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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 16) - All of life is God's!

Sunday English Service - 25 FEB 18


Please turn with me to Psalm 24, we'll begin there. I'm gonna read several verses, but just keep it turned to Psalm 24. We've been teaching about work and we began with a teaching on why we should work. We saw how God has designed us for work and work has been designed for us. This is God's basic design in life. So work is a very important factor in our life, it is built into the design. You take work out, it will be meaningless. So we need to understand why we work and I showed you in the first part of the teaching, why we should work. The purposes for which God has given work. Then we looked at how through the sin and the fall, and the consequences of the sin and fall, work became very difficult. It became a toil, so that we see the consequences even today in our world, it's a fallen world. And therefore we see the toil as a reality in many ways even as we go to work, we face it many times. Every time difficulties arise, every time unreasonable demands are made, competition is there and each one is cutting each other's throat. Every time you face this kind of a thing, you see that we live in a sinful, fallen world, it's not everything perfect. But thank God Jesus Christ has come 2,000 years ago, and the Bible says that he has redeemed us from the curse, and brought to us the blessing of Abraham. What is blessing? The blessing is the ability to succeed in the midst of problems, that's what blessing is, the ability to succeed.

So this world is a sinful, fallen world, everything is difficult here. But the ability to succeed, which is what success... I mean which is what blessing is, is given to us. A divine ability that is, is given to us to succeed even in the midst of all the difficulties and problems. So we need to understand this, and put it in operation in our lives by faith. So we've been talking about how to understand the Christian teaching concerning how a Christian should work, a redeemed person. Now freed from the curse but given the blessing, how he should approach his work, how he must work. So in that, one of the first things to understand is the thing about calling. This came as a revelation under the Reformation, Protestant Reformation. One of the major contributions of Protestant Reformation is this whole idea of calling as something that belongs to every person, that God has called every person. Before that for a thousand years, from the 5th century to the 15th century, during the middle ages the churches veered off from the center, from God's plan and purpose and ideas. And got off into their own tangent you know. And they started talking about giving up this, giving up that, and getting away from the world and going into a monastery and staying there and shutting themselves in-that kind of thing to maintain a spiritual life. So if you want to live a very quality spiritual life, a contemplative life is the thing that you must seek. Not a working life, not a life in which you are engaged in worldly work.

So they called this a worldly work, the work that we do in this world. And they called the spiritual life lived in the monasteries, away from the world and the actions of the world a contemplative life. Where much of the time is spent in contemplation. So they said that is spiritual life in order to live a spiritual life, that's what you need to do. In other words, the worldly work is a hindrance to your spiritual growth and spiritual life, they said. And the church believed, the church went in that direction, they glorified monasticism. They glorified giving up everything, even to the point of in the 11th century celibacy became a fact in the church, you know for the priests and so on. That is considered as a better way of life, you wanna be more spiritual, you don't want to even marry because marrying will make you less spiritual you know, dealing with the wife. It's going to be very difficult and you'll lose all spirituality. That kind of a thing you know.

So the church, see just because the church practices certain things, it doesn't mean that it comes from the Bible, that you need to understand. A lot of the practices of the church came in through man's traditions, you see. Traditions you know there are good traditions, there are bad traditions. And man's traditions are something that have kept the church away from God's plan and purpose. And some of these things came as human traditions, human beings brought it up and they maintained it. They brought this into the church and taught it in the church. Things that are not in the Bible at all. And when the Reformation came, Martin Luther dealt with all of these things. He took the Bible, he started reading the Bible. When he went to seminary for the first time he had a Bible in his hand, a full Bible for the first time in his life, he was thrilled. And the man learnt Hebrew and Greek and all of that, and he could find the true meaning of all of these things. And whatever they were already saying to him was wrong according to the Greek and Hebrew, you know. He found so many things that are different, and he knew the real meaning of what it was saying. He had a question and he showed that many of things that went on in the church is not in the Bible after all.

So in the 16th century, he began to make some discoveries you know apart from the discovery of how a person is saved, which is the fundamental thing that happened. That led to further discoveries about Christian life itself, or a spiritual life. Where one of the greatest contributions of Martin Luther in the Reformation is the fact that he discovered the fact that calling is not just a calling to a monastic life, spiritual life, a life of a priest or a nun or something like that; because they said calling belongs to only those people that enter into full time spiritual ministry. He said calling belongs to everyone, every single person is called. Every single person means that even a housewife taking care of the children and her house is called by God. And that lifted all other work to another level. Just imagine, before that everybody felt like they're just unwanted by God and God didn't respect them. God is not pleased with them because they're not doing ministry. God is only pleased with those who are in the ministry, and He has called them to do it. All the others are needed because somebody's got clean up, somebody's got to do carpentry work, somebody's got to do construction work. You need it, you do it, but you don't have any calling. There is no sanctity to that work.

So that made the work a toil literally, I mean you know because you realize that you are not called to do that. This is not a blessing of God to you, you just toil because you just need to eat and do some things for others and so on. But when this whole concept of calling of every person came, that lifted the level... or the kind of work that people did changed, because they began to see themselves as instruments in the hand of God. That they are called of God to do a certain work. If they're called of God and that they should glorify God by their work, then they should do their work on a different level. That raised the level of their work to... the level of excellence found in work. And that led to... they say the European prosperity and so on, because work itself, the attitude towards work itself began to change in the larger society, alright.

Now not only calling, see calling is one basic idea. Another thing that has to be realized regarding work is this. The sanctity of all work, that is what I wanna talk about today, the sanctity of all work. Not just spiritual work is pleasing before God, the sanctity of all work. All work is before God a sanctified thing, it's a holy thing. Work is a divine thing, it is something that God ordained. All work have that respect you know. This means that no vocation, including church work, is regarded as more spiritual or more pleasing to God than other types of work. No work or no vocation, including church work is regarded as more spiritual or more pleasing to God than other types of work. Which it went exactly in the opposite direction of what they believed you know. They believed that the church work is the greatest thing. And even today, so many people in a mistaken way say that those who are involved in church work are somehow very preferred by God, liked by God, loved by God in a greater way than others. That is not true. The sanctity of all work is an important Protestant teaching that came from the Bible. This is one of the truths that have been uncovered in the Protestant Reformation movement.

So let me begin to expound on this and show you some scriptures, how it is scripturally based that all work, the sanctity of all work, alright. Turn with me to Psalm 24 and verse 1. I'll show you why all work is sanctified, is good before God, is holy before God.-- The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.-- What this Psalm is saying, this Psalm is saying the whole earth and all its fullness, that means everything in it. And all those who dwell in it, the world and all those who dwell in it, really is the Lord's. So if everything is the Lord's, in other words let me put it in another way. If there is nothing in this world that is not the Lord's and everything is the Lord's, just by virtue of creation. If everything is the Lord's, then in such a world, whatever you do, whatever you do involves you doing something in God's world. You do something in God's world. You are being active in God's world, doing something with God, for God. So God has created the world and kept it here and you are like a manager, you are like an administrator. The earth has been given into your hand, all of the earth the whole world and everything in it. We're the administrators and managers, we are supposed to administrate. We are supposed to develop, cultivate and do things with it according to God's plan and purposes. To fulfill God's grand plan for this earth. And when you do it, no matter what work you do, you're working for God, is it not? It doesn't matter what kind of work you're doing in this world. Since you are developing the earth, cultivating the earth, and taking it in the direction of God's will and purpose for this earth.

So whatever you do, one may be a doctor, another may be a lawyer, another may be a carpenter, another may be a construction man- you're all involved in developing this earth, you're all contributing in some way to the total development of this earth that God has created, you're working with it. So all of us no matter what profession, even the one who sweeps the floor, everybody you know, all of us no matter what we are, all of us are really working for God, working in God's world, doing something that God wants done, how can that be unsanctified? How can that be something that does not please God? How can you say that only the work of a priest is pleasing to God, or more pleasing to God and the work of a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or office worker of some kind, or a construction man, or electrician is not pleasing to God. Just as a priest is doing what he's supposed to do, all others are doing what they're supposed to do, because the whole earth belongs to the Lord, everything is His. We're all working, we're all working for God.

This the logic they employed, the Protestant Reformers used to talk about these things. Psalm 72 and verse 19-- And blessed be His glorious name forever and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.-- This is a song, we sing it very often, we used to sing it, it's an old wonderful song.-- Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things, and blessed be His glorious name forever and let the whole earth (listen to the last part) and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.-- The psalmist says let the whole earth be filled with God's glory. Now if the whole earth is supposed to be filled with the glory of God, then that means every area of human life must bring glory to God. See if the whole earth is to be filled with the glory of God, the reformers said it, the whole earth is to be filled with God's glory. How can it be filled with God's glory, if your family is not flourishing. If your family is not a happy family, if your family is not a godly family. Your family must be a godly family, must be flourishing family. People must see God through that family, through the husband and wife, because a husband and wife are a picture of Christ and the church. So when the husband and wife live in such a way, that brings glory to God. When they don't live in such a way, then it's not for the glory of God, it is not for the glory of God, see?

So the desire of the believer, if the desire of the believer is that the whole earth will be filled with God's glory, then that means that work as well as other areas of life need to be done in the way that it brings glory to God in order for that to happen. In order for glory of God to fill this earth, work as well as other things must be done in the way that it brings glory to God, only then the whole earth can be filled with glory. If the family is not right, if the families are not thriving, then God's glory cannot be seen. Similarly if work is not flourishing, if your work is not fruitful, if your work is not meaningful, if your work does not bring joy and happiness to you, then that is again a problem, it's not bringing glory to God. See this is the way they saw it, but let me read a few more verses.

Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 10, this is throughout the scriptures you will see it everywhere. I'm gonna read to you some key passages, 1 Corinthians 10: 31.-- Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.-- Now I'm sure you've read this verse, didn't think about it much or maybe thought about some aspects of it. That's why the word of God is so wonderful, it contains so much truth in it, that even though I've looked at it so many times when you look at it one more time, again something else comes up. It says whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. We just talked about how the whole earth must be filled with the glory of God the psalmist says. For the whole earth to be filled with the glory of God, every aspect of our life, all our activities must bring glory to God including work, family, and other areas of life right. And here it's talking particularly about one example eating and drinking. Eating and drinking is very ordinary matter, we do it every day. We do it three, four times a day, some people do it more you know, right. We eat all the time, we don't even think about it, we eat and drink. But the Bible says, look at this profound statement. It says whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, everybody say whatever you do. Anything you do, do it for the glory of God. Everything that you do, all activities, why? Because every inch of this world belongs to God, the whole earth belongs to God. There is nothing in it that does not belong to God, the whole thing belongs to God. If the whole thing belongs to God, then you and all of your life belongs to God. Therefore your spiritual life is not a life that is lived on Sunday mornings when you carry your Bible and go to church. Your spiritual life is lived on a day to day basis, 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year, all the time, even when you're sleeping you're doing it for the glory of God.

Hello, why am I sleeping? Because I gotta get up and preach, I'm gonna now on Sundays I sleep in the afternoon you know. And why, because tonight I have to preach. So I sleep so that I can get strength to preach the word of God, do it for the glory of God, right. When I eat, why do I eat? Because I need strength in my body, you come in between the services in the room upstairs, I'll be eating. Somebody might say, "I thought you'd be on your knees brother." No, not exactly, there is a bed that I also lay down sometimes, because I've been standing from morning 6 o'clock. So I need to eat, I need to lay down a little bit, I need to relax a little bit, everything that we do, we do it for God, for God's sake. It is all done because God needs me, God needs my strength, God needs me to stand up here preaching the word of God. Everything is done for the glory of God, I literally believe that. I remember one time I was teaching about prosperity and all of that, and one fellow said, "You know, you shouldn't save any money in this world, no savings, no savings account." I said why, he said, "Because we shouldn't keep anything in this world, if Jesus comes tomorrow we should be ready to go you know. No savings account." I said how are you gonna do anything then, you know. "Do you save?" I said I save yeah, he looked at me like I'm unspiritual person, you're saving? Yeah. You know why I save? I said because God may want me to do something tomorrow with that. How do you buy land without saving? Hello, how do you do anything without saving you know. So every time I save the money also, I'm not saving thinking oh God, this is growing and growing and growing, I'm gonna sit tight on it you know. No, that's not how I save, I save because I say Lord may this be blessed, may this grow, may this be in abundance and plenty because you have put something in my heart to do. And for that I save, it is for you I save, it is for your sake I save. See everything in life is like that, whatever you do, you do for the glory of God. When you spend, you do for the glory of God, right. If you just check if it's for the glory of God, then everything will be right.

So whatever you do, do to the glory of God whether it's eating or drinking, even a small activity like eating or drinking is done for the glory of God. Anything that we do is done for the glory of God, because everything is done so that God may be glorified. Turn with me to Colossians chapter 3, verse 17-- And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.-- Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through him. What is it talking about? In word or deed, any kind of activity it's talking about, it is not talking about church activities, it is talking about fasting and prayer, it is not talking about some kind of all-night prayer event or something. No, no, no it is talking about whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him. Whatever we do means even our family life as husband and wife, as you carry on a relationship, it says do it for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus do it for the glory of Jesus. That's the meaning with which it says, when you're dealing with the children do it for the glory of God. When you're dealing with your boss or your worker, do it for the glory of... that's exactly how he puts it, if you don't believe me read the next verse, verse 18.-- Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.-- There you go, that's what doing for the glory of God means.-- Husbands love your wife and don't be bitter towards them-- why? Because it must be done in the name of Jesus. If you can't do something in the name of Jesus, and for the glory of God, giving thanks to God. If you're doing something, if you can't do it in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God, and for the glory of God, then you can't do it because that's the way everything must be done.

So certainly that makes life very difficult some things we can't do in the name of Jesus, and we can't do it giving thanks to God. If you can go to an arrack shop and take the thing and put it in your mouth and swallow it in the name of Jesus and give thanks to God. Standing there, "Thank you Lord for what I am about to consume right now," and do it for the glory of God so that everybody sees oh my God, God's presence has come down you know, then you can't do it. I'm just being very raw, but look how many things becomes impossible when everything must be done in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God and for the glory of God. What the Bible is trying to emphasize is all activity, not just Sunday activity, not just prayer, not just our spiritual life, Bible really not just those things, but everything. What is spiritual life? Spiritual life consists of everything, there is no part of us that is apart from God. We belong to God wholly, completely, we're God's. All of us completely belong to God, the whole world is God's everything belongs to God. Therefore, you cannot do anything apart from Him, so do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him and do it for the glory of God, right.

So it says-- Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.-- So you've got wives, husbands, children. See right after saying whatever you do word or deed do in the name of Jesus, and giving thanks to God, he mentions wives dealing with husbands and husbands dealing with the wives, children dealing with the parents, now fathers dealing with the children.-- Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (In verse 22) Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not in eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. (Now here talking about work) obey in all things your masters, not with eye service as men-pleasers but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. (And then it says)And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Now listen)Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.-- This is amazing, a wife lives with her husband and gets along with him, and she's told to live in a certain way. And the husband is living with the wife and gets along with her, he's told to deal with things... deal with herin a certain way. A father is told to deal with the children in a certain way. Children are supposed to deal with their parents in a certain way. And workers are supposed to deal with their bosses in a certain way.

After saying all of that it says, Knowing that you'll receive the reward from the Lord. In other words, while you're doing these things, while you're relating to your spouse in this way, and your children in this way, to your workers in this way, to your boss in this way. The ultimate reward in the end comes from the Lord. the reward does not come from this boss whose mean and bad. The reward does not come from people here on this earth, the husband or wife, or children, or parents or anything like that. The reward comes from the Lord, doing the right thing and doing it all for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to the Father. When you do it like that, then you have to believe that the reward will come from the Lord. Sometimes the very people that you're trying to deal with may not appreciate it, may not realize that you're doing the right thing. May not realize and appreciate what you're doing. They may not say oh wonderful, you're doing exactly what the Bible says, no. Have you realized that some people no matter how well you do and how right you do, it's not satisfactory to them, they have decided not to agree with you. But the Bible says that you will receive your reward from the Lord, the reward comes from the Lord. And then it says in verse 25-- But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.-- That's a consolation cause people are wondering, well what about all the things that that guy does so unjustly? Well, he will be repaid the Bible says, but you just do the right thing so that the one who pays you, the one who rewards you, will reward you with good things, alright.

So the Bible teaches it throughout everywhere, this is the way we must approach the work. This is the way that we must work, the attitude is this that the whole earth is the Lord's. Everything about us, the spirit, soul, and body belongs to the Lord. So everything that we do, no matter what, we sit down, get up, sleep. Do whatever eat or drink, any simple activity, everything is done for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God. It is done in that way, why? Because we completely live our lives for God, that is the way the Bible teaches. Keep in mind that all of us completely, and the whole world belongs to God and we are in that. There is no separate spiritual life, all of life is lived out in relationship with God to really do the right thing before God. There is no separate line of spiritual life and worldly life. You cannot separate it into spiritual life and worldly life, that's what it's saying alright. And sanctity of all work, is a very important teaching in the new testament. What is sanctity of all work mean? It means that no vocation, including church work is regarded as more spiritual or more pleasing to God than other types of work. That means all work, all work is pleasing to God. Any kind of work you do in God's earth, in God's world, you do it for God. You are working towards the development of what God has made, you see. And so even mundane work, the most ordinary work is something that pleases God, and that's the way the Bible talks about it. So we should never shy away from any kind of work. This idea of you know how can I do this work when I'm called to do that you know.

Sometimes I've seen preachers they're hesitant and shy away from some kinds of work. They say, "Well I'm called to ministry, I can't do this work because I'm wearing the collar you know. And I can't do this work." No, look at Apostle Paul, look at 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 7 to 9. Look at how he sets an example before others he says-- For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.-- He's talking about how on some occasions at least, I don't think he did tent making all the time. The Bible does not say something like that, and even great Bible scholars point that out that he did not live by tent making. He himself preached that those who preach the gospel must live by it you know. That's the right thing, he said.

So having preached that he says even though that is right, even though it is right to expect the Thessalonians to take care of him, he says I never did it because I realized... maybe he realized that there might not be enough there. Maybe he realized that he needed to, in this situation help out some, maybe he realized that there is too much of a company with him that he needs to work and do something to assist them in supporting the whole team and so on. So he went to work. He said we worked, we laboured, he said. We didn't eat anyone's bread free of charge, we've worked with labour and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. Not because we don't have the authority, now authority means right. Not because we don't have the right to expect you to pay for it, he says. But to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. He says we want to be an example to you of how to behave, and therefore we did this, he says. And then he says-- For even when we were with you we commanded you this. If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat, for we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner. Not working at all, but are busybodies. (See there were some people going around not working, busybodies, and he says) Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and their own bread.-- What an advice. In other words very simply, if you wanna put it he says don't shy away from any kind of work, work is not demeaning. The Greeks had the idea the work is demeaning, the work is for the slaves. That is a lower kind of life, low class people only should work with hands. That's the way the Greeks believed, amazing. They believed that working with hands is a low class thing, that you're stooping down to work with hands. It's very unfortunate if you had to work with hands, they said. But the Bible talks about the work of our hands, you know that? God will command a blessing upon the work of our hands, and exactly in those words.

I tell you my friend there is nothing wrong with working with these hands. God has given these hands and legs, for us to work. There is nothing wrong with us in working, God gives us gifts and abilities. Many many years ago I told you about Ben Carson who I like very much, and I've read some of his books and so on. I've watched him about 30 years ago, when he was a young man coming up as a surgeon in America. Another preacher had on a television show and interviewed him there, that's the first time I saw him actually. And here's a neurosurgeon, comes from a African American family, very poor his mother used to sweep houses and wash pots and pans. That's the way she made a living, very poor, lived in a locality, a ghetto type of atmosphere where some of his cousins got shot and dead you know, killed and so on. He lived in a violent society in such an environment, but yet somehow someone showed him the way to the library and he began to study. And it doesn't cost anything to go to the library and study there. And he began to read and pour himself into the books that he found there, became very interested in reading and so on. Studied all the way through scholarship you know, and became one of the greatest doctors in America, a brain surgeon.

So this preacher was interviewing him and he was telling a story how you know people are engaged in violence and theft and drug addiction and so on. But at one point in his life as a young man, he realized that God has given him a gift. As he was studying, he realized that God has given him a gift and God had given him a desire. We talked about desires, we talked about gifts and abilities. See how it led him in the path of God's will for his life. And they showed his hands on television, I'll never forget. He showed his hands you know, and he says these hands are blessed by God. Not to bless me, not to just do something for me, not just to earn money for me, but to bless others, to heal others. So that when I put this hand upon others to work on their brain and on their body, there is something very special he says, because I feel that I'm doing it with God's power, God's gift, God's ability you know. And the preacher showed his hands and says, this is healing hands. And I felt a chill going through myself you know, because it is so real that God has blessed this simple man born so poor. Put so much power in those hands that he can take Siamese twins and separate you know joined in the heads. I think before that they were not able to separate successfully, and he is the one that came up with ways to separate and so on. Amazing work he has done with surgeries. And how God can change a person's life just by gifting a person with something, giving the ability to do something you know.

Work of the hands must not be taken very lightly. We must never shy away from working with our hands, God blesses the work of our hands you know. You who work must believe that as you go out to work, that everything that you put your hand to do will be blessed. That if you can put your hand on something, it will be blessed in the name of Jesus. That you go forth in the name of Jesus you know, because the Bible says do everything in the name of the Lord. Do it in the name of the Lord, do it for the glory of God, do your work for the glory of God. Realize that God has blessed you with the gifts and abilities needed to fulfill your call in your life. Every single one of us is gifted in so many ways you know. There's another verse in the scriptures, in 1 Peter. If you turn with me to 1 Peter chapter 4, look at verse 10-- As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another-- See when I talked about gifts and abilities I told you that gifts are not given to us. It is given to us, but it's not for us. When God gives us gifts it is to minister to others something that they need, it is not for us. So if God calls me to preach am I gonna just preach to myself? No, I need some preaching too but the thing is the whole gift is not to just minister to me. So that I may minister to someone that needs it right. Similarly with you, whatever your gift is. God has given you a gift, it is so that you can minister as good stewards that gift to someone else. As each one has received a gift, look at how Peter believes. As each one has received a gift, every single person has received a gift.

This is Bible teaching, minister it to one another, use that gift to do something in this world, use that ability to be a blessing to someone. Use that gift to reach out to someone, use that gift to minister to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. In other words, this big earth, all the resources in it, God has made us stewards of it, we are administrators and managers-use it, your hands and your brain is gifted with some special ability to take some parts of God's creation and use it to bring about great blessing to others. Do whatever has gifted you to do. Then verse 11 explains it more, it says-- If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.-- Amazing, yesterday I was meditating upon this. I went to a funeral yesterday and I spoke there. Here's a man that died at 60 years of age, at the prime of his life, very shocking and sad. And they wanted me to come and preach, he was also a preacher. So I went and actually every time I go there... I've gone to many funerals and preached there. But the thing is every time there's a battle, what to preach there you know. What to say because each family is different, each need is different, each problem is different, everybody's different. You can't simply speak a sermon, give a sermon just because you have a few sermons in your library or something like that.

So I went and sat there and I was thinking, and you know I was amazed at the word that God gave me to share with them. It was so direct, I could have not have myself said anything better than that you know. I was myself surprised. Right just before I got up to preach, things came to my mind. And I knew that this is what I should speak and I got up and spoke. And they felt so ministered to, everyone felt so ministered. In particular that family, felt so ministered to because literally I believe I spoke there to my great astonishment, and I'm astonished again and again sometimes like this. To my great astonishment I spoke not as the oracles of man but as the oracle of God, God himself was speaking to them. See God was not giving those words to me, He was giving it to me to deliver it to them. That is my job, that is what God has called me to do. So I'm just a mouthpiece, I'm just standing there, I receive the word and I pass it on. I hear it and I speak it, and I begin to open my mouth and the words come as the oracles of God. It is as if God was speaking to that family, God was ministering to them. That's what he's talking about, everyone is gifted in a certain way. Everyone has been given a gift by God. Not so you can say oh I'm so gifted, no, no... so you can go and do something about others-- If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies.--

You see I spoke there, that is my part. You know there were other guys I saw, particularly one young man I saw. What a great help he was, it looks like he's managing the whole thing there. I can see that he's got the gift to help, to get into that house where someone is dead and does everything. Starting from the parking to inside the stage work you know. Taking the preacher to the stage and controlling the people, and doing everything. This guy can do everything, A to Z you know so gifted. But that is his gift, a gift to help, to be of kindly help. In very ordinary ways, but he's gifted by God.-- Let him who do it as with the ability which God supplies. That in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.-- So work is a gift of God.

I want you to turn to 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, verse 7 I read that already. So Paul... that's where we were, right? So Paul says what... in essence what he's saying is that he worked and earned his own way and all that. What his talking about is this, he says listen I do not shy away from work. I don't shy away from putting my hand to work, some people shy away from work, I don't shy away from work, he says, because work is something- that God given ability. If I need to work, in spite of the fact that I'm called to do apostolic work, if I have to do that I will do it he says. And he did it and he was an example to people. He says nobody should lay idle, they should work. So the hands, the work of the hands is so important.

Finally, let me say this before I close, the greatest example is Jesus. When Jesus came in human flesh, you know what he did? Because he took humanity upon himself, he became a human being, that's what we mean when we say he took on humanity. We are human beings, we have humanity. Do you know Jesus the son of God, the second person of the blessed holy trinity took upon Himself humanity. He became a man, and by becoming a man you know what he did? He brought such glory and honor to humanity. We think humanity is nothing, I'm just a human, that's what the song says you know. I'm just a human, but you are God, oh God, I'm just a human. No, no, no I'm not just a human, Jesus was a human, extraordinary human. The son of God became a human, to be human must be something special. By taking on humanity, Jesus brought glory and honor to humanity. He showed that to be a human is not an ordinary thing, it is a very honorable thing. And when He died on the cross, and when He was buried and third day He rose again, He rose again with the same body but glorified. He retains His humanity even today, that's what the Bible says. He has not given up His humanity, it's not like He came as a man and went back and now become the son of God and forgotten the humanity. No, humanity was not a temporary thing that He took on. Humanity was a permanent thing that he took on, such honor He ascribed to humanity by taking on humanity. That when he rose again, He was once again a man so that the Apostle Paul says that we have one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. He could have Jesus Christ, that would have been fine. He said we are one mediator between God and man, who's that? The man Jesus Christ, there is a man there a mediator between God and man. There is someone who's as human as we are in the presence of God, as a mediator for us to speak for us, to intercede for us. Our intercessor, our high priest is someone that has humanity just like you and I have.

So Jesus took on humanity, that means our humanity received an honor, that's indescribable. So I don't say I'm just a human, to be a human is something wonderful. But then that Jesus who took on humanity worked with His hands as a carpenter, He came as a carpenter. In that world it's very important, in that world the Greeks believed only slaves would work with hands. Blessed people will sit and eat, slaves will work with them.... the low class people will work with hands, blessed people will sit and eat. That's the way the Greeks believed, the Romans believed and so on. But in that world comes Jesus at that point in time, what a great thing it is. He comes as the carpenter's son known for working with hands. By taking on humanity, He brought honor to humanity. By coming as a carpenter's son, He has brought honor to every single person in this world who works with his hands. Lift up your shoulders today, be happy today. If you're a person that works with your hands, don't feel like you're a slave or you're slaving your way. Don't feel that you are low class, no, Jesus came working with hands. He brought such honor to the whole idea of work with hands you know. This is how the Bible teaches about the work of our hands. It teaches how honorable this is, that all work in the sight of God, has sanctity because God has made man for work. Work is not something demeaning, bad because God worked six days and rested seventh day. And man is made in the image and likeness of God. So all work, everything that man does in this world, he does it in God's world, he does it for God, he's rewarded by God. He's working in God's world doing things, and therefore it is honorable and it has sanctity. Amen.

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