the world, the point is come out of the world. And Martin Luther came in 16th century, he said, "Get into the word." Exact opposite teaching, now you read history, Martin Luther said, "Don't come away from the world, involve yourself in the world. Change civilisation, change the society, bring change." And you won't believe, in two generations after the reformation, civilisation was changed in Europe in two generations. Just two generations, the civilisation, the culture of Europe was changed. That is the kind of impact he made, by preaching saying, don't come out of the world, be involved in the world. Be the salt of the earth, be the light of the world, be like a city that is set on a hill.
So a lot of things that you hear these days don't come from the Bible, I wanted you to know that. I wanted you to realise where it all came from, because they'll say, "It all came from Jesus, it's all come from the Bible." No, no, no, it doesn't come from the Bible and it doesn't come from Jesus. Jesus had a very healthy attitude. To the guy that took the talents that Jesus gave, the one-talent guy, remember? He said he rolled it up and kept it safe, did not want to risk investing it, did not want to take any kind of risk. And rolled it up and kept it and returned to Jesus while the others went and multiplied it, did business with it. Increased it and came, they were appreciated, but this man returned as Jesus gave him. Got a rebuke like you won't believe, he was sent straight to hell in that story. And He says, if you would have least put in the bank, I would have received it with interest. Jesus was not against banks. So you've got to interpret things in the right way, otherwise... if you understand, you know, the Bible without the revelation of what it is saying ultimately, then you'll go wrong, your whole life will be wasted, because you'll be gone in the wrong direction, alright.
So I talked about the Puritans also, and how they went as pilgrims to America because of religious freedom issue. And they landed there, and they held on to the teaching, the Protestant teaching after the Reformation. They went right after the Reformation and they carried this light of this good news that they have got now. This revelation concerning work and all of those things. And they emphasized enterprise, innovation, creativity, boldness, business and so on. And when they landed in America, they said, "We are going to be a city set on a hill, just like Jesus said. One day the whole world will look upon us with wonder," and they did it. That is how America came about. But you know in the 18th and 19th centuries, something happened. They turned right back to the old ways.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, things happened in such a way that people started disrespecting the word of God. They called it an "Enlightenment Era". They said you can't believe this, you don't know whether this is true or not. So don't bring this into the picture, don't bring the word of God into the picture. Let's live by our mind, by reason, reason is superior to all our religious beliefs. Religious beliefs can be right or wrong, how do we know? But reason, we can always know whether it's right or wrong, so let's go by reason. So reason gained superiority over belief in the word of God. So word of God was put in the back-burner, questions were asked about the word of God. That is when the theological liberalism, all of these things came in the picture, that a lot of people stopped believing in the Bible and so on.
So now, without the Bible and without an emphasis upon our relationship with God, with just the mind, glorifying the mind. Man began to live and provide meaning for all things in life, they started providing meaning for work and things like that, family and so on. That is when the disintegration began, because they changed their world view from what it was that the Bible is the word of God. And that the Bible teaches this and that about the family, and about work, and about Christian life and so on. This was the emphasis of the Reformation, but they changed the world view, now reason is the thing by which you live. Not the Bible, don't speak the Bible they said, don't bring the Bible into picture, not bring God into the... reason is the way you live. And what happened as a result? Reason could not give them any meaning. Because with God, you'll have no meaning, why? Because everything is made for man, right? This is the equation, you should never forget it.
You read the Bible, everything was made before man was made, in the first chapter. Then finally only man was made, why everything was made before man was made? Because everything was made for man, for the use of man. Since everything is made for man, you remove man from the picture, everything that was made will have no meaning, no significance, right? Even the sun, moon and the stars will have no significance, it's all for man. Why would God need it? God doesn't need animals, God doesn't need fish, God doesn't need sun, moon, and the stars. God doesn't need vegetation, God doesn't need the trees and the fruits and all of that. God doesn't need anything like that, it was all made for the use of man. Only if man is in existence, then all these things have meaning for their existence. If you remove man, they have no meaning, right? Because they're all made for man, if everything is made for man, you remove man, everything has no meaning. And if everything is made for man, then what is man made for? Man is made for God, and the same kind of equation comes here. We said if everything is there but man is not there, everything loses its meaning. Now we say, if man is there, but God is not there, you remove God from the picture, man will have no meaning.
Hello, that's what you call lost. You see you want to come into a meaningless life? You want to be a lost person? Just lurking, don't know why am I here, for what reason? Why am I going to work? Why am I working? Why am I earning? Why am I laboring? That's why I read Ecclesiastes 3, it's asking that question. He says, "What profit has the worker from that in which he labours?" What is the benefit he receives? What does he receive from all of his labours? It's trying to find meaning, searching for the meaning of his work. I'm working 8 hours a day, 10 hours a day, 12 hours a day, why? What profit? What do I benefit from it? If God is there in your life, you'll know. See that is why the Protestant interpretation of the word of God is so important. You remove God, you remove the scriptures, then the world gives the meaning. See at that time in the 18th and 19th centuries, the industrial revolution also happened. And many people say even that happened because of Luther and Calvin and what they taught. That gave rise to the industrial revolution, the development in that way. So many factories and production was going on, and so a lot of people working in these things and finding jobs, employment, earnings and so on.
So now, because of what the Reformation taught, things have developed and it's flourishing now, but at the same time they got rid of God, got rid of the scriptures. Calling it "enlightenment" it's actually darkness without the scriptures and without God. Now you have given man work, but you have to give him meaning. You've given man job in your factory, you've given man an income. He goes to work, you tell him work hard, you know. And capitalism was trying to give meaning to man, the worker, their ideology, through their ideology. And Marxism came in and they started giving their meaning for man. Both ideologies you know, trying to give meaning for man. Now the Bible is gone, now Capitalism and Marxism, they're trying to give meaning for man's work. Man is crying out for meaning, what profit does a man have from all this labour? I'm working all day, what profit? What do I benefit from it? These two ideologies started giving meaning and man became more and more frustrated because both of these ideologies are not able to provide a realistic meaning and purpose for man's work.
Now, this man says, what is a profit? And then in verse 11 he says, the passage that we just read, he said he has made everything beautiful in his time. See, he doesn't understand a lot of things, he's confused. He says, "Why am I working? What is the meaning of this?" But then he says, well God is wonderful you know, He does everything beautiful, there is some order to Him. Look at the sun, moon, and the stars, look at how the seasons come and go. Look at how everything works, there is order in creation. Everything He does everything beautifully and wonderfully, everything beautifully in its time. And then he says, "Also he has put eternity in their hearts." Except that no one can find out the work does from the beginning to the end. Now what does he mean when he says, he's put eternity in their hearts? Now let me read to you from Amplified version, because Amplified sometimes really explains it just the ways it says it, you know. So let me read to you from verse 9 itself -What profit is there for the worker from that in which he labours? You see this amplifies the meaning, so it's helpful. -I've seen the tasks which God has given to the sons of man, with which to occupy themselves. I've seen the work that God has given to man with which they occupy themselves, he said. -He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. -There is some order and purpose, it looks like, to God the way he does everything. Then he says, -He has also planted eternity, and then expands on it, 'cause this is a big statement. He has also planted eternity, can you believe that? Where? In the human heart and in between, after eternity they put a bracket, and they say, -He has also planted eternity, within brackets it says, "Sense of divine purpose in the human heart."
Hello, the human heart is the proof, the human heart is the proof that you are made in the image and likeness of God, that you have God's likeness in you. And that you are made for God. Can a man live without God? No, he cannot live without God. Eternity is in his heart, therefore man's expectations are not just food, clothing, some comfort in this life. You can give him all the comfort, all the food, all the clothing, but still he gets very frustrated. He needs meaning, he needs purpose beyond that, right? And he says, God has put eternity in the hearts of man. He sees that man's heart is something very special. When he says man's heart, he's referring to the inner man, the insider man, the inner man. See what you see is the outer man here, the body and what you see on the outside. The inner man is the real you, in the heart there is eternity, so man he says, is connected with eternity and with God. If he's not connected with God, since eternity is in his heart, he is hungering after God. He wants to know God, he has to get connected with God, get hooked up with God, without God he cannot live. He cannot manage, he cannot live. God must come into his life, God must provide meaning, God must provide purpose. He needs to have a sense of divine purpose. Otherwise you can give him enough food, good house, good car, good facilities everything, good security, good pension everything. But he will be sitting there staring at the walls there saying, why did I come into this world? Who brought me in here? For what reason? Why am I living? Why do I have to do all this? Why do I have to work, everyday? Why do I have to earn money? Why do I have to build a house? Why do I have to marry? Why do I have to have children? Where am I going next? When I die, what will happen? Is it the end or do I go somewhere? What is the meaning of this life? What is the purpose? A sense of divine purpose is necessary for man to exist.
This is something that people cannot even explain sometimes. They feel uncomfortable, they know that they have something that's bothering them. They can't even tell what it is, it is the lack of sense of divine purpose. This man has found that the heart is the key to life. God has made man, given him a body so that he can live on this earth. But his heart is hooked up to eternity. The heart belongs to a realm that is beyond this earth, beyond what is seen. The heart must be hooked up to God. You know, your heart and my heart is amazing. God has put in our hearts the capacity to have a sense of purpose, the capacity to have sense of purpose. So without God, you try to have purpose, you are messed up. You have work, but that's not enough, you need to have purpose. I have been doing this thing for 30 years, more than 30 years, actually I've been preaching for more than 40 years now, I'm still young. Boy! these years really make you sound like you're an ancient man. I've been preaching for so long, but you know, I find excitement, more and more excitement preaching. Why? Because of a sense of divine purpose, divine purpose.
I never lose excitement, you know, it's not like, "Well I've got to do it today, my God," you know. They're paying me to do it, so I've got to go do something, preach a sermon. No, no, no, I never think of it like that, excited. People often ask me, how do you preach four times? I'll preach even ten times, no problem. You got time? I got preaching. Because a sense of divine purpose. When you don't have a sense of divine purpose, and you push a man to work, now he's got to work hard without a purpose. Just imagine getting up in the morning without a purpose, without a sense of divine purpose you've got to go and work. You've got to labour, you've got to sweat it out, you've got to work hard, you've got to go here and there, do things but no divine purpose. That is how you go to waste, you know.
That's why a lot of people, in Tamil they say, they have a phrase like this, Maadauzhachiodaatheyirathu You can't say it good in Tamil, sometimes you can say it good in English.Maadauzhachiodaatheyirathu - that means you work so hard, you just melt down to nothing. You go to waste, just working hard. Work, work, work, work, and no purpose also, you work, work, work, and then the purpose gets very twisted, you know. You think, "Well I've got to work, because I've got to build a house. I've got to work because I've got to put up enough for retirement, I've got to work because I've got to put enough money in the bank for my kids to you know, do this and that." You're going to work, work, work, it's all me-me-me, I need it, I need more, it's not enough, work, work, work, work. You're only thinking about yourself. Work is all about, again I've got pull out Tamil, you know. Because some things are good in Tamil, some are good in English, sometimes in Tamil service I use English, you know. Then it becomes pozhappu, then work becomes making a living. And when that comes down to that level, when you are, you know, in the English-speaking world, they have this thing you know. They say, "What do you do for a living?" When I first came across these words abroad, you know, I felt very bad about it. What do you do for a living? You know. It's a very...pozhapukkuennapanringa? somebody asks you like that, how do you feel if they say, what is your profession or something you'll feel better. But this is the way they ask you, what do you do for a living? Why? Because it has become part of the culture, that we work just to make a living. To pay the rent, to pay the fees, to pay the food, to meet our needs. Work means just to make a living, which concept is not biblical at all.
God never intended man, see if you ask God, God would have told you that's wrong. If you taught the people from the Bible, if you respected the Bible during Enlightenment Era, if they gave place to the Bible and what taught that the Reformers taught, they would not have been messed up. Because they left out the Bible, their real meaning is gone, now they have to give meaning. Their meaning that they're giving is, "Work for yourself. Make a living for yourself." That's the meaning that they could give, but God never says that. When God gave work to man, it was not so that he can make a living. No! When God gave work, man had everything, God provided everything to man, but still gave him work. What was the work about? Work is about the development of everything that God has made. Work is about how he must take what God has made, and make things flourish. Work is about, he must take where God quit, He worked six days and rested on the seventh day. After that, it was man's work, man is supposed to work, man is supposed to take where God quit, and work on things and develop things from where God left. He must now be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate, and do things and develop the culture, develop the society, the civilisation, develop everything. So it is about development, it is about his talents, his abilities used, exercised in an appropriate manner so that he can feel delighted doing certain things. He can see the fruit of it, he can enjoy it. These are all part of work, never to make a living. It is development, it is to realise our talents and gifts and abilities, use them in a very fruitful way and to bring glory to God through that. And to fulfill God's purposes in this world, God's vision for this world, develop this world according to God's vision. This is the purpose for work and then ultimately, so that everyone can see God through our work, that's why work was given. Work was never given to make a living.
Yeah, when you work, you start producing and you eat what you produce and so on. But work was never given to make a living, work was given so that you can develop, you can bring out your talents, use it appropriately. Be delighted in using it and seeing it work, solve problems, help the society flourish, do everything for the glory of God. Ultimately, being made in the image and likeness of God, you are showing forth God through your work. That's how work is envisioned in the Bible. This meaning the world cannot give. You leave out God, you lost this meaning, that's it. You go to any university they will not give you this meaning, because God should not be brought in they say, only reason. Only reason, don't bring in God, we don't know God, we can't tell whether there is a God or not. I believe in God, I believe in the Bible. I've no problem, I am not lost, I know exactly why I live, I know exactly why I'm working, I know exactly why I go to work everyday, I know exactly why I have a career, I know exactly what I'm doing. The meaning of all these things, I delight it in, I enjoy it, I have a purpose through it all. And I'm not tired and worn out by my work, there is a joy in this work because I understand exactly what work is for. Making a living is something that happens on the side, while you're working like this. It is never for the purpose of making a living. Everybody say: God has put eternity in my heart. That means you're hooked up to God, you can know God, that you can know God's purposes, you can find meaning for your life through God. You can have a relationship with God, that God can guide you, lead you in your life. This is the contact point that God has to you. That is why you should know God. See we are not trying to convert people, make them Christians. We're trying to bring people to the living God so that they can be connected with Him, know Him.
In the world there are many religions, but do you know the real living God? If you know the real living God, then do you understand the meaning of life? Do you understand the meaning of family? Do you understand the meaning of work? Do you have meaning for your existence? Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Do you have a purpose? Do you have energy? You have motivation? Hello, you know that you're going, why you want to live. Why you get up every morning? Why you go to work? Why you have to earn money? Why you have to marry? Why you have to have children? Do you know? If you know God, you will know. See knowing God is about finding meaning and purpose for your life. God has put eternity in our hearts, there is a link between God and us, and it is there in our hearts. Inside I know, alright?
So when it comes to work also, I can know a lot of things. The first thing that the Reformation people taught, the reformer taught, one of the things that the Reformers taught about this eternity in the heart and its relation to work is this. That when it comes to work, all of us are called by God to our work. Now what is the meaning of "called"? Being called. Now, I need to take you to the words like calling, career, work, job and all of those words, you know. We think there's nothing to it, you know, it all means the same thing. Vocation, vocation, career, job, occupation, work, all of them mean the same think to a lot of people because they don't think about it in biblical way. But when you think about it in biblical way, you'll see the difference and when you understand the difference, it's wonderful.
First try to understand the difference between vocation and other things, let's understand vocation first, the word vocation. This is a thing that brought about a big change in the Reformation. Vocation comes from a Latin word, and it literally means, the Latin word is vocari and it means to call, to call. So vocation is where a person has sensed a call that someone is calling him to do it. See how the word itself has it built in it, you know. So now vocation has come to be known as a trade, or some kind of a thing that you train yourself for. A trade or some kind of a skill that you, there is vocational training institute and so on, you know. But vocation, the word comes from the word which means to call. Okay, it's like as, if I called you and you responded. Have you ever felt the call of God upon your lives? That God's calling you, some of us have got other things you know, the volume is so high. We're very involved in so many other things, we've got the volume so high, you know. It's like in the house, you know when you got the TV so high and kids are shouting and everybody's you know, on the phone, two or three people talking. And you want to call your wife, you've got to scream, you know. Because you've got to go over all of these things and reach her. But when you shut down all of this noise and tune in to the voice that calls you, I'll tell you there is a voice, the voice of God contacting you in your heart, because God has put eternity in your heart contacting you to guide you and to lead you into your destiny.
See that is why I tell the young people, remember your creator in the days of your youth. Now they told me when I was studying, have fun man when you're young. I thought they're wise people, I followed them for a while, just fools, you know. They said that's a wise thing to have fun, just go and dance away your time and just enjoy, and just party, and just have fun because when are you going to have fun? When you're 80 years old? Have it now. Thank God I got redeemed from that, I would have been a very sad many at 80 years of age if I did that. I thought that's a wise idea, to do that and then at the old age, go find a house right next to the church. So you can just walk to the church slowly, and then when you die, they'll just carry you to the grave right next door, you know. What a wise idea, that's the way to live, I thought. But I tell the young people, you're being fooled when somebody says that to you. Remember your creator when you're young. As young as possible because right now you need to know this voice, you need to be a person who can hear the voice of God calling you. You need to understand that God is interested in you, He's got a destiny planned for you. He has marked you and He calls you for his purposes.
When God calls you are you able to hear? Are you in a position to hear? You need to know God first, you have to have a relationship with God first. And you've got to tune in to God, to hear Him. Make an attempt, an effort to hear Him speak to you. Spend time with Him, you need to do that because He'll show you what course to take, what to study, where to go, who to marry, what kind of job to do, everything He'll show you. Calling, I believe in calling, God calling and that's real. God has a connection to your heart, He has put eternity in your heart. Your heart has been made differently than all other parts of your being. The heart is a different kind of entity, it is something that is hooked up with God and you can hear God. That is why, that is why the spiritual life is so important. A contact with God, talking to God, God talking to you. Living in that relationship day in and day out is important, it's not a matter of whether you've read your two chapters today and prayed five minutes, you know. It's about have you ever talked to God? Has He ever talked to you? Do you know God's will for your life? Do you know what do you want to do? Do you know where you want to go? What do you want to be? Do you have any idea about that?
See I was a young man that didn't know that, I remember when the college principal asked me, what do you want? I said anything. So they gave me philosophy and I went there and they're talking about some old stuff, you know. Boring stuff for me at that age, maybe now I'll like it. So I got out and found out another man for recommendation, went to the principal's house itself. I've could have pretty much gotten what I wanted. And there also he asked me, what do I want? I said, not this, but anything else. What a fool, you know. Not this, but anything else, not interested. Didn't know where I was going, didn't know what I want, no motivation. That's why I believe Psalm 37:4 does not mean what many people think it means. -Delight yourself also in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. -Many people think that if you live for God, you get close to God, He'll give you whatever you desire. That's what every religion is saying, you come to our place, our God, believe in our God, He'll give you what you want. If our God is one that just gives us what we want, I would have been in a mess because what I wanted is useless, you know. The problem is I didn't even know what I want.
And I had come from such a holy background, I would have told God, I don't want much God. After you give get through giving to everybody, give me whatever is left over, you know. If it was left to me to ask God what I wanted, I would have been in a mess, I would never become what I became. So that verse should not be understood like that. -Delight yourself also in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. -Means that He will give you desires and then that desire becomes your prayer and He'll give you what you desire. First He gives you the desire, then gives you what you desire. Hello, that's a special thing about our God, He gives you the desires themselves. So where is the desire? Heart. See God is working in your heart, has God put any desire in your heart? That's God, my friend. But in the church they said, "Don't have any desires. You have this desire, that desire, every kind of desire, you're a sinful person." No, no, no, you should not have sinful desires. God's desires that He puts in your heart are holy desires, that leads you to your destiny. That's your call, God is speaking to your heart, He's putting the desires in your heart, don't neglect it, don't be a sanyasi saying, "I don't want any desires." If it is not for desires how would God lead you into the destiny? Desire is an instrument through which God guides you to where you should go and what you should do. He'll give you desires, then that desires will grip you in such a way, it will fill you in such a way that you will pray, those desires. Those desires will become your prayer, then God will give you what you desire, you see.
See our God is a very special God. It's not like you go and ask Him, here's the list you know, please give me. No. We go and say we don't have the list, first give me the list, I'll go through it first. What do you want from me? Where are you taking me? What is your will and plan and purpose for me? What have you brought me into this world for? Why this life? Why was I born in this way? Why have you kept me here? I want to know. And I tell you, eternity is in your heart, God will deal with you through your heart. Amen.
So calling has to do with call, somebody calling you. Is it real to you that somebody calls you, that God calls you to something? Tells you go here, tells you to be this. This is what the Reformation leaders realised, that everyone is called. And the Bible talks plenty about calling, first of all talks calling to salvation, that God has foreknown us and then called us, and then justified us, and then will glorify us. So it's salvation itself happens as a result of a call. If you know Christ today, you've been called, you've been first foreknown and then God called you. What the Reformers said was, just like you're called to salvation, that God foreknown you, before. He has known you even from your mother's womb when you were made. Paul says, "God separated me unto the gospel from my mother's womb." So God saw you when you were being created in your mother's womb, and saw a purpose for you and has marked you for something. And He calls you to those things, the Reformers believed that the call is not just for call to salvation. The Bible talks about other types of calls also, call to a holy life, called to the kingdom of God and so on. You're called to that, but call to salvation is something very important. They're called literally, we heard the voice of God, we were hearing some preaching or going through some prayer meeting or somewhere. We came into contact with God, God touched our heart, we felt the call of God. And we said, "Yes, Jesus become my Lord and my savior." That is how you became a saved Christian, as a person who's born again. You felt the call of God, God drawing you to Himself at some point in your life. It could have been a dramatic thing, it could have been a not so dramatic, gradual thing. Whatever it was it was definitely a call, right, for salvation.
What the Reformers, the remarkable thing about the Reformers is, they said, "Just like you were called to salvation, you are called to a vocation." You're called to do certain things in this world, you're called to do a particular job in this world, that's call. I began to realise that in my life, when I first started out in college, I didn't realise that. Just studying, just flow with the thing you know, everybody goes to college, so you go to college. Plus in India you don't worry about fees and everything because it didn't cost you much anyway. But if you go somewhere else and study, you want to think 10 times before you want to go to college, because it costs you a lot of money to go to college. Do you want to spend that kind of money? What are you studying for? You know.
And I tell you, at a certain point in my life I began to feel the call of God, and I began to realise that I was born a certain way, given certain abilities, gifted by God in a certain way. That I am marked by God to do his work, and to preach the gospel, I realised that you know. And when I was studying, I was working also because you had to pay for everything. So I was working and studying, and when I finished, a friend of mine whom I'd preach for sometime ago, called me and said. "You want to come and preach for us again?" He's in Texas you know, I was in New York City, he said, "Do you want to come and preach for us again? I'm going to book you in three, four places, so you can preach for us and then preach for a few places and then spend some time with us," he said. So I said, okay he's a good friend, so I'll go. But then I said this is the end, I'm going to go and never return to this work, finished. So I emptied the room, I had a roommate, whatever I had, useless things you know, just left it to him. Packed everything in two suitcases, and left. The guy who I was working for in just a very ordinary job, was a student. He was stunned, he said, "You're called to preach, what do you mean?" he said. I said, "I've got an engagement, preaching engagement, three, four places you know." He said, "What are you going to do after that? What about the 5th place, who will give you? What are you leaving this and going? What do you mean you're called?" He could not believe himself, you know, he felt very sorry for me going to preach, you know. So he took me to the mall and bought me a nice suit, since I'm going to preach. And then bought me the ticket to go to Texas, I didn't ask him. He felt that this guy's going to preach, unbelievable, he's going to leave this thing and going to preach. At least every month, every week he's getting some salary here, life is going on. You're going to go to preach? He just could not believe what I said to him.
I packed the two suitcases and I went, and one thing led to the other. I was preaching in more places, you know, I'll go to one place, they'll send me to two other places. You know, they'll call up their friends saying there is this guy, you know, I know and you should, you know, have him there and so on. They'll have me there and I started preaching and finally ended in one place they wanted me as a pastor there. This is the thing I dreaded most in life, because I saw pastors and I was afraid, I never was wanting to become a pastor. Just go to a city, preach like an evangelist, go to another city, you know. Don't ever come back to that place for a while, you know. But here they wanted me as a pastor, they had only 25 people and I took it up after some deliberation. One week I had to wait and I didn't know if I wanted to take it up and in one year we are 200 people. And God was telling me, listen, this is what I called you for and I have never missed one Sunday, or one Thursday Bible study. And I almost everyday of the week, I think four or five days of the week, I have Bible studies going on in places. People are coming to the Lord like anything. God said see you're meant to be a pastor, you love being in one place, preaching week after week and you've got that mentality. And you've got the thing, you know. I never went anywhere, I preached there all the time, all the time. We had more than 200 people in one year, and God said, this is what I called you for. So I thought, well, we'll settle down nicely here and they said, well we'll get it going and you're a good pastor, you know. We'll look for a great future and all that, then God said, "No, no, no, this is just practice." The real field of work is in India, so when I said I'm coming here, one fellow from my family said are you out of your mind? You know, are you out of your mind? What are you going to go do there? I said I don't know but I'm going there. And I came here, and for more than 30 years now, I'm doing ministry here now, alright?
Socall is something real, not just for ministry, for everything there is a call. Whatever you're doing in life, there is a call, and that call comes into your heart. This is the contact point where it comes, alright? The career is a little different, the career is the opportunity, no, the career, the word career comes from another Latin word which means "road for vehicles". A road laid for vehicles, right? That's what the Latin word means actually, and we say career. So career is the path that you take to fulfill God's call in your life, that's why we talk about career path. And all these guys that are in various careers, they'll talk about career path, which route they're going to take in order to achieve and become what they feel that they want to become. So career is the route, is the path that you take to go to where God wants you to go, and achieve what God wants you to achieve. So I started the career there, that's the route, and I had a turning point there, and I came to India. And I've been traveling on this road, first I travelled in that country for many years, as a traveling preacher, I took the path of this career of preaching. Then I stayed in one place and became a pastor, that was the turning point. Again there was a turning point, I came here. So vocation has to do with the call that happens when God reveals what you are meant to do in your heart. It is not something overnight, it is something that many times it happens over a period of time. It happens in many ways and I'll talk about it in detail later on, the call, right? But it is something that slowly happens, it has to do with your gifts, abilities, talents, your desires and all of these things are involved in guiding you to your call. But then your career is the path that you take to achieve that call, to do what God has called you.
The work has to do with what you're doing right now in life. Work may change, right? Work may change. Even the career sometimes can have some major changes, but the call never changes. You may be in this work, you may be in another work, the career path may take different turns many times. But the call never changes, the call is such an important thing. That is why this thing about eternity in our hearts is so important. So today I want you to go home with this idea, and I want to continue next week. I want you to go home with this truth that God has put eternity in your heart, the ability to know divine purpose. The ability to be in contact with God and know who you are and what you're here for. God has put eternity in your heart. Don't worry, don't be afraid, trust Him. That fellow said, "What are you going to do after the fourth place you preach? Where is the fifth place? Who's going to give you the fifth place?" I'll tell you ever since then I've had no problem getting a place to preach. I'm not able to go to most places where they want me to preach, that's the problem. It's not that I don't have a place to preach. There is more places to preach then I can preach, because when God calls you, He gives you opportunities. He opens opportunities before you, to pursue that call. He will definitely give you the opportunities to pursue that call, that's why you need to know your heart. So that you can see the opportunities when they come, you can know the opportunities and step into them boldly. Take the initiative, be bold, be adventuresome and do what God has called you to do. Amen. Shall we all stand together, praise God. Well, there's so many young people here today, and you know, such a wonderful thing to hear. I wish I'd heard these things when I was young. And it's such a wonderful thing for me to share this with the young people, especially today. Not that the old people are not young enough, but I'll tell you, young people, give it a thought. Your heart is the important equipment you have in life for success, it will lead you to success and your heart must be hooked up to God. Let's lift up our hands to God, and worship him.

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